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Closet cash-in

Where to sell your cast-offs after a spring closet cleanout

  • A staffer sorts through clothing at Crossroads Trading Co.
A staffer sorts through clothing at Crossroads Trading Co. (Sara Mays/For RedEye )
March 19, 2013|By Renee Mailhiot, @reneemailhiot | For RedEye

Blazers with missing buttons. Fraternity sweatshirts. Too-small jeans that might just fit again someday … OK, probably never.

If this sounds like the inside of your closet, then it's time to embrace spring cleaning season.

The gold standard of closet purging is to ask yourself whether or not you've worn an item of clothing within the past year, but that's not the only way to determine what should stay and what should go. April Francis, a wardrobe stylist with The Haute Closet, recommends you take a look at fit and quality. "If it doesn't fit, get it altered or get rid of it," she said. If it's hanging on a by a thread—literally—now also is the time to let it go.

The emotional attachment to clothes can be hard to break, but once it's broken, you'll be left with a pile of clothing to sell or donate. Here's how to figure out whether your cast-offs might net you some quick cash to refill the newly empty spaces in your drawers.

Click on the type of clothing you're looking to sell:

>>Designer goods
>>Vintage clothing or accessories
>>Trendy threads
>>Outdated but still wearable clothing

>>MORE: See what trends to keep or toss this spring

DESIGNER GOODS

The Chanel sunglasses that overwhelm your face shape. That Burberry scarf from your long-gone ex-girlfriend. Make back some of the large sums of money spent on high-end, luxury labels at consignment stores, which specialize in taking designer names off your hands to sell in-store or on eBay.

McShane's Exchange
815 W. Armitage Ave. 773-525-0282

Chloe bags, Chanel jackets and Jimmy Choo shoes are typical items that this shop sells on consignment—meaning you get paid when your stuff sells. Items are priced at about a third of the original price and are consigned for a 60-day period, after which you'll have the chance to consign again. Most items should be less than two years old and reflect current trends.
You get:
50 percent of consignment price

eDrop-Off
2117 N. Halsted St.; 1155 N. State St. 773-525-7467

This eBay consignment service accepts all-season trends, from contemporary designer labels such as Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenburg and Rag & Bone right on up to high-end names such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton. For spring, designer sunglasses are in demand, while name-brand handbags are a good bet yearround.
You get:
60 percent of consignment price

Designer Resale of Chicago
658 N. Dearborn St. 312-587-3312

Top designers — think Prada, Marni and Alexander McQueen — are sold by this website that also has River North location.
You get:
60 percent of the consignment price; 50 percent for luxury labels such as Chanel, Hermes and Gucci or cash up front for garments with high selling potential

The Haute Spot
935 W. Chestnut St. 312-226-7768

Designer labels, including menswear and some home goods, are included at this River West operation. Most of the items, like Louis Vuitton and Prada purses, are sold on eBay, but shopping by appointment is also offered. Items from all seasons are accepted, but staffers do wait to sell items that are especially season-centric (i.e. white linen pants in the summer) to elicit the best profit.
You get:
55 percent of consignment price

>>BACK TO TOP
>>FIND DONATION CENTERS

VINTAGE CLOTHING

Typically, a garment qualifies as vintage if it's 20 years or older; if your throwback pieces are truly from a past era, consider selling them on sites such as Etsy or eBay. Just because an item is old doesn't make it a desirable sell, so for extra input, head to these shops in-person to try your hand at turning a profit.

Very Best Vintage
1919 W. Chicago Ave. 312-226-5530

This shop currently accepts mostly seasonal items primarily from the 1920s-1970s, but not everything goes: An average polyester shirt from the '80s probably won't cut it, but party dresses—especially from the '50s or '60s—sell well. Fur and outerwear are priority items too, but spring and summer clothes are being accepted now.
You get:
50 percent of the consignment price

Knee Deep Vintage
1425 W. 18th St. 312-850-2510

While 1950s- and 1960s-era attire a la Betty Draper are the preferred items at this Pilsen shop now, they accept most attire from the 1990s and earlier. The owners specialize in wearable vintage, so anything resembling a costume isn't accepted. Men can sell their retro items here as well, especially early '90s T-shirts.
You get:
50 percent of the item's resale value in store credit or 30 percent in cash

Mr. and Mrs. Digz
5668 N. Clark St. 773-447-8527

Thirty-eight local designers bring their creations to this shop, but vintage items such as clip-on earrings, spring hats and clutches are also sold on consignment.
You get:
50 percent of the consignment price

>>BACK TO TOP
>>FIND DONATION CENTERS

TRENDY THREADS

Looking to ditch clothing that's in good condition and still on-trend? Consider taking it to these buy-sell-trade boutiques.

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