What I Learned From Selling My Clothes on Instagram

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Shane Bradshaw

Why is it that I can look at a closet full of clothes and feel like there is nothing to wear? I often find myself feeling defeated, sitting slumped over with my entire closet laid out on the floor when I try to find an outfit to wear. My closet is a combination of jeans I haven’t worn since high school, that one white v-neck that is overwashed and tattered and those dresses I bought for my birthday celebrations that I refuse to wear again. When I turned my guest bedroom into a second closet, I knew that I had a problem. 

It was time to get rid of some clothes, or a lot. 

I have tried all of the options: Goodwill, Plato’s Closet and I even made a Poshmark account but had little success getting rid of my old clothes. I accept the fact that there are some articles of my clothing that are too out of fashion to make a profit off of and I have no issue donating those articles to people who needed them more than me. There are other articles of my clothing, however, that are in great shape. I was determined to find a way to make a profit off of my lightly worn clothes that are simply taking up space. 

Would someone really buy that thrift store jacket if it was in the display window of the mall tomorrow, or do some like it because it’s someone else's? For my case, I hoped the latter was true.

I decided to make an Instagram account dedicated to posting photos of my unwanted clothing at a discounted price with the hopes that women in my area would buy my clothes. This would ultimately become my virtual closet. I promoted my new account on my personal Instagram profile and called attention to girls in the Columbus and Athens area who wanted new clothes for cheap. My goal was to get rid of as many things as I could without selling myself short.

In order for this to work I needed three things: followers, photos and reasonable prices. The price listed on each article of clothing was based on how old the clothes were, whether it was a staple item or not and how many times I had previously worn it. For example, tee-shirts ranged from $3 to $5 while blouses and dresses ranged from $20 to $30. 

Some of the strategies I learned were plain shirts sell better as a bundle with other plain shirts, brand name clothes sell themselves and no one wants my old jeans from Hollister. Now that I had an idea about what to sell, I began experimenting on how to sell my clothes. I had posed my photos to resemble a boutique on Instagram by placing the clothes on hangers with an aesthetically pleasing background. 

This was a successful strategy for girls whose body shape resembles mine and they did not have to guess what it would look like on them. For others, they appreciated when I tried on each article of clothing and posted a photo of what it looks like styled with other clothes in relation to my height and weight.

I ended up making a little over $200 in two months over the summer thanks to the women in Columbus who made my trash into their treasure. Since I started my virtual closet Instagram account I have successfully decluttered my real closet, but I am still a girl who loves to shop. When I see a cute new shirt I want I go into my closet and find something that hasn’t seen the light of day in a while and I offer it for sale on Instagram. Then, I use my profit to buy the new shirt. The amount of clothes in my closet stays consistent and I occasionally make a profit. 

Some people may see a shopping addiction, but I see sustainability, recycling and a little extra cash.