I love giving tips on how people can make cash by selling their old clothes.
Clothes Mentor vs. Plato's Closet
Cleaning out your closet can seem like a chore, but what's a better motivator than cash in hand?
Many of us women (and men) purchase clothes on impulse and rarely actually wear them. We always say we'll eventually have an occasion to, but let's be real, we probably won't. Before they have a chance to go out of style, why not cash them in? There are many ways to sell unwanted used items individually, such as online classified sites like Craigslist or Ebay and mobile yard sale apps along the lines of Offerup or Bookoo.
There are also stores that will buy much of your gently-used clothes and accessories in one shot for cash on the spot. Two stores come to mind: Clothes Mentor and Plato's Closet. I have sold to both, and I am going to share my tips for maximizing the amount of cash you can go home with.
Condition and Cleanliness Terms
Both stores state that the condition of clothes should be:
- Freshly laundered*
- Free of stains (even deodorant on the inside)
- Without rips, rents, holes, or frayed edges
- Gently used, as in not overly laundered, faded, and sweaters should not have pilling
- Shoes should not have worn-in toe impressions, but slight wearing on the bottom is usually alright.
Special tip: While shopping at both stores, I have occasionally noticed faded, overly laundered clothing on the racks and in all instances, they were higher-end brands like Ralph Lauren, Ambercrombie, and BCBG. Perhaps they make exceptions to their policy for the more lucrative brands.
* My clothes were clean, but not recently laundered. As in, they were hanging in my closet for months when I took them in, and they still purchased most. Use your own discretion, but they certainly should not smell musty or dank.
Clothes Mentor Acceptance Terms
Clothes Mentor takes:
- Women's sizes: 0-26 (those are the even-sized numbers you find in misses or women's departments) they do not take junior sizing, which generally comes in the odd-sized numbers.
- High-end name brands such as Ralph Lauren, Donna Karen, DKNY, Calvin Klein, etc
- They take name brands from department stores like Macy's, Carson Perie's and sometimes even Kohl's.
- Accessories, shoes, and handbags.
- All must be of current style.*
Special Tip: They will take most of the brands that you would see at TJ-Maxx and Marshall's. That's where I bought most of my stuff originally.
*Clothes Mentor defines current as, "styles seen in the malls in the past few years". In my opinion, styles change a little quicker than that, and they might not actually take something that was ultra-trendy last fall, that is clearly out of style this fall, and so on.
Here are the brands they take.
They price items at about 1/3 of the original retail, and then they offer you about 1/3 of that.
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Not too shabby, especially if it would normally be sitting in the closet collecting dust! My first time there I came in with a laundry basket of assorted clothes, scarves and costume jewelry and left with $85, the second time I made even more, because I had a few coats to sell, as well.
Special Tip: Your offer can take roughly 30 mins, more if they are busy. If you give them your cell phone number, though, they will text you when they have your offer ready and you don't have to mill around the store. Trust me, I love browsing the aisles, but, that quickly gets old.
Plato's Closet takes:
- Female and Male clothing
- In Junior girls sizes 0/1 to 18/20 and guys size 28 to 40 waist
- Current style*
- Accessories, shoes, and handbags
*Plato's closet defines current as: "clothing sold in retail stores within the past 12 to 18 months and are current teen and young adult styles still seen in the mall," so it looks like their policy is a bit more strident than Clothes Mentor.
Plato's closet has similar pricing to Clothes Mentor, (1/3 of they would sell an item for), but what they purchase can vary from store-to-store based on each store's needs.
Special Tip: In my experience (and I haven't sold any guys clothing there) the trendier the better especially with the shoes. Clubwear sells especially well, from what I hear.
You will get more money for your items if you sell them close to the season that you are in. For example:
- Scarves and Hats
- Light weight tops/jackets
- Capris and shorts
Special Tip: They might still purchase some things all year round, like handbags, fashion scarves, or accessories in neutral colors that can transverse the seasons.
Extra Spending Cash
Enjoy your extra cash! Whether you plan to turn around and buy a new outfit at either store or save it for a rainy day, it's always a nice feeling to have a bit extra.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Renee Salpietro
Adri on June 11, 2020:
Sell on Facebook market you get more for your items a lot more than what clothe mentor will give you. Anyway by the time you go to clothes mentor the employees already picked the “ real deal and set it apart for them” I have a fiend that works there. Honestly clothes mentor pay very little for your clothes but sell them almost like new .... sell on mercari or Facebook market... you are welcome
wendy mgoqi on April 12, 2020:
Where can i buys second hand clothes