Cashing in on your closet

A few months ago the unthinkable happened and I ended up hospitalised in Barcelona. Cue insurance nightmares! Cue $0.00 in my bank account!

I quit elite gymnastics nearly 9 months ago so I probably shouldn’t still be parading around in activewear head to toe like I’m about to exercise. Snort. When was the last time that happened? You don’t gain 2kgs on your ass by using activewear for good instead of evil.

Problem is: I can’t… stop… buying… Lululemon.

I’ve tried.

I couldn’t work for a while to satiate my Lulu thirst, so I was trying to make money off anything I could. Luckily all the forced downtime was the perfect opportunity to finally go through all nine hundred and ninety nine pairs (1,998 boobs in total) of Nike sports bras I had seemingly accumulated.

I’ve learned a few tricks about fashion ‘wheeling and dealing’ along the way. Below I’ve listed the services I’ve personally used and recommend.

Selling through a ‘middleman’

  • Perfect if you’ve got less time on your hands
  • Depending on who you go through, they might take care of the promotion
  • However you’ll only take home a fraction of the selling price
  • Often only select brands are allowed to be sold
Tatty’s (if you’re in Auckland)
  • Sell women’s, men’s, shoes, accessories and children’s wear
  • Brick and mortar stores on High Street and Ponsonby Road
  • Complete online inventory for shoppers to search beforehand (not an online store)
  • You only receive 50% of the selling price of your items, which they set themselves
  • Items accepted are for sale in-store for 7 weeks, if unsold after 4 weeks, the items are discounted to half-price
  • You have to drop your clothes off into store, no post service
  • As a consigner, you get an online dashboard to view the sale status of your items and your account credit
  • Tatty’s don’t have an accepted brand list, however they have the right to reject any items that they deem unsuitable
Designer Wardrobe Valet
  • Of course, Designer Wardrobe have a regular auction website (as well as rental services) but their valet system in particular is incredible! I got such a surprise the other day when I got an email from Designer Wardrobe saying that I had 98 bucks to claim. Turns out a pair of Ksubi jeans I forgot I had ever owned had finally sold. Sweet!
  • You request a courier bag to be delivered to you (free of charge)
  • Fill it with all your designer goods and drop it off to the post office
  • They take care of all the photography, listing, promotion, selling and payment for you
  • Items are put onto the website within 72 hours and then kept for a maximum of 6 weeks
  • If the items sell, you get a percentage of the sale (up to 80%) into your DW Wallet where you can withdraw to your NZ bank account for free or spend on DW
  • But they only take select designer brands

Trade Me

  • Can be more time intensive
  • You have to take photos of the garments, post the item listing, answer questions, plus to and fro from the post office, while often hassling your buyer to transfer the damn money
  • Charge you a seperate success fee if item sells
  • But, you get to take home 100% of the selling price!


  • If you’re not quite ready to part with your beloved threads, renting could be your perfect happy medium
  • You can rent out your clothes through Walk in Wardrobe on Facebook or Designer Wardrobe
  • You have control of the price, available days, listing but also ensuring the renter gets the garment on time for their event. Which is sometimes a little stressful – or maybe I’m just jaded from dealing with shipping companies at work
  • You might have to hassle the renter for payment and sadly there are often scammers on Walk in Wardrobe (and since it’s a Facebook group, there’s minimal moderation unlike Trade Me)
  • Personally, I have never rented out any of my clothes but I regularly rent from Oh Rent Me and Designer Wardrobe and let someone else make the $$ for once 😉

Ultimately I ended up making a few hundred bucks from old sports gear in a weekend – annnd straight to rent it went. But hopefully you can take some tips from here and buy something a little more exciting for yourself with your hard-earned (ahem) cash. Best of luck!


Cheyenne xx

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