How My Friend Makes Thousands Flipping Clothes

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  • My friend makes thousands of dollars each year by flipping clothes.
  • Sellers should source items cheaply, cross-list items, and research fashion and sales trends.

Flipping clothes can be a profitable full-time job.

My friend started selling clothes out of her closet to make a little extra cash. Now, reselling clothes is her full-time job -- alongside raising two kids. Despite her packed schedule, she makes thousands of dollars through eBay and Poshmark.

You can now start your own online store in five minutes or less. It's cheap to start, and you can quickly make $100 or more each month. But before you start, consider these three lessons my friend has learned during her 12 years of flipping clothes.

1. Source cheaply

Buy low, sell high(er). Typically, you want to make at least $5 per sale. This keeps you compensated for your work in sourcing, listing, and shipping. To make more money, you'll want to find good-selling brands for low prices.

Many resellers shop at thrift stores like Goodwill. To sell overflow, they occasionally wheel out bins of unsold clothes and sell them by the pound. You can purchase a $100 Adidas hoodie for the same price as a $20 hoodie from H&M, a significantly cheaper brand.

Friends are also excellent sources of clothes. My friend sells other folks' clothes for a cut of their profits. She started with her close friends, who referred her to their friends; today, she sources most of her clothes through referrals. 

2. Cross-list on seller platforms

You'll want to list the same clothes on multiple platforms to reach a broader audience. My friend cross-lists on Poshmark and eBay. She keeps an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of what sells. When an item sells on one platform, she de-lists it from the other.

She makes about half her sales on each platform -- cross-listing doubles her monthly sales!

Consider doing a bit of research before picking platforms. eBay and Poshmark are great for listing clothes and reaching broad audiences. Mercari is excellent for selling trendy shoes. ThredUp will sell your higher-end brands for minimal work on your part. 

Tip: My friend uses ListPerfectly to cross-list quickly. If you find yourself listing dozens of items daily, consider using a similar platform to save time.

If you want to start an online store independent from a reseller platform like eBay, you'll have to put in a bit more effort setting up shop. Check out the best e-commerce platforms on which to build your small business.

What sells one year might flop the next -- research what is trendy to get an idea of what to sell. Last year, granny sweaters sold like hotcakes. Some brands, like Nike, are always popular. 

Research can be intimidating -- don't let it scare you off! You can research trends through Google and your preferred seller platforms. What clothes have other flippers sold recently? Plus, YouTube has an economy of seasoned flippers to tell you what's hot and what's not. 

Every seller starts small. My friend created an eBay store as a side hustle. Now, it's her full-time job (in between taking care of the kids).

These days, there are step-by-step instructions on how to list your first item. All you need is a checking account, a smartphone, and a product. Spin up a listing to get started.

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