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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Used Clothing Business from Home

Start a Used Clothing Business

Used Clothing Business

What you will be doing. People give away or trash items that they can no longer wear. They also get rid of clothing that is in need of repair. Selling used clothing is a business that can help put money in your pocket and offer a valuable service to the community.

You will find and repair clothing items that are fit for resale. If you have sewing skills, mending torn hems or ripped sleeves won’t take long at all. Your best finds will come from yard sales and thrift stores. Name brand pieces will sell for more than lesser known brands, but all will sell and bring a profit to you.

How to start. You will need clothing racks, hangers, labels, and price tags. Department stores may part with damaged or rusted clothing racks for free or a small fee. Storage boxes will be needed for small items like baby socks, scarves, ties, and belts.

Keep an ongoing inventory of what you have so that you know what sizes to look for when you shop for new merchandise. Launder all clothing before hanging it up for final sale. If special washing instructions are needed, include them in the shipment with the garments.

Shipping clothing requires appropriate boxes. Buy boxes, tissue paper, and other packing essentials in bulk to get the best deal. Be sure to figure in the cost of shipping when deciding on the final cost of each item you want to sell.

Start up costs. If you shop at yard sales and flea markets, the start up costs for merchandise can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Hangers can be purchased at discount stores. A label maker can be used for racks, but a fine tip marker and paper tags work well for pricing.

Skills needed. A clothing retailer needs an eye for fabrics and fashion. When looking at what to buy, a clothier needs to gauge the quality of the fabric and if torn items can be mended satisfactorily for resale. Knowledge of stain removal keeps you from buying items that would cost more to fix than you would get from the sale.

Customer service skills are also a must. Interacting with clients over the phone or in person, takes a person that is interested in the needs of others. The clothing should fit the wearer’s style and tastes.

Marketing. Offer good quality and they will come back. Flea markets and bazaars give the seller a chance to show name brand and knock off items that are “like new” but at a fraction of the cost. Give out business cards that give a telephone number and website address.

When orders are placed, include coupons for discounts on future orders. If someone orders a delicate fabric, include a trial size box of cleaning cloths for stain removal or a box of detergent. Orders over a certain amount can receive free items like garment bags, small storage items, or lint brushes. All customers should get detailed washing and care instructions.

Ask hospitals and social services departments if you can hang advertisements for your used clothing. This would be helpful for mothers that don’t have the money to buy high end quality clothing for baby off the rack. People with limited income can also dress well with your apparel.


Used clothing does not mean low value. With a bit of skill, you can restore clothing to pristine condition. Offer the best quality second hand clothing around and people will continue to do business with you.

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