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Sell Old Clothes for Extra Money
By Dawn R. Hanna
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As spring cleaning gets into full swing, many Mississippians must decide what to do with boxes of discarded clothes -- plan a yard sale or find a second-hand clothing shop.
"Garage sales are a way of getting rid of things you no longer want, need or use," said Dr. Beverly Howell, extension family economics and management specialist at Mississippi State University. "They are also an excellent way of making extra cash, meeting new faces and just having fun."
The success of a yard sale is largely dependent upon the type and amount of planning and organizing.
"A well thought out and carried out sale can pay off in profits and pleasure," Howell said. "The more people who know of your sale, the more you can expect to sell."
Many forms of advertising may be utilized to promote a yard sale.
"Classified ads are considered the best form of advertising," Howell said. "Other forms include radio stations, posters and area bulletin boards. Word of mouth is a very effective means of advertising."
Consignment shops also are a reliable source for selling second-hand clothing. Once consignment shops accept the clothes, they sell them and keep a percentage of the profit while passing an agreed-upon percentage back to you.
"You can usually get a higher price for a second-hand clothing item by taking it to a consignment shop," said Dr. Everlyn Johnson, extension textiles and clothing specialist at MSU. "Remember, most consignment shops require you to have the garment cleaned before they will accept it."
Consignment shops often take seasonal clothes and garments which they believe will sell. The larger consignment shops will accept clothes out of season simply if they have adequate storage space for this inventory. Consignment shops do minimal advertising and are more geared to accept items in season or that can be worn year-round.
"If you take second-hand clothes to a consignment shop, you will be required to follow their policies," Howell said. "When you have a yard sale, you are able to control the advertising, hours and pricing."
The key to setting prices is to set them high enough to make the sale worthwhile, and low enough to encourage people to buy. Howell said set a price on each item or group of items, and remember your merchandise is used and price it accordingly.
Prices at consignment shops are influenced by the quality and style of the garments. The prices often are set by the sellers rather than the suppliers to keep pricing more consistent.
"Most consignment shops will only take second-hand clothing that they feel are good quality items," Johnson said. "If the clothes are not in good condition, they probably won't accept them. Faddish items may not be accepted because one can never be sure how they will sell."
Howell suggested the following checklist when planning a yard sale:
- Check the laws to find out if you need a permit in your area.
- Visit other sales to see how it's done.
- Income you receive from a garage sale is taxable only if you make a profit.
- Include all necessary information in advertisements.
- Remember to take down your signs as soon as the sale is over.
- Set your prices low. Also, a little bit of cleaning will bring a higher price on an item.
- If you are selling electric appliances, have an outlet available.
- Decide your policy on accepting checks before the sale.