COVID Cash Crunch Part 2: Rags to Riches

A Second Chance for Secondhand Clothes

Online shopping graphic

Pandemic fashion has come to mean looking good from the waist up! Zoom meetings and work from home have provided, for many, a blessed reprieve from daily battles with nylons, heels, and makeup. Or maybe a change in career has left more expensive shoes, bags, and suits in the closet never to be worn again. Whatever the circumstances, the COVID cash crunch is an opportunity to either unload unused designer items, or even cash in on great deals, if you have, for example, a hankering for Hermes.

A recent industry survey from ThredUP®, the largest online consignment and thrift store, reveals the popularity of second hand clothing is now extending beyond the Gen Z and Millennials to include Generation X and Boomers, who have learned from their children and grandchildren there’s no shame in buying used, especially if it means the difference between a label or none at all. The study states that 70% of adult women have shopped or are open to shopping secondhand.

Plus, resale means not only saving or making money on designer items, but it’s also environmentally friendly. With an increased desire by consumers towards sustainability, reducing your carbon footprint by recycling clothes has become downright chic!


ThredUp, founded in 2009, claims to be the largest “online secondhand shopping destination.” The site offers hundreds of gently used-new clothing at up to 90% of their estimated value. Accessible brands such as Lululemon, North Face, Kate Spade are featured, as well as shoes, and clothing for moms, pregnant moms, and kids. Dresses can run $15 and the clearance prices are worth a visit.  ThredUP claims, “Every single one of the 15K new arrivals added to the site every day is 100% authentic and in such good shape anyone could mistake them as new. No knockoffs here—just knockoff prices.” They encourage visitors and sellers to “find high-quality used women’s clothing and used children’s clothing from fashionable closets just like yours.” ThredUp’s comprehensive help section will get you started on your own closet cleaning and support your sales on their site.


Poshmark is another online resale shop featuring high-end brands that you can either sell or buy. Founded in 2011, Poshmark sells women’s, kids, and men’s clothing as well as bags, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Here, you take your own photos and upload them to your own “closet.” The platform is user friendly and features support for first-time sellers to help upload their items. The platform also has its own stylists that can help curate your items for resale or shop for your own purchases.

How to Make Money

These sites work on consignment and sales percentages so it’s very important to do your research about which thrift shop works best for you. If you are just cleaning out your closet and don’t care as much how much you can make, critics say ThredUP may be a good option. But if commissions are important for your luxury items, you may want to consider Poshmark or other retail sites. A critical review of the sites reveals both legions of fans as well as those who felt they were underpaid for their resale items. Buyer and seller beware!


Crafty, creative, and ready to make some cash? In part three of our COVID Cash Crunch series, we’ll explore how homemade items or hidden talents can put money in your pocket.


This article is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any information provided as legal, tax, investment, or financial advice. No reader should make any investment decision without first consulting his or her own financial advisor and conducting his or her own research and due diligence.

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Form TRN00021 | Rev. 11-2020