the low down on selling clothes.

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as a teenager every few months my friends and i would each load up a bin of clothes to haul down to san francisco and spend an afternoon huffing it up and down haight street to all the used clothing shops. we’d start at one end and work our way down, taking whatever was rejected to the next shop until we’d tried them all. then we’d take our meager earnings and put them right back in, spending our store credits on vintage t-shirts and velvet chokers and babydoll dresses. whatever was left we’d get in cash and spend on thai iced teas at ploy II.

over the last 5 years the options for selling clothes have expanded in a major way. i’ve tried many of them, keeping up everything from etsy shops and insta feeds to ebay stores and posh closets. what i find staggering about all of the options out there is that all of them make it near impossible to figure out what they actually charge for the privilege of selling your clothes. the fine print is pretty cray. so i thought i would put together a list of what these joints actually charge, how they work and what all of those little *’s add up to.

etsy: the cheapest option turns out to be etsy. etsy is for vintage (pre-1998) or handmade items only. etsy is really the best spot to sell vintage, but it can be a lot of work to get good photographs and provide detailed measurements & info on the items (these things are crucial). there is also such a large amount of stuff on etsy that it can take a long time to sell something. etsy charges $0.20 at time of listing, then a 3.5% transaction fee at time of sale plus a payment processing fee of 3% +$0.25. if you choose to offer paypal as a payment option for buyers, paypal charges another 2.9% per transaction. etsy also charges a 2.5% currency conversion charge if you sell to buyers outside of the us. total fee for sales in US= 6.5% +$0.45 of item’s final sale amount.

ebay:  for non-vintage (but you can sell vintage on ebay too) ebay is the cheapest overall option, and has exposure to the most buyers, but beware of headaches. many buyers back out/don’t pay or try to return items (even if you are clear that returns aren’t accepted). i have had a buyer reverse a charge with their credit card company (after a lengthy dispute process with ebay- which i won), resulting in my having to not only pay the ebay & paypal fees for the sale but a hefty chargeback fee to paypal on top of that. i’ve also had my ebay account hacked & hundreds of dollars in fraudulent purchases made, only to be told by ebay that i must have given my password to someone and let them make the purchases. needless to say it can be a shady place. here is their fee breakdown: 10% of final value + paypal’s 2.9% transaction fee. total for sales in the US= 12.9% of item’s final sale amount.

poshmark: this is my recent personal favorite because it’s straightforward and easy and you can avoid paypal. poshmark is an app based system- you take a picture with your phone through the app & post it, and buyers purchase online or through the app. it works like social media: you can follow people and have followers, and when you post something new they see it and can share it with their followers. buyers can buy at your set price or make an offer. once your item sells, a shipping label is automatically emailed to you (shipping is always $6.49- 2 day priority mail, this fee goes to poshmark). once the buyer receives the item funds are available & can be direct deposited into your bank account. for sales under $15, poshmark charges $2.95. for sales of $15 or more- 20%. total fee= 20% of item’s final sale amount.

mercari: mercari is a new app based system that seems to be trying to compete with both poshmark and ebay. you can sell anything from clothing to beauty products & household goods to musical instruments & tech stuff. you post through the app, and buyers can purchase online or in the app. you can either use their shipping label (flat rate USPS or FedEx) or choose your own & ship yourself. they only charge a 10% flat fee when the item sells, and they direct deposit into your bank account. the only charge for direct deposit is for deposits under $10- they charge $2. this is obviously the best deal going, but we’ll see if fees increase as the app grows. total fee=10% of item’s final sale amount.

tradesy: with tradesy you submit photos to them & set the price, then they edit your photos and post to the site. you have to choose whether to use your own shipping method or use one of their “shipping kits” (they will send you a box & shipping label- for a fee). once the item sells you ship directly to the buyer. their charges are: $7.50 for any item sold for under $50. $50 or more, tradesy takes 19.8%. they also charge a 2.9% “safe transfer fee” to transfer funds to your bank or to paypal. total fee= 19.8% + 2.9% of item’s final sale amount.

vestaire collective: vestaire is a luxury resale site that is sort of a hybrid of direct selling and consignment. you send photos to them for submission & set the price, they edit the photo & post your item and once the item is sold you ship it to vestaire for inspection, then they send to the buyer. it can be a lengthy process, but opens up your potential buyers to many other countries, and you don’t have to deal with buyers directly. pricing works on a tier system: vestaire takes $25 for sales under $70, 33% for sales between $70-$140, 31% for sales between $140-$345, 30% for sales between $345-$690. they direct deposit your earnings into your bank account on the 1st or 15th of the month, whichever is sooner. total fee= 30-33% of item’s final sale amount.

the real real: the real real is another luxury/designer resale site but you ship (or drop off, or they pick up in some major cities- for free) your items to them and they choose what they will post, take their own photos & set the prices. they pay on a tier system of monthly sales: you get 50% of items under $200, if you sell a total of $201-$1500 you get 55%. they direct deposit your earnings or send you a check. not a good deal in my book, but i suppose if you have a LOT of designer clothes that you don’t want to deal with, this would work. total fee= 45-50% of final sales prices set by them.

material worldthis site seems to be trying to compete with the real real, but this is not a consignment shop (they pay you up front for your items). you mail in your designer (no fast fashion) items (no charge), they send you an offer on the items they want to sell, and you get “up to 70%” of their estimated resale value (their estimated payout for a celine top is $27-$43- not much!). if you accept their offer, they send you a gift card that can be used at high end shops like barneys, saks, bergdorf’s, neiman marcus, shopbop and nordstrom or on their site. if you choose to get your earnings in cash, you’ll pay 3% to have the funds transferred to paypal. total fee=30-60% of their estimated resale value +3% paypal fee.

thredup: this one claims to be the easiest thing going- just send in your stuff & they sell it for you. however, they charge you $10 for a bag to mail your items to them (an additional $11 if you want your rejected items returned to you), and for the items they select from you, they pay next to nothing: between 5-45% on items sold for up to $75. you are also subject to paypal’s 2.9% fee if you want cash for your items. to me, this is a scam and a half. total fee= 55-95% of final sales prices set by them, plus 2.9% paypal fee.

swap.com: this is another site where you mail in your items & they sort & sell it for you. they charge $11.90 for shipping to them (another $5.99 if you want your rejected items returned to you). they have a tricky tier system- here is their example transaction: “Seller sends in a box and standard $11.90 inbound fee applies. The seller sells tier 2 items (giving either 40% in cash or 50% in store credit) with the total sales of $100. This gives a cash payout of $40. After deducting the inbound fee of $11.90, the Seller can choose between a cash payout of $28.10 or Swap.com store credit of $35.13 ($28.10 cash payout multiplied by Tier 2 Credit Premium Factor of 1.25) “. doesn’t seem worth it to me. total fee= 30-80%+ paypal fee???

crossroads: crossroads is a retail chain with stores all over the u.s. that specializes in used but nearly new clothing. if you sell in person they give you 50% of their sales price in trade, or 33% in cash. they offer a drop off or a mail in option, but if you do this they only pay 30% in cash, and my experience has been that tell you they couldn’t accept anything if you are not standing in front of them watching them go through it. total fee= 50% in trade or 67% cash of their estimated resale value.

buffalo exchange: chain of retail shops similar to crossroads but they accept vintage as well as current clothing. they don’t offer drop off or mail in options.  total fee=50% in trade or 70% in cash of their estimated resale value.

instagram: selling anything on instagram can be tough, unless you have a bajillion followers. noihsaf bazaar (@noihsaf.bazaar) is a feed with over 11k followers that sells higher end/independent designer clothing and shoes. the basic rule is no fast fashion, but they do take the occasional j.crew or madewell item. you submit a square photo (or multiples) to their e-mail with measurements/description & your price, they post the item & the buyer comments on the picture to buy (or make an offer). you then have to send the buyer an invoice via paypal and once paid, ship the item to the buyer. total fee= $2.80 to noihsaf+ 2.9% paypal fee of final sale amount.

the end.

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these days.

dylan's blood on the tracks notebooks (image via new york times)

bob dylan’s blood on the tracks notebooks (via the new york times)

we had an ever so brief break from winter crumminess; a few glorious days of sunshine; but the clouds have rolled back in and i’m feeling like the long rainy season is on its way. despite this i am feeling generally cheered by all of the valentine’s decorations everywhere & looking forward to blooming cherry blossoms & pink magnolias. here are a few things that have caught my fancy lately.

  1. can’t get enough of the dark camel/almost chartreuse color i’m seeing all over fashion week (thanks again & again, phoebe philo). i feel like it’s the new black (as evidenced by tibi, narciso rodriguez, rosetta getty, nomia, creatures of comfort and a detacher, to name a few).
  2. it’s that time of year where i fall into my blood on the tracks rabbit hole & start listening to alternate takes of idiot wind & you’re a big girl now over & over.
  3. pretty blown away by these portraits from the 80’s by siberian artist nikolay bakharev.
  4. 9 reasons not to panic about the stock market’s plunge. nothing’s fu*ked here, dude.
  5. my bff & i were just talking about how jennifer aniston’s house is the only giant mansion we’ve ever seen that looks actually comfortable & not like a museum or a catalog.
  6. who knew it was such a cinch to pan sear ahi tuna steaks? made them this week and couldn’t believe how easy & crazy delicious they were.
  7. this excerpt from the new book by geneen roth floored me. there is really no one whose insights hit me harder, i cannot wait for the book.
  8. all of the drama between kim cattrall and sarah jessica parker recently has been bumming me out. i feel a little defensive on behalf of sjp because in my head we are the bestest of friends.
  9. we finally got around to watching mudbound, and for some reason just the sight of mary j. blige in that movie made me burst into tears. she’s incredible and the movie is so beautiful & sad.
  10. what valentine’s day looked like the year you were born.

ghost pressure.

yesterday morning i woke up and decided to go to the city. after spending 11+ years living there, san francisco is as much “home” to me as my true home town. the difference being that my family still calls my home town home and no one that i know lives in san francisco anymore (because it is now entirely populated by millennial millionaires who can afford to pay the millions that it takes to live there). while i wasn’t raised in san francisco; i certainly did a lot of growing up there.

i grew up in a verrry small town in the foothills of northern california. my back yard was pretty much a forest. i spent winters snowed in; went multiple days without power; learned such transferrable skills as how to build a fire and make a pipe out of a soda can. time is oddly slow in the town where i was born. everything moves at a softer pace. moving to the city should have been a shock to my senses; but somehow, it wasn’t. there is something about the city that makes sense to me. something that feels right. a rhythm that is more in line with my own. i like the pace of it. i like that it moves in a steady stream; which i am able to jump into or out of. the city has changed enormously in the 7 years since i left; but the geography of it is forever embedded in me. i know that city like the back of my hand. now that i live in a quieter place; i still get a certain restlessness that can only be soothed by the city.

when i lived there, i would always walk around with headphones on. i liked disappearing into a soundtrack of my own choosing. i liked being in the thick of the crowd; lost in the shuffle. what i most enjoyed was finding empty spaces there. the deserted financial district on the weekend. union square at 7am- long before all the shops opened. dolores park on a cloudy day. running along typically crowded streets that were emptied for street sweeping. grace cathedral at night. ameoba records right when they opened; while all the employees were still shaking off their hangovers and their patrons were still sleeping theirs off. i moved through the city like a ghost; and that was a comfortable position for me.

there is still an element of that that is comforting to me. when i go now, it is early in the morning on a saturday- one of the only times that traffic in the bay area is light. i know the exits; the back streets; where the parking spots can be found and the opening times of the shops. i don’t wear headphones anymore. i walk around listening to the dinging trolleys and squeaking breaks & elctro-crackle of the busses; the rants and raves of panhandlers and hobos; the confused chatter of tourists and teenagers looking for photo ops. i basque in the neon white of the giant h&m and let myself try on the most ridiculous outfits i can find. i climb the heavy concrete stairs at urban outfitters and curse the slickly reproduced remnants of my youth on display there. i roll up my sleeves and dig into the musty racks at thrift town. i shake my head at the freshly installed rows of condos and ultra modern ultra curated versions of shops that used to be. i walk with the quickened pace of someone who has somewhere to be; someone with no time to waste. i get in; i get out. i speed past the lines of stalled traffic heading into the city on the bridge as i leave.

what i realized yesterday was just how comforting it is for me to visit that sort of innominate world. the city has a sort of delphic quality to me; and it also provides this paradox of familiar and unknown. the ability to be there while not being there. there is something so exquisite about that kind of loneliness; and it feels like a luxury that i no longer have. i wouldn’t trade my life; but being mother- being front and center for a family and community takes a lot. sometimes it feels good to disappear for a little while; into the long shadows of deco green and slate gray neo-gothic spires; to haunt those old alleyways and bask in the glow of red fabric lanterns hung from winter bare branches and the discovery of forgotten treasures.

vacation dreaming.

vacation dreaming.
to quote my son: oh my dear! t’is the time of year where all i want to do is run away to a warmer climate. considering it has been in the mid 70’s this week, this is really saying something. winter has me down low, dudes. so i’m just going to pretend like i am a woman of means, one with zero fuqs and a million buqs to give to swanky boutique hotels, where i would spend my mornings in the bonkers beautiful dining room drinking mimosas and my afternoons sleeping them off by the pool. here are the items (just a few basix) i would like to take along with me on my journey to sunshiny bliss.
  1. in the land of fancy vacationers jacquemus is king. this fully enormous, aptly named Le Chapeau Bomba straw hat is the total most fabulous. the zara version is here, and here is a more affordable, v jacquemus version from asos.
  2. obviously a swimsuit is crucial, and luckily i just so happen to be a swimsuit fanatic. my favorites this year (so far) are: this tie shoulder one piece from j.crew(i’m partial to the white one), this crazy extra super cute clementine bikini by samantha pleet, this electric lime (major color this year) one piece from asos, and this leopard print one piece (because leopard print has become chic- not tacky- again. until further notice). additionally both the one piece & two piece versions of this bae by a detacher are full on amaze. pardon my rhymes.
  3. for day wear these ganni satin fringe shorts over a swimsuit are 100% it. also this little mara hoffman leaf print romper, this gingham caron callahan dress, and this mara hoffman rainbow print one shoulder dress are el perfecto.
  4. for a night out this isa arfen dress forever has my heart, and this ganni net dress will allow you to still show off your swimsuit whilst being v v fancy.
  5. for shoes: castaner espadrilles, chloe clogs, and these little target red & white slides.
  6. also of course a pair of shades (celine ones or the h&m knockoffs).
  7. a net bag.
  8. the perfect red lipstick (which does not need re-applying).
  9. fancy sunscreen & aloe.
  10. and assorted velvet scrunchies.

the end. meet me in paradise and save me a pina colada?

a week of outfits.

january- what a total blower. i believe it was cold; a bit rainy- but to be honest i don’t recall. everything is a blur in my memory. i can tell my mood by the almost complete lack of color in my outfits, there were gray days. my favorite outfit this winter has easily been this h&m faux celine sweater with this mara hoffman knit skirt (similar here and here), and these maryam nassir zadeh boots (which i wish i had in red!). i also can’t state enough how crucial turtleneck bodysuits have been to my winter wardrobe. i bought this one on amazon for about $12 and it’s gotten a ton of use. i also broke two of my own rules and bought these skinny jeans (a no) on a whim because they were on sale (another no) for $5. i felt determined to make them work but sadly, i still look like a sack of potatoes in skinny jeans. lessons learned. looking forward to some color in the days ahead.

the end.

diary.

breathing a sigh of relief that january is done. this one was really a doozey. however it is sooo not lost on me that each year, right at the bitter end of january the clouds part for several days of crazy freaky gorgeous warm weather. it always happens when i am at the end of my rope with relentless colds and flus and bad hair days; when i am so tired of putting on the same winter coat every day; of piling on all the blankets and waking up to freezing floors; of watching the weeds take over my yard as the rain gutters fill up. every year there comes a streak of bright, sunshiny days that make me want to take to the streets & DANCE. it doesn’t last long- just long enough to catch my breath before the real rainy season begins. but i am so very grateful for it this year; because it is happening right now; and it could not have come at a better time. hope the sun is shining on you, too.

 

february covet.

february covet.
february! january is over! hallelujah amen we survived. i could not be happier to see it go, it was one crappy way to start a year. but i learned some lessons. did some big time mothering. organized the heck out of my house. got a lot done despite being up to my elbows in toddler snot; sweat; puke and tears. i’m ready for a few days of sunshine and a sunnier outlook. and also valentine’s day- my favorite holiday. here’s my list for all you sweethearts out there.
  1. first up is a v v romantic record by ornette coleman. my valentine is all about the free jazz.
  2. have you heard about this new trend of smushing your face with a rock? only costs you $45. i want to try it. obviously.
  3. i am trying to talk myself into investing in this ultimate perfection celine sweater. still tripping on the price tag. but holy wow, it’s one for the ages.
  4. if you have a tiny waist, these extra adorable creatures of comfort pink velvet maison pants are over on the real real for only $50 (+20% off!!). please buy them.
  5. i find this little satin slip dress by raey heavenly. to be worn over a turtleneck or under that oversized celine sweater. feels really necessary.
  6. these stiletto sock booties at target are the best balenciaga knife bootie knockoffs out there. they capture the magic sauce of them: just the right heel height to be wearable and balance out the pointy toe so that your feet don’t look like giant skis.
  7. these fancy miu miu rain booties kill me. if it’s gonna rain, might as well look FIERCE in your rain gear.
  8. speaking of fierce, i can’t stop thinking about these ganni boots which have been seen on every fashion girl‘s instagram. i have been influenced. consider me influenced. i will never ever afford them, but a girl can still swoon.
  9. oh i want this kaneko isao sweatshirt, which matches the floral print on my ultimate dream jumper dress.
  10. so glossier launched an exfoliating toner, which i’m sure you are aware of because every single blog and magazine did a review of it. i’m curious how it compares to the ultra pricey lotion p50, i shall report back once i’ve tried it.
  11. lastly is a quick little valentine’s outfit from h&m: this red sweater, with this tan skirt over these stirrup leggings.

the end.