For a richer life

Make money from vintage clothing


moneymagpie_make-money-from-vintage-clothing_flea-marketMore and more people are buying and making money from vintage clothing. It’s official: second-hand is sexy.

Endorsement from fashion icons like supermodel Kate Moss and top stylist Bay Garnett has helped charity shop fashion to take hold on the high street.

Cash in on this sudden wave of thrift shop chic by rifling through the back of your wardrobe, trudging down to your local charity shop and generally keeping an eye out for hidden gems wherever you go. Then all you have to do is find the right buyer to make a tidy profit!

Step 1: What to look for

People are always on the look out for great bargains. So it’s important to regularly check your local vintage clothes goldmine to see if any new stock has come in that could potentially make you a mint.

Have a rummage

The number one rule when visiting charity shops is: Don’t be afraid to rummage. It’s usually the case that the most collectable items lurk at the bottom of the pile.

Also, keep going back to any shop you think might have hidden treasures. The good stuff goes fast and twice a week is not excessive for an enthusiastic collector.

Choose the right material

moneymagpie_make-money-from-vintage-clothing_fabricLena Weber, editor of vintage fashion tribute website QueensofVintage and self-confessed vintage clothing addict says:

“Definitely avoid very artificial fabrics as they are a nightmare to keep clean. Ideally look for items that are made of high quality fabrics such as wool or cotton. I wouldn’t be too worried if an item has a small hole, is missing a button or needs to be hemmed up, this can all be easily fixed. You can find tips on how to remodel ill-fitting vintage in a few quick steps on QueensofVintage.”

Don’t overspend

There aren’t any items of clothing in particular that make the most profit, because it depends how much you buy for, the condition, the label and how limited the availability of the item is.

If you’re just starting out, try not to pay more than £20-£30 for any one item. But, with a bit of knowledge and a dollop of good luck, finding a pair of £5 vintage shoes in charity shop and selling them on for £40-£50 is definitely doable.

Swot up

Beginners should definitely grab themselves a copy of a vintage clothing guide such as Funmi Odulate’s ‘Shopping for Vintage‘, just to brush up on some basic info.

Step 2: Where to look for vintage clothing

Before you go trawling through every thrift store in town, look a little closer to home. Most of us have bags of clothes in our attics and wardrobes that are just waiting to come back into style.

Cash in the attic

Have a look through and see if by any chance you’ve got something in good condition that might possibly make you a profit.

Remember that even if you think an item is absolutely hideous, it might well be in fashion at the minute. Keep an open mind about styles, colours and fabrics because, unless you’re already an expert, you can never be too sure if you’ve come across the holy grail of, for instance, stilettos.

Swap it

Also, try having a swap shop with friends (or strangers), to see if you can moneymagpie_make-money-from-vintage-clothing_clothes-swappingpick anything out from their junk that could be worth something.

Lena says: “There are… lots of clothes swapping or swishing parties going on. I recently went to a great one at the V&A.”

Check out to find your nearest event.



Hit the high street

After you’ve turned your house upside down and hassled all your friends, try looking a little further away from home. Most high streets have a charity shop or two, which are ideal for finding forgotten garments handed down through generations. The trick is to inspect everything you find and then trust your instincts.

If you fall in love with an item at first glance, unless you’ve got a particularly quirky style, chances are someone else might too.

Make money from vintage clothingAlthough big names generally sell for more money, it’s much more difficult to find them for just a few quid. Because of this, you’re better off sticking to lower priced items to begin with.

Vintage clothing stores are also a great place to find some original and quirky pieces. However, you’re a lot less likely to make any profit on items you find at one. The shop owners are generally experts in their field and will know which items are more valuable and can therefore be taken to auction or sold for more.

Having said that, vintage stores are often willing to haggle – so give it a go. It’s certainly worth having a look every now and again – you never know what might be hiding beneath a pile of polka dot dresses.

Lena says: “Charity shops are a great place for vintage bargains. The same goes for large vintage shops in non-trendy areas; stay away from Camden Market or Brick Lane for example. There are also some fantastic online shops such as somelikeitvintage that have amazing bargain items.

At the minute, originality is the key to being stylish. Buying vintage clothing pretty much guarantees that you’re not going to turn up to a party wearing the same dress as someone else. Unless of course you’re particularly unfortunate.

Popular celebs like Peaches Geldof and television presenter Alexa Chung swear by vintage. This has given the market for second-hand clothing a serious boost.

Find out how to make money collecting vintage shoes.

Step 3: Who to sell your vintage clothing to

There are literally thousands of collectors out there searching for certain items. They are willing to pay big bucks for the much-coveted vintage designer shoe.

Memorable shoes also do very well in auction. The famous ruby-red slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, made $666,000 (then around £412,000) when sold at auction in 2000.moneymagpie_make-money-from-vintage-clothing_vintage-skates

Just remember that the chances of you stumbling upon a moneymaker like that are one in a bazillion!

There are a few different places you can sell your newly purchased vintage clothes and footwear.


moneymagpie_make-money-from-vintage-clothing_ebayOf course, the first place people think of is eBay. And yes, people have been known to make a tidy sum from buying and selling there, and people still do.

However, collectors and fashion addicts are getting wise to the scammers and time wasters populating eBay, and now often seek alternatives.

Take a look at these 20 handy tips to make money on ebay today. 

ASOS Marketplace

Popular fashion site ASOS has launched its own virtual ASOS Marketplace with great success. What’s more, it’s designed with vintage clothes sellers in mind.

Take a look at our guide on how to make money from ASOS Marketplace.

Specialist sites and auctions

If you’ve got your heart set on auctioning your goods off, try SpecialistAuctions, which has a specific section dedicated to vintage wear.

You can also check out local auction houses, to see if they have any vintage clothing auctions running in the near future. If they don’t have an auction specifically for vintage clothing however, it probably isn’t worth bothering with.

You can reach thousands amongst your target market by displaying your goods on a specialist website. Whereas, a real life auction without your specific audience will attract a couple of bidders at the most.

moneymagpie_make-money-from-vintage-clothing_working-from-homeIf you’ve picked up anything particularly classy on your travels, send an email to [email protected], (from the website CandySays), describing your items. Include some pictures if possible, and she’ll let you know whether or not she wants it for her online store and for what price.

Of course, to get an idea of value for your items, you could haul them along to your local vintage store and just ask them for advice. You never know, they might even offer you a nice wad of cash for what you’ve got.

Making a full-time living by buying and selling vintage clothing and shoes isn’t something you should think about unless you’re an expert in the field.

At best, you can expect to earn a few quid by buying an item for a couple of pounds and selling it on for a double figure.

The big money will be made by buying designer wear and big names as an investment. Labels like Chanel, Givenchy and Dior, for example, will only increase in value as time goes by – providing the articles are in good condition.

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98 responses to “Make money from vintage clothing”

  1. Diana Parsons says:

    I have a real mexican lace hankerchief style dress,

    I purchased from mexico, whilst being on a carribbean cruise. contact me if you are intrested.

    • Alan Moreton says:

      hi there, I have a number of bags ,about 15 enny leather 1960`s to 1970`s early 80`s most still in original bags with mirrors still in there wrapping unused if you are interested I will take photos thanks

  2. Ethan says:

    HI IM SELLING VINTAGE 70s and 80s BAGS I HAVE 7 BAGS £12 EACH PLEASE CALL 07883168736 birmigham area :)

  3. Tammy says:

    Hi, I am currently in the process of starting my own vintage clothing business in Cornwall and am looking for clothing from the 40’s and 50’s specifically. Does anyone have any that they would be willing to sell for a reasonable price. Thank you.

  4. francesa says:

    Hello there,
    I have a number of different clothes , mainly skirts
    size10/12 knee length. All good makes Hobbs, white stuff,monsoon, coast, karen millen . All clean and in good quality and am just having a good clear out .
    Have tried Ebay , but feel they are worth more then 99p ! I have a couple of dresses, handbags ( leather)
    russell and bromley shoes size 6 and a calf length cream leather skirt.
    IF any one is interested please contact me.
    thank you .

  5. Theo says:

    I am currently building up my own vintage and retro clothing business that shall soon be operating on Portobello market and online.
    Hot on the lookout for vintage and retro clothing if you should have anything to sell?

  6. Skint in the City says:

    My best ever bargain is a vintage Pucci dress that I bought for the equivalent of a quid at a fleamarket in Barcelona. Here it is / – when I got home I discovered that it’s worth around £500!

  7. alan says:

    Cash for clothing takes recycling to another level.

    Recycling has been around for well over 100 years but over the last few years it has gone to another level by paying people to recycle what they would normally send to land fill.

    What can be recycled for cash? Well the list is endless but here are a few things that can be recycled for cash.

    A major player in the textile recycling industry is cash for clothes where they will pay you for unwanted clothing and some textiles, belts, soft toys and paired shoes. It is so easy to arrange a collection with them you simply fill in a contact us form to arrange a collection and they collect on a pre arranged date.

    They pay cash to you the day they arrive to collect the clothes and weigh them while you are there. ( no need to wait for a cheque to clear)

    Mobile phones has also seen a massive increase in recycling although many of these did not go to landfill but simply sat in draws within the home and where no longer used, estimated over 90 million pounds of old phones in people’s houses.

    Other items that you cash recycle for cash are ink cartridges, gold , books and dvd’s.
    If you would like to arrange a collection of textiles and get cash for clothes then visit.

  8. Hi all, we buy and sell ladies vintage clothing, jewellery and accessories from our online shop at itchycoovintage and at fairs around the country each weekend. We also have opened a pop up shop within the Nichols Building in Sheffield, so pop along or visit us at facebook./itchycoovintage and say hi! x

  9. Susanne says:

    I have 15 sacks & more to add of women’s vintage clothes mostly 50s and 60s. I need to offload the whole lot ASAP. If interested please contact me.


  10. theodora says:

    Hi, I have a lot of vintage dresses 50s-80s,jumpers, skirts jewelry, designer vintage shoes(ferragamo, bally), bags- ostrich, crocodile.
    I am moving back home 1ST week in april and want to get rid of a lot my items.
    very reasonable price!!! I am based in central london if anyone wants to have a loot and buy.
    please contact me via email – [email protected] then maybe you can have a look at my items and take whatever you like.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Theodra,
      I was looking for coupons the other day a found one for a new vintage website that appears to sell everything vintage for free. The coupon code was for, 15 free photos to place an ad. I hope that helps. Lori

  11. Charlotte says:

    I have for sale a stunning burgundy vintage size 10 70s channel suit with gilt lion head buttons on the boucle coat and a silk shirt. I’ve also a rare crocodile handbag,to match. It looks really fab, just so sad my middle age spread prevents me from wearing it. It’s my pride and joy and just looking at it and owning it has given me so much pleasure. I can send pictures via email.

  12. Ethan Neemo king says:

    I’m selling men’s / women’s vintage handbags and jumpers all items must go make me an offer people all my items are in good condition if you have an iPhone or email address I can show you pics call me on 07883168736

  13. Ethan Neemo king says:

    Im clearing out my 1980s men’s/women’s clothes a lot of bargains on jumpers and hand bags call me on 07883168736

  14. chinpan says:

    I have a 1970’s BIBA suit for sale. It’s the equivalent of a size 4 in todays sizes and is brown with tiny cream-coloured flowers with a peplum attached to the top. The half sleeves are very fitted with a pointed end.

    I also have a 1970’s Jane Shilton brown leather and snakeskin clutch bag with a gold chain.

    How can I sell them and know if I have been given a fair price?

  15. Hi everyone I have recently started a web-based online store as I have been a collector of vintage, mainly unique timeless pieces for a while and started to turn it into a business. I am interested in some tips on how to get my business out to the public and beyond my home state of Michigan. Take a look at the site I am open to feedback, and would appreciate some selling tips. Thanks Lauren

  16. Micha says:

    Hi, I’m currently setting up my first business and I’m going to opening up a vintage boutique in West Yorkshire. I would like to specialise in designer vintage clothing and also one off pieces of vintage furniture. If you have any items which you would like to sell I would be very interested and would really appreciate it if you could maybe contact me. Feel free to message me back. Thanks. Micha

  17. Hi there!

    You are totally right about auctions! they are a great way to buy and sell vintage!

    I run a specialised vintage fashion auction house called Circa Vintage Auctions. being specialised, I appeal to a niche crowd and get a great response and result for my clients :)

    Stop by sometime.


    • Helen Elsworth says:

      I’ve got some original 1940’s girls/toddler clothing that I’m thinking of selling. I think they could be quite rare.

      Is this the sort of thing that you’d be able to auction?

  18. Star says:

    I have a Giorgio Armani vintage black t shirt with kimino cut sleeves and a quilted monkey hanging from a branch holding a banana on the front. It says made in Italy and I dont know how old it is but I have had it about 20 years and the person who gave it to me had had it a long time too. Does anyone have any idea where I could sell it, find out more about it, or what it might be worse. It has been worn.

  19. carlygaga says:

    I have approx 20 items of womens vintage clothing, small size, printed dresses, skirts etc, all v good condition from 60’s/70’s that im looking to sell. Is anyone interested? im based in london.

    • Hi Carly,

      I run a vintage fashion auction house called Circa Vintage Auctions! I May be able to help you sell your vintage items. we can arrange an insured courier if you cannot make it to our base in the West Midlands.

      Hope this helps

      Kindest regards,


  20. tom says:

    Been collecting since 1980 and have a 30 by 60 foot ware house full plus a store 20 by 100 full. im getting older and it’s time to start reducing stock. You name it i believe i have it. tom

  21. Anne says:

    Try The Barras in Glasgow. There is a really long clothing stall there, piled randomly with clothes of all sorts for men, women and childen. You’ll have to rummage but the prices are incredibly low.

  22. Ade says:

    I have a whole heap of Channel suits , shoes and bags .The suits are like the ones that Jaqueline Onasis looked so beautiful in – also other designer lables

  23. James says:

    anyone after quality american vintage sweatshirts from the 90s, i have many in stock, ONE OF A KIND
    we have:
    Major league baseball
    If interested add lost’n found vtg on facebook and offer me a price

  24. Kristen says:

    I have a 1970’s Lillie Rubin sweep chiffon 2-tone evening gown with pearl and sparkling rhinestones in the center of the dress. I am wanting to find out how much it may be worth. (and who I could sell it to if I decide to do so) Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  25. becky says:

    heed an egent who will be helping me to source for good items like shoes cloths, pls if you can drop your contacts,thanks

  26. laura says:

    Hi I have a vintage 1980’s gorgeous camel dress it has never been worn and even has the original tags attached! I’m keen to sell it -is anyone interested?

  27. Aimee says:

    This is a great article, very helpful. Is anyone looking for a bundle of womens brand new and worn once/twice clothing? I have 33 items by designer and high street brands which I’d like to sell as a lot of single items. They’re all in super condition and there is a variety of tops,dresses,skirts,hoodies,jeans etc.

    Let me know if you’d like more information and pictures etc. Thanks


  28. R. Cochran says:

    In making money from Vintage clothing, here in the USA, it is imperative that people know where to find YOU. Consignment, advertising in community newspapers to have people allow you to go through their attics, closets and then perhaps even offer to buy something there on the spot is the way to go.
    If an older woman calls and asks if you might be interested in looking at some *clothes and costume jewelry* she has had for 50 years and wants to get rid of, you have to hop on that IMMEDIATELY. If you are not creative in how you procur vintage goodies, you will find your money flying out the door, or you are purchasing loads of stuff at an overpriced auction that barely covers your expenses to get there to bid.
    Questions you ask before you go are simple. Some are obvious as well. Be a good listener. If she is 80 years old and is talking about a few necklaces she wore in high school take notice,
    “Could you describe to me a few of the items you are talking about?” ( I got a beautiful Estate Sale 1940’s mouton coat for 5 bucks that way) you will often find gems galore that way.Listen to THEIR descriptions. They may talk about an *old* dress with a lot of beads fromn the 20’s that is a deliciously marketable flapper dress you can sell quickly in a niche market.
    Bottom line, you are the*expert* in procuring vintage items to sell.Our shop MILLAA BOUTIQUE is known for items for women who don’t run with the crowd.It is our tagline. Establish YOURSELF as the *go to *
    boutique or person in your community.It will mean a world of diference.

  29. smitoni says:

    I have a large assortment of designer and hand made clothes from Italy ie Benny Ong,Jaeger,Mondi,La Differance (Monte Carlo),Cerrutti,Jane(Couture),Ungaro(Paris)Josephine(Hand made)Jouve,Basler,Vanessa Aspection,Max Mara,Valentino etc that I am looking to sell. I will sell individually but it would be great if any one could take bulk. My email is [email protected] for any enquiries regarding descriptions size etc.

    • Joanne says:

      Hi smitoni i would be interested in having a look at your clothes would it be possible for you to email some pics? thanks look forward to hearing from you !

    • Tee says:

      hi smitoni

      i will be interested in vintage costume jewelry. email me pictures if you have any.



  30. undershirt says:

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  31. Kate Browne says:

    I live in Canterbury and have quite a few women’s vintage pieces from the 70’s and 80’s if anyone is interested, all in excellent condition. Please contact me on my email address. Thanks, Kate.

  32. alison says:

    I live near Bristol and have the last part of my collection of vintage clothes for sale. I am hoping to sell in one lot. There are some fairly ordinary clothes as well as valentino, christian lacroix shoes. If anyone is interested please contact me on my email address

    • Caroline says:

      Hi Alison

      I would be interested. Can you let me know what items, conditions, etc….pics would be good.


  33. Denise says:

    For anyone wishing to sell collections of good quality vintage menswear then feel free to contact Denise @ vintagewhistles.
    Please state what you have for sale and how much you would want for it, include a few pics if you can and we will get back to you.

  34. lee says:

    northern quarter, manchester -better than camden locks by a mile in my opinion!!!

  35. Thanks for making this post, Camden Lock has lots to offer every type of visitor, and it’s what makes it one of London’s top tourist attractions.


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