Barter Bay

Closet Clean-Out 101: How to Decide What to Keep & What to Toss Out

There’s a line in the film Fight Club where Tyler Durden tells The Narrator, “The things you own end up owning you.” This is later reinforced in the Chuck Palahniuk novel/David Fincher movie when members of the chaos-driven group of radicals Project Mayhem are instructed that two black shirts, two pairs of black pants, a pair of black boots, two pairs of black socks, and a black jacket are the only personal effects a person needs in their life.

While Project Mayhem was a destructive group of anarchists, something about that quote always stuck with me. That isn’t to say I’ve lived a minimalist lifestyle since first watching the film. Rather, I’ve noticed how I rationalize keeping things that I don’t really need, much in the same way Edward Norton’s character dealt with his insomnia through retail therapy. More often than not, when life gives people problems, they reward themselves with things. But ultimately, these items will never fill the void in your life.

Over the years, my closet became particularly problematic. I discovered that most of my wardrobe was a series of uniforms for tasks, social situations, and bygone eras that no longer reflected who I am.

When therapists start to counsel those hoarders who collect to extremes, their cognitive therapy begins with simple, non-judgmental questions such as, “When was the last time you looked at that newspaper?”

I figured that was a good jumping-off point for my closet clean-out. Instead of asking, “Do I like that piece of clothing?” — which opens up feelings of guilt based on where, when, and from whom I acquired an item — it was more valuable to ask, “When’s the last time I wore that piece of clothing?”

Here are the other major takeaways for those wanting to hit the reset button and clear out their closet.

Rule 1: Accessibility is key

One of my earliest revelations was that I was only wearing about 10 percent of my clothes. And not surprisingly, they were most often on the shelves and hangers closest to the front, meaning I prioritized how easily I could access something over what I actually preferred. Put simply, if you like something and you want to keep on wearing it, place it front and center after your closet clean-out.

But people should be aware that ditching items isn’t as easy as it seems. In 2012, researchers at Yale discovered that two areas in your brain associated with physical pain — the anterior cingulate cortex and insula — are also impacted by ditching clutter (even unwanted clutter). That isn’t to say the initial purge was like getting my finger jammed a door. It was more a feeling of emotional ineptitude for having let my closet get into such disarray in the first place.

Rule 2: Ask yourself, “Where do I go?”

If you go to the gym every day, it would make sense to have lots of athletic-type clothing. Conversely, if you’re a lawyer, it would make sense to have more suits than the average Joe. Once you recognize where you go with frequency, it’s easy to understand what you actually need.

There was a time when I went to an office five days a week. While the atmosphere was decidedly casual, it still required a bit of dressing up. Many of my shirting options were traditional Oxford button-downs in a variety of different colors. But when I ditched the office job, the Oxfords still kept their place in my closet despite no longer being a “uniform” that matched my lifestyle. For a while, I reconciled that those shirts still had a purpose, when the truth was, in the back of my mind, I figured I’d once again have to slink back into office life when freelancing didn’t work out.

A 2011 study by the Journal of Consumer Psychology reveals that objects you struggle to get rid of are likely tied to your self-worth. In my case, the notion of “stability.” Sub-consciously, the shirts were a reminder of what I could go back to, instead of what I wanted to do moving forward. While we often think of items in our closet as being sartorially dated, even stylish contemporary pieces can become “old” depending on your situation.

So I’ve now learned that when a life milestone occurs, your closet should reflect that.

Equally problematic is the opposite feeling. Whereas much of my clutter stemmed from my past, psychologist Kit Yarrow has suggested that another leading cause of unwanted clothing is a “misperception, or self-deception, [which] allows us to psychologically rationalize the purchase of products that would otherwise seem inappropriate or foolish.”

Yarrow wrote, “When we shop, we visualize our future selves. That’s why so many people love to shop — it’s an exercise in preparation. Shopping stimulates our imaginations. As we consider different items, we imagine how others will respond to us, how we’ll feel wearing it, and so forth.”

Rule 3: “Multiples” can crush you

Many publications that dish out fashion advice often add “get multiples if you can” as a way to illustrate the timelessness of a piece and how several color choices would be a wise investment. Items like jeans, crewnecks, polos, bombers and so on all fit the bill.

This was probably my biggest problem. I’d found pieces I really liked and then took the idea of “multiples” to the extreme. I had unwittingly become a collector. In turn, I often found myself feeling like I was always wearing the same thing. I now understand that just because something is a different color, it doesn’t mean it warrants a purchase.

Rule 4: You need fewer pairs of pants than you think

When packing for a trip, I often go overboard on shirts but rationalize my pants selection by saying, “I can get away with the pair of jeans I’m wearing to the airport and an emergency pair in case I spill something on them.” This attitude shouldn’t be reserved for short excursions, it should be the mantra for your trouser game, period.

Jeans don’t need to be washed regularly like other items. A single pair can keep its place in your rotation for several weeks. Mix in another pair of jeans, a pair of chinos or two for diversity, two pairs of slacks, and a guy should be fully equipped for all social occasions with just six pairs of pants.

Rule 5: Give up the gifts

Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, or a birthday, there are several events a year when you can expect to receive gifts. Even if you and your loved ones swear off anything major, smaller items such as T-shirts, socks, or other accessories are still pretty common gifts — especially if you’re lacking inspiration.

This was another huge problem for me when dealing with my closet clean-out. Gifts are problematic on two levels: they come unprompted and they’re picked out by someone else. This creates a scenario in which you feel obligated to keep something when there’s also a good chance you probably don’t even like the item to begin with. This is the perfect storm for clutter. And as research suggests, clutter competes for your attention and leads to decreased productivity and unwanted stress.

GQ has even suggested that a person should take any unwanted gift and “hide it in a closet somewhere if you can’t get rid of it and also can’t bear to use it.”

A better suggestion would be to consider asking for “experiences” instead of things. Go out to eat or to a movie. Strengthen your bond with someone who values you enough to show you a token of their love or friendship.

Rule 6: Donate

More and more, we’re moving toward a concierge-style economy in which people are placing convenience above all else. Charities such as The Salvation Army were collecting donations many years before ride-sharing and deliverable groceries became all the rage.

Those who have successfully completed their closet clean-out can simply schedule a pick-up. Box or bag up your unwanted goods — although I recommend skipping on the old underwear, socks, or items with permanent stains — and leave them by your door. Not only is an act of charity good for the soul, but it’s also tax deductible.

If you believe that your unwanted clothes warrant a return on your investment, consider looking into options on how to resell hyped goods, exploring the sneaker aftermarket, and identifying the proper marketplace for used items.

Tips moving forward

1. If you’re unsure about how much you actually wear an item of clothing, arrange all your hangers so they’re facing in one direction. When you wear something, turn the hanger in the opposite direction. After a month, you should have a good sense of what has made the cut.

2. Follow the “one in, one out” rule. If you buy something, the natural reaction should be to get rid of or donate something to balance it out.

3. Would you buy it again? Pretend you’re shopping in your own closet. If you love something so much that you’d buy it again, keep it.

4. Closet upkeep should be a weekly task. You wouldn’t clean your bathroom once a year or vacuum once a month. While there is decidedly more change in terms of household cleanliness per week, you can also use that time to reassess your closet. Perhaps you’ll realize that the shirt you thought you wear all the time hasn’t passed your hanger test. Perhaps your shoes have been knocked around and need to be rearranged. Take five minutes while you’re already in cleaning mode and you’ll never have to do a major closet clean-out again.

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Barter Bay

The Origins of Barter Bay

The modest barter store

An antique store.

In a small dinghy alley, there sits a store that deals in an unusual business. Interesting and unique items are cramped side by side with modern products in this tight space. A beautiful antique lamp stands in a corner, complemented by a well-kept gramophone. At the other end, iPhones, laptops and other electronic devices are displayed in a glass cabinet.

A white-haired man nods at a customer over the phone. “Yes, he’s interested to trade. Would Wednesday at 7pm work for you?” he says.

The old man’s name is Joe. He owns the store, which facilitates bartering. Customers put their items in the shop, and tell him what they want in return. When he receives an item that matches what they want, he calls up both customers and sets up the trade. He has known most of his customers for a long time.

There is a lot of work to be done – categorizing the items, keeping them clean, and negotiating with customers. It is back-breaking work for the old man, and at the same time, he also has to worry about how to get the word out.

I chanced upon Joe’s store during a trip to China, and was intrigued by it. I chatted with Joe, and he told me that it was difficult for him. The shop is not on a main road, so it doesn’t get much exposure. It is hard for new customers to discover it.

However, I was really impressed by the concept – swapping items with people to get something more useful to them. At the same time, it also reduces the number of items being dumped and sent to landfills. It’s a win-win situation for both parties and for the environment.

Growing landfill volumes is a worldwide problem. We should not discard things that are still in working condition!

Using the web as a platform for bartering

I got the idea for Barter Bay from my chat with Joe. What if people could list their unused items over the internet? Then others can see it no matter where they are. Someone will have a use for it, and be willing to give up something in return. They can directly contact each other over a chat, and set up a suitable time and place to meet at their convenience. Instead of throwing things into the bin, the items can get a second lease on life with a new owner. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – that is the idea behind Barter Bay, our trading platform for modern-day bartering.


By Tony Liu, founder of Barter Bay.

Images from Pixabay




Barter Bay · sustainable living

little Miss Mama DIY project with Barter Bay

It’s no secret I love a good DIY Furniture Project.

I’ve done my fair share of DIY Projects, where I take something old and make it new again. Like this Little Tikes House we made over, or this Vintage Tea Pot we tuned into a vase. These are absolutly the best, most fullfilling projects to tackle. Not only are you helping our environment by recycling something that was destin for the landfill, but in most cases it doesn’t cost much.

It’s why today I want to introduce you to Barter Bay. A website and app that allows you to buy, sell, and trade second-hand goods with real people in your community. Barter Bay makes it easy to sell what you don’t need or trade for something more useful. A Vancouver start-up company, Barter Bay is doing their part in minimizing our environmental footprints while helping their community live a more sustainable life. They’ve made the second-hand market, more accessible.

Now, let’s get started on how to tackle your next DIY Furniture Project.

First things first;

Find a piece to repurpose. Get creative, it doesn’t have to be used for what it’s original intension was for. Like my friend Andria at The Cheerio Diaries who made this gorgeous entrance bench out of a headboard and some wood.

Visit a local second-hand store or better yet, go virtual and find a second-hand site like Barter Bay. Looking right now, they has a ton of great pieces for sale with some serious makeover potential. YOU GUYS! your next DIY Furniture Project is waiting. Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself!

I can spot a few pieces that SCREAM makeover. Take this dining room table for example. Priced at $20, and in great condition, I’d say all this needs is a bit of paint. Or this adorable childrens Seesaw priced at $20. Someone with an artistic eye could even tackle this and re-sell it; with me as the buyer! I’ve never met a picture frame I didn’t love. This one for $10 would be perfect painted and either repurposed as a mirror, a corkboard or even a serving platter, jewelry holder or knick-knack shelf.

The more I look on Barter Bay, the more I realize I need to make more time for DIY Projects. I mean, don’t get me started on how many fun things I could do with this Vintage Accordion. Or a stack of books for $2 each. One look on Pinterest says I could make this gorgeous wall shelfperfect for the girls bedroom.

Let me tell you;

I’ve got so many friends locally who craft and they’re incredible at it I may add. Our friend Stacey at A Dad In The Burbs made this phenominal Farmhouse Kitchen Tablefrom some old wood and iron pipes. Then there’s Janette from Ava to Zoe who repurposed an IKEA bed, giving it a fresh coat of white paint and some adorable drapery. How about Samantha who writes over at This West Coast Mommy who turned an old coffee table into this chic ottoman. These friends of mine clearly know what they’re doing.

This post was JUST what I needed to get back in the DIY game. A little reminder of the things I onced loved and have forgotten to make time for. A sense a project coming you guys! A DIY is on the horizon so stay tuned! Thanks Barter Bay for giving me the inspiration I needed to get back to doing something I truly love. Go download their app now (itunes and Google Play) and be inspired for your next DIY. 


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sustainable living

What is Sustainable Living?

Sustainable living is the practice of reducing your demand on natural resources by making sure that you replace what you use to the best of your ability. Sometimes that can mean not choosing to consume a product that is made using practices that don’t promote sustainability; and sometimes it means changing how you do things so that you start becoming more of an active part of the cycle of life.

We all know that climate change, global warming, depletion of ozone layer and resource depletion are real and their impact on human and animal lives can be devastating. It is an opportunity for people to adopt actions for sustainable living that can help them to reduce their carbon footprint or environmental impact by altering their lifestyle. Simple measures like using public transportation more often, reducing energy consumption, becoming more eco-friendly can go a long way in reducing your environmental impactand making this planet a clean and safe place.

Wikipedia defines ‘Sustainable Living‘ as,

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet. Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity’s symbiotic relationship with the Earth’s natural ecology and cycles. The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development.

15 Easy Ways to Practice Sustainable Living

Want to start practicing sustainable living? It is easier than you think. Although there are various ways to live and practice sustainable living, here are 15 quick and easy suggestions to live a sustainable life.

1. Become a member of a community garden: It isn’t just about growing your own food, being a member of a community garden helps to promote sustainable living in your area. Gardens create green spaces and the garden waste can be mulched and returned to support healthy soil. Green spaces aren’t just important for your state of mind; in urban areas they can play an important role in offsetting carbon emissions.

2. Practice minimalism: Minimalism doesn’t mean living without anything, it means that you are making sure that everything you own and use is put to its maximum purpose. This means waste materials as well. With a minimalist lifestyle, you will recycle more, and be more mindful of the items you support being produced so that sustainability is emphasized.

3. Change the lights in your house: By changing the lighting in your home from traditional light bulbs to CFL, using skylights and more natural light you will reduce your demand on energy resources significantly. Using longer lasting, energy efficient light sources also reduces the amount of waste going into landfills significantly.

4. Become more efficient with your errands: You don’t have to buy a hybrid to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. By choosing to become more efficient with your errands you can create a system of sustainable living that is based in reducing the amount of natural resources you consume.

5. Start using natural cleaners: Take an hour or so to research some home-made options for natural cleaners. Vinegar and water can clean most surfaces, and the saponin from quinoa is a natural laundry detergent. By using natural cleaners you are reducing the amount of plastic packaging being made, and the amount of chemicals that are being introduced to the water system.

6. Walk, bike or car pool to work: The less personal use of your car you do, the more you and the environment will benefit. Sustainable living not only promotes sustainability by reducing pollution and the consumption of natural resource; walking or biking to work will also improve your health and reduce the strain on public health resources.

Even car-pooling assists sustainability as it can provide an increased social outlet that can improve the quality of life. Science has found that there is a direct connection between your quality of life and the sustainability of life that you will choose to lead.

7. Spend more time reading and playing games: How can this be a part of sustainable living? By reducing your reliance on entertainment forms that require energy and natural resources you can help to reduce the demand and drain on them.

8. Try to get on a more natural sleep schedule: Getting on a natural sleep schedule means becoming more attuned to the natural light in the day. Not only is this better for your health, it will begin to lessen the amount of power that you use while you are up.


9. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Reduce your need to buy new products. If there is less waste, then there is less to recycle or reuse. Learning to reuse items, or repurpose them for different use then what they are intended for is essential in waste hierarchy. Recycle old glass bottles or aluminium cans. Keep a recycle bin at your home and try making more trips to recycling station than to the landfill.

10. Unplug device when not in use: Most of the electronic devices keep on drawing electricity even when they’re off. To reduce energy usage, simply pull the plug when not in use. It will help you to save energy and reduce your monthly electricity bill.

11. Buy right-sized house: Practitioners of sustainable living conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability. Among many ways that promotes sustainability, one of them is buying a smaller house is going to consume less energy as compared to a big house. You’re going to spend less on lighting, furniture and overall furnishing. You can even purchase items from thrift stores and donate them again when they’re no longer needed. Make use of green home building ideas and techniques while building a new home.

12. Use daylight as much as possible: Sunlight is free and doesn’t cost anything. Using sunlight during the day helps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to produce electricity and your bulbs and tube lights are going to last longer.

13. Stop unwanted mail: Save natural resources by opting out from billions of unwanted mailings and simplify your life. Sites like offers free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more. It helps you to reduce clutter, protect privacy and save environment.

14. Practice keeping a “zero energy balance” budget: A zero energy balance budget means that what you take in, you also return back. This is really the core of all sustainable living. If you practice keeping a budget that has a zero energy balance, you will be surprised how your habits of consuming will change and reduce your imprint on the world.

15. Change your washing habits: This one is important to attain sustainable living. We wash everything too much. Not only has science discovered that our over emphasis on being clean has reduced our natural immune resistance to diseases (which require exposure to bacteria to develop), but each person wastes tremendous amounts of water when they bathe, wash dishes or do laundry. Practice taking short and times showers, washing dishes in a sink of water and then rinsing them and cutting down on the amount of laundry that you do.

16. Choose Renewable energy: Choosing renewable energy over fossil fuels is a great way to stop climate change and doing your part in making things happen. Install solar panels for solar water heating. Explore options of getting tax credit from the government. Speak to your utility is there is any way to add clean power to the grid so as to offset your carbon footprint.

17. Buy products with less packaging: Whenever you go out for shopping, always buy products with less packaging. The excess packaging on the stuff goes in your dustbin and from there it goes to landfills in most cases. It not only further contaminate the environment but also pose serious health effects to humans and animals.

18. Ditch the plastic: Plastic never goes away. It takes millions of years for plastic to decompose. Plastic can be found swirling in the ocean’s surfaces. It badly affects marine life. Every year large number of mammals, seals, sea birds are killed after ingesting plastic or getting tangled up in it. Its time for all of us to switch to reusable bags when we shop and ditch one-time use plastic water bottles.

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Barter Bay

Barter System History: The Past and Present

If you’ve ever swapped one of your toys with a friend in return for one of their toys, you have bartered. Bartering is trading services or goods with another person when there is no money involved. This type of exchange was relied upon by early civilizations. There are even cultures within modern society who still rely on this type of exchange. Bartering has been around for a very long time, however, it’s not necessarily something that an economy or society has relied solely on.

What is a Barter System?

A barter system is an old method of exchange. This system has been used for centuries and long before money was invented. People exchanged services and goods for other services and goods in return. Today, bartering has made a comeback using techniques that are more sophisticated to aid in trading; for instance, the Internet. In ancient times, this system involved people in the same area, however today bartering is global. The value of bartering items can be negotiated with the other party. Bartering doesn’t involve money which is one of the advantages. You can buy items by exchanging an item you have but no longer want or need. Generally, trading in this manner is done through Online auctions and swap markets.

History of Bartering

The history of bartering dates all the way back to 6000 BC. Introduced by Mesopotamia tribes, bartering was adopted by Phoenicians. Phoenicians bartered goods to those located in various other cities across oceans. Babylonian’s also developed an improved bartering system. Goods were exchanged for food, tea, weapons, and spices. At times, human skulls were used as well. Salt was another popular item exchanged. Salt was so valuable that Roman soldiers’ salaries were paid with it. In the Middle Ages, Europeans traveled around the globe to barter crafts and furs in exchange for silks and perfumes. Colonial Americans exchanged musket balls, deer skins, and wheat. When money was invented, bartering did not end, it become more organized.

Due to lack of money, bartering became popular in the 1930s during the Great Depression. It was used to obtain food and various other services. It was done through groups or between people who acted similar to banks. If any items were sold, the owner would receive credit and the buyer’s account would be debited.

Disadvantages and Advantages of Bartering

Just as with most things, there are disadvantages and advantages of bartering. A complication of bartering is determining how trustworthy the person you are trading with is. The other person does not have any proof or certification that they are legitimate, and there is no consumer protection or warranties involved. This means that services and goods you are exchanging may be exchanged for poor or defective items. You would not want to exchange a toy that is almost brand new and in perfect working condition for a toy that is worn and does not work at all would you? It may be a good idea to limit exchanges to family and friends in the beginning because good bartering requires skill and experience. At times, it is easy to think the item you desire is worth more than it actually is and underestimate the value of your own item.

On the positive side, there are great advantages to bartering. As mentioned earlier, you do not need money to barter. Another advantage is that there is flexibility in bartering. For instance, related products can be traded such as portable tablets in exchange for laptops. Or, items that are completely different can be traded such as lawn mowers for televisions. Homes can now be exchanged when people are travelling, which can save both parties money. For instance, if your parents have friends in another state and they need somewhere to stay while on a family vacation, their friends may trade their home for a week or so in exchange for your parents allowing them to use your home.

Another advantage of bartering is that you do not have to part with material items. Instead, you can offer a service in exchange for an item. For instance, if your friend has a skateboard that you want and their bicycle needs work, if you are good at fixing things, you can offer to fix their bike in exchange for the skateboard. With bartering two parties can get something they want or need from each other without having to spend any money.

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Buying second-hand products- Find out how you can protect yourself and your family when buying second-hand products.

Be aware of the potential risks of buying or using second-hand items from:

  • garage sales
  • flea markets
  • second-hand stores
  • the Internet
  • family and friends

In Canada, it is the seller’s responsibility to make sure that their products are safe. You should still be careful when buying anything second-hand. Products sold second-hand, especially at garage sales, may not meet current regulatory or safety requirements.

Avoid items that are:

  • banned
  • damaged
  • missing labelling or instructions

Look for labels

By law, some products (such as cribs and car seats) need a label that clearly states:

  • the manufacturer
  • model number
  • date of manufacture

Ask questions about the product

Every product has a history. Here are some questions you may want to ask before buying something second-hand:

  • How old is it?
  • How much use has it had?
  • Has it been repaired?
  • Has it been in an accident?

Commonly available second-hand products

Some second-hand products may seem harmless but they can be potentially dangerous. Be extra cautious about buying the following items:



  • bunk beds
  • car seats
  • children’s jewellery
  • children’s sleepwear
  • cribs, cradles and bassinets
  • playpens
  • strollers and carriages
  • other children’s products


  • blind cords
  • cosmetics
  • sports gear
  • magnets
  • smoke alarms

Buyer and seller responsibilities

As a buyer, you should be informed about:

  • product recalls and safety alerts
  • changes to regulatory or safety requirements

If you are lending, giving or selling an item, it must meet current Canadian regulatory or safety requirements. Homemade products must also meet the same regulatory or safety requirements. Get more information for shoppers of second-hand products on the Health Canada website.

Stay on top of recalls

If you need to find out if a product has been recalled, you can:

  • contact the retailer or manufacturer
  • check for recent recalls and safety alerts

Banned products in Canada

These products are banned in Canada because they are dangerous to human health or safety. They are banned under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. It is illegal to sell or give away banned items.

Some of Canada’s banned products include:

  • baby walkers
  • infant self-feeding devices
  • jequirity beans and products made with jequirity beans
  • lawn darts with elongated tips
  • polycarbonate baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (BPA)

If you have bought a banned product or one that has been recalled, you should:

  • destroy it and/or
  • dispose of the item safely

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How to sell clothes and earn extra cash

It might be high time to sell clothes you’ve had hidden in your wardrobe that are in excellent condition but you just never seem to wear.
Here are a few ways to make a little buck from your hand-me-downs (#SideHustle) and save your clothing items from heading straight to the landfill (or spending another few years in the back of your closet).

1. Consignment stores

There are lots of great consignment stores around Metro Vancouver that you can bring your clothing to – from casual clothing to kids to luxury to vintage to even sporting apparel.

First, find out what style of clothes they are selling and whether your items are a “fit” for the store. No matter what, they will want clothing that is still in good condition, no rips or stains. A vintage store may be looking for unique pieces of well-known brands, whereas a more casual contemporary store will look for brands you see everyday. Find out what their requirements are as some will only take clothing that is a few years old or specific brands, while others may be more open in what they accept.

Consignment stores will usually recommend a price for you to sell clothes at, as they are familiar with what sells and what doesn’t. If you think it’s worth more you may be able to suggest a price depending on their standards.

So how do you get paid? There are two main approaches. The most common is receiving a percentage of the profits – anywhere from 25-60% – with the consignment store keeping the rest. The other approach is when the consignment store pays you upfront. The second approach can be great because than you get the money right away, even if it doesn’t sell, but you may take a hit on how much you earn (usually less than 50%). Also, keep in mind that sometimes you have to pay a consigner fee of $5-10.


2. Online buy & sell

There are a wide variety of online platforms and mobile apps you can use to sell clothes that currently have a lot of different users (think potential buyers). The benefit to these platforms is you get to keep the full profit of the sale, unlike consignment stores. Some are location based so you can sell to people within Metro Vancouver, whereas others have a wider reach and you can sell to people all over Canada, or even globally, depending on how you set up your shipping options.

The downside of selling clothes on these platforms is that there is more work for you to do in terms of posting the product, managing the posting, replying to emails and meeting up with potential buyers.

The best way to go about online selling is to take a look at what is being offered on the platform already and see which platform you think your clothes might sell best on and at what price. Also, try to take good quality photos that highlight your product well or style it in an outfit!

3. Clothing swap

Consider organizing a clothing swap, with a buy-in fee, for your friends. A clothing swap usually works where everyone brings a certain number of clothing pieces and then gets to ‘swap out’ their clothing with new (to them) items.

In this version, you focus on creating a well-organized swap, so you can request a small buy-in fee that allows each person to join in and swap a certain amount of clothing. For example, if everyone donates 10 items and pays $20 to join in the swap, they each get to select 10 items to take home. You can set the buy-in and clothing donation amounts to what you feel comfortable with collecting.

The work here for you comes in making sure it is a well-organized clothing swap. First, you collect all the clothing prior to the swap. Second, you set up everything by sizes and styles. Keeping it organized makes it easier to see all the garments, pick through them and find the right size – making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

If you want to have a little more fun, donate a portion of the fee to charity, or serve some drinks and snacks. And voilà, your friends get new clothing, for a tiny price tag, and you make a few dollars while also getting some new items!


4. Markets

There are lots of markets popping up around Metro Vancouver. If you and your friends feel like you’ve got a lot of clothes to sell and items that other people would love, why not set up your own booth at a market?

The benefit to selling at a market is setting your own prices and keeping all the profits from your clothing sales. You will have a lot of walk by traffic and a room filled with potential buyers. This has become a lot easier for the average person to do as mobile credit card payment apps have made selling clothing so much easier.

Of course, the downside to this is that there is usually a small fixed price for a booth space and there is a lot of set up that comes with prepping clothing for a market.

5. Traditional garage sales

Who said that the traditional garage sale was dead? I personally love a good sunny Saturday spent garage sale hunting. Garage sales are great because you get the full profits, you can sell more than just your clothes and will have a variety of customers show up. The downside there is a lot more work for you in terms of set up and, usually, garage sale prices are lower than online or consignment prices. You can advertise for your garage sale on posters, in the local newspaper and online (like Craigslist).

Good luck with selling your clothing and extending their life cycle!

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