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In our latest episode of The TFD Test Lab, host Julian Thomas attempts to make $500 reselling his old wardrobe items. See how this turns out as he tries to sell 50 items total.

In The TFD Test Lab, we're sharing real-life experiences challenging ourselves to live better, more budget-friendly lives. Whether through attempting a no-spend challenge, switching up a budget system, or tracking progress on a new healthy routine, we'll be highlighting all the risks *and* rewards of frugal living.

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Hey, everyone, Julian here for the Financial Diet.

And this is the Test Lab, a video series, where we take on different money making or money saving challenges to try to help us live a better, more budget friendly lifestyle. And in today's video, I get to channel my inner hype beast, as I am making it my mission to see how much money I can earn by reselling my clothes.

Pretty simple, right? But here's the kicker. I'm going to try to resell my winter clothes in the middle of a New York City summer.

You see, I live here in Brooklyn. And it is no secret that the city, at large, got hit very hard by the pandemic over the past year. But with the streets reopening, what better time is there to reinvent my personal style?

So this challenge is coming at the perfect time. But me being the opportunist that I am, I am not going to let my clothes go without a fight. My goal during this challenge is to make at least $500 from reselling my winter clothes.

And that $500 can be in the form of cold hard cash, store credit, or tax credits, or charitable deductions. As for the methods that I'm going to use to resell my clothes, I'm going to just stick to the classic in-person brick and mortar reselling at local vintage shops, thrift stores, or clothing donation centers. I'm coming into this challenge pretty confident in my personal style.

So hopefully, I won't have to resort to online selling to try to resell my clothes. While that is definitely a great, more accessible way of reselling your clothes and reaching out to a wider audience, it requires a heavy lift from photographing your clothes, to signing up for different platforms, and shipping, and a whole lot of logistics. And I don't have time for that.

I'm very impatient. Time is money. So let's go ahead and begin this whole process by gathering at the clothes that I am ready to part ways with. [MUSIC PLAYING] I begin this week-long process by doing my laundry.

It's definitely a chore that I always procrastinate doing. So I had a mountain of dirty clothes to deal with. When reselling your clothes, I think it's important to clean all the clothes you intend to resell.

Because one, that's nasty if you don't. And two, getting out any odors and stains will help increase the value of your items. With that said, I went ahead and used an unscented of laundry detergent made for sensitive skin, because you don't know who is going to buy your clothes and what allergies and skin reactions they might have to your usual scented detergent. [MUSIC PLAYING] After four trips to the laundromat, I finally had all of my clothes so fresh and so clean.

But now it was time to fold, and fold, and fold. Next, I channeled my inner Marie Kondo and got to organizing. I separated the bottoms that I want to resell from the tops, and outerwear, and accessories.

I then placed each of these categories in their own individual garment bag and labeled each cube with what was inside with my name and phone number on the label as well. Doing all of these extra steps shows the buyer at the retail stores that you care about your clothes and that you also care about their time, which could help increase the value that they are willing to pay for your clothes in my opinion. Whew.

OK, friends, we are back in my bedroom, you know, where all the magic happens. Do the kids still say that? Anywho, after three long days, seven loads of laundry, and 21 pairs of clean underwear, I am proud to say that I finally washed every single piece of my clothing that needed it.

So with that said, for all of the clothes that I am deciding to keep that happened to be out of season, I just tossed them in a plastic storage cube and chucked them under my bed. Now, as for the clothes that I am deciding to finally say my goodbyes to and part ways with, I went ahead and channeled my inner Virgo Moon and went to organizing, OK? So I decided to separate my clothes versus sweaters and hoodies from bottoms, which includes jeans and work pants, versus outerwear, and even t-shirts.

Now, I'm doing this for two reasons. One, I'm a Leo Sun. So I like things looking picture perfect.

But the second reason is actually quite logical. So when selling clothes to secondhand shops, I think it's best to make the buyer's job as easy as possible. So again, I went ahead and separated my clothes and neatly folded them.

I even labeled the storage cubes just with what it is, and my name, and my phone number just so that they can easily contact me if needed. It shows that you respect their time. You respect their job.

And part of me wants to think, by you doing that, they're going to give you a higher rate for your clothes. Yeah? Also, while doing this whole process of cleaning out my closet and tossing the clothes I don't really wear anymore, I have kind of used that as a springboard to really summer clean my apartment and do a lot of DIY projects that I have been putting off.

It is a really good time, once you actually like declutter, to kind of just like go full out and clutter your entire home. So if you're interested in more of DIY projects around my Brooklyn Bachelor pad, definitely make sure you follow me across my personal channel. So you can keep up with all the exciting projects that I'm working on.

But anywho, I do think that I am ready to head down to some of my favorite secondhand shops to see how much I can make from selling my winter clothes. Now, before I head down, I went ahead and called these shops just to see what season that they're buying. Are you guys buying winter right now?

OK, thank you. I think that is important only because, especially here in New York, real estate is valuable, which means storage is very hard to come by. So a lot of these shops do not have the space to keep clothes for all the seasons throughout the year on hand.

So definitely make sure you call ahead just so you can see what season individual shops are buying in. Fortunately, I'm a dude. So I do think that it might be a little easier selling clothes-- or selling my winter clothes, only because, as a guy, like, we're kind of boring.

We don't have a lot of options to choose from. Or summer clothes is usually just t-shirts and shorts. So I think men's fashion really comes alive when it gets cold, where we can throw in jackets, and sweaters, and hoodies.

So hopefully, that might work in my favor. And also, before I head down, I definitely think that there is a checklist that you should keep in mind. First of all, arrive early.

With the pandemic and social distancing rules, you don't know folks' policy. So definitely come prepared with a mask. And be prepared to wait.

It's hard out here. People are struggling. So everyone-- a lot of people might be in the mood to sell their clothes and make some extra cash.

So leave your home early. Arrive early to give yourself enough time. So just in case you have to wait-- and bring snacks.

You know, again, I don't know how long I'm going to be waiting there for. With that said, I do know that a lot of stores prefer for you to drop off your clothes. And then they'll call you when it's ready to be picked up.

And they'll let you know what they're willing to accept. And what they're not. So prepare for that as well.

You don't know so. Prepare yourself. Give yourself ample time for all possibilities.

Let's go see how much money I can make. [MUSIC PLAYING] Before I left my apartment, I gathered any remaining clothes that I want to resell and some essentials, such as my mask. And as you can see, I struggled carrying everything down to the car. I live in North Brooklyn, which is a promised land of thrift stores and vintage shops.

So I did not have to travel far to the first location. So welcome to Beacon's Closet. OK, you guys, so I just dropped off all those clothes at Beacon's Closet, which is a pretty popular secondhand clothing store in Brooklyn.

They have a few locations, I believe, both in Brooklyn in Manhattan. So I just dropped off at the Bushwick East Williamsburg location. And as you can see, they have a pretty tight store policy when it comes to both shopping and selling your clothes.

So again, definitely make sure you call beforehand. And just do your research. So you come prepared.

And I'm glad I did. I actually came on a weekday. So there was no line.

I actually live not too far from here. So I'm over here all the time, including weekends. And usually on the weekends, that line is wrapped around the block.

So I was very thrilled that there was no line. And I was in and out in less than five minutes. The asked for my state ID-- had to give them my phone number.

And that's pretty much it. The staff was pretty nice. And I can tell that they were very happy that I folded and neatly organized all my clothes.

So hopefully, that will encourage them to buy more than usual, I guess. So we'll see. They told me I can come back in 45 minutes.

They'll send me a text once they've gone through all my stuff. So I'm actually going to walk around the neighborhood, go to some of my favorite shops, and spend money that I don't have. And I'll check it in 45 minutes to see what it's looking like. [MUSIC PLAYING] OK, so it's been about an hour and a half.

Two hours I've been walking around the neighborhood. I went to some of my favorite shops, visited some friends, went to one of my favorite bars. So if I look like I'm feeling nice, that's why.

But, anyway, I just got a text that my clothes are ready for pickup, which clearly means that they didn't take everything. But it was really interesting, because within the text message letting me know that everything is ready for pickup or that they're done with reviewing everything, they actually told me the price that they would be willing to give me for the items that I'm going to resell. And it is $62 if I want cash.

I think it's like 130 if I want store credit. And it looks like they just closed-- or no they're still open. OK, I'm going to be honest and say that, if I can give the store credit to a friend, then I will take the store credit.

Because it's a higher value. And I have a lot of friends who love to shop vintage, especially at a place like Beacon's, which is pretty popular here in New York. So I'm about to go in, and pick it up, and see exactly what the terms.

If you are doing something like this, again, I think we recommend checking what the terms are. Yeah, let's see what we can do. As you can see, quite a bit-- whoa, quite a bit is left over-- a very humbling experience.

Apparently I don't have as much style as I thought I did. But when I went to go pick them up, they said that I can't extend the store credit offer to somebody else, which-- they need to change that policy, like maybe put it on a gift card. And I can give it to somebody else.

You know? I'm not really on the hunt for my clothes right now. So I just opted for the cash.

It was $62. But anyway, I just called a Uber, because I have an appointment at 6 o'clock for another place to try to sell whatever is left over. So let's go see what we can do.

Now, off to the Williamsburg neighborhood in North Brooklyn to see what I can resell at location number two. Greetings from Buffalo Exchange. OK, you guys, quick note-- if you're going to take your clothes from shop to shop, make sure you get rid of all evidence from the previous shop, because I'm sure they won't like that.

OK guys, so I just was having a quick slice of pizza and another Margarita. And I am making my way back to Buffalo Exchange to see how much they are willing to accept my clothes for. Unlike the last place, they don't send you a text when your clothes are ready for pick up, which obviously means I can't-- I don't know how much they're willing to give me before I get there.

So I can't really make that decision. I am assuming I will have to make a decision on the fly. But we will see.

You guys, guess what? I sold most of my clothes. Look at this.

My bags are empty. You saw, when I left the last spot, it was just completely full. I felt low key humiliated, like oh, I guess I don't have any style.

But apparently, these guys at Buffalo Exchange-- they think different, because they took most of my stuff. How dope is that? So I actually decided to get the store credit.

And they put it on this nifty card that I can easily pass along to somebody, unlike the last spot I went to, which is very exciting. So I can either this to a friend, or if a friend knows somebody that's in need, they can easily take this card and go and buy some clothes. But the balance is $378.

I'm really bad at math. But that plus the $62 cash I got is four something. I don't know.

So I'm going to go home-- actually, I'm going to go home, then get dressed, then go out. And I will check in tomorrow with the final total and results of everything. And yeah, I'm just really excited.

So yeah. Across the two stores, I brought approximately 50 items of clothing and accessories to resell. In fact, 50 was the maximum limit you could attempt to resell at both locations.

Neither location provided an itemized list of what clothing they accepted. But judging by the amount of clothes I had left over after leaving Beacon's Closet, I'd say they took maybe five pieces. As for Buffalo Exchange, judging by the two t-shirts and three ties I had left over, I'd say they accepted about 40 pieces of my clothing.

As for the clothing that I resold, it was mostly outerwear and pants that no longer fit my body or my personal style. Some items, especially the coats, were items that I previously bought at other thrift and vintage stores throughout the years. I'm proud to say that I hold onto my clothes for as long as possible.

Most of the items that I resold on this mission were well over three years old. I noticed that both Beacon's and Buffalo gravitated to more well-known retail brands that I was trying to offload, Adidas and Uniqlo being the top two. I'm a pretty frugal guy.

So none of the clothes that are resold cost me much in retail. I'd say the most expensive item that I resold was a $200 jacket I bought three years ago. [MUSIC PLAYING] So as you can see, I am ending this challenge with a very big smile on my face, because I have the weight of my heavy winter coat finally lifted off of my shoulders. There is no better feeling of having finally gotten rid of something that has been taking up so much space in your life, both literally and figuratively.

All jokes aside, I'm sure I'm not speaking just for myself when I say that the past year and a half has been really weird and very stressful. And it feels really good to shift memories of that time out of my life. Even if they are clothes-- I don't know.

I just feel like I'm starting maybe a new chapter. And I feel damn good about it. But, even better, I made some money while doing it.

So I ran the numbers. And from the first shop that I went to, I made a grand total of $62 in cold hard cash. Now, I could have made $103.33 if I opted for the store credit.

But that particular shop that I went to wouldn't allow for me to transfer the credit to somebody else. I'm going to be very honest with you guys and say I'm not really the secondhand clothing kind of guy. It's just not my personal style.

So I would have wanted to give that credit to someone else, rather than me using it and getting something that I would probably never wear again-- just taking up more space. So that store wouldn't allow me to do that. So I just opted for the cash.

However, with the second store that I went to, I made a grand total of $378 in store credit. Crazy, right? Now, it would have been at $94.50 in cash if I opted for that buyout option.

However, that store in particular allows for you to transfer the store credit to someone else. They actually put it on-- they put it on a little gift card. And the gift card never expires.

And they have multiple locations throughout the country. So I can give this to a friend or donate it to a charity or a neighbor in need. So I'm definitely going to think very hard as to how I can put this card to use and to better somebody else.

Again, because I don't personally have a need for it. All in all, I need is a grand total of $440 from selling my winter clothes in the middle of summer. Now, yes, I did come up $60 short of reaching my goal.

However, having decluttered in my space and about to help somebody in need-- that definitely makes up for the difference for sure. The most challenging part of this challenge was honestly just getting started. As you can see at the start of the challenge, I had a lot of laundry to do.

I wanted to make sure that the clothes that I was reselling smelled good, that they were clean. And I procrastinate doing laundry. It is a chore.

So it took me about four days to wash all of my clothes just so I can make sure I wanted to get rid of everything that I was not wearing anymore and, again, that it was in the best condition that it could be in. And that took a lot of work. However, with me doing all of that laundry, it kind of sparked more motivation in me to do other chores around my house.

So I was able to knock out a lot one time. And I am very proud of that. As for the biggest lesson that I learned, it's something that I kind of already knew.

And that is just the business and the economics of clothing in retail. I come from a corporate retail background. My first job was at 16 as a retail associate at a skate shop in Northern Virginia at a outlet mall.

And when I moved to New York for college, I actually interned at the corporate level for that same company. And that internship turned into a full-time salary job doing PR for that company. In doing that, I learned so much about retail and how the business side of that works.

And I was able to put all of those lessons that I've learned throughout the years to use now, which was very exciting from knowing what buyers would want to see, how to build that relationship, again, just how the concept of clothing in retail works. One thing I think would be very interesting to do for a next challenge is to see how much money I can make from selling my clothes online. It's no secret that the way we shop-- it is definitely changing.

With e-commerce, direct to consumer brands, and all these social media platforms integrating shopping capabilities, the landscape is changing very, very fast and is much more accessible for a lot of people. I think a really good challenge would be to replicate this experience, but from a digital lens. I'm talking take photography, create content, build profiles on these digital platforms for reselling your clothing, and market it like a true business, and really see how much money you can make doing that.

Again, that is definitely going to take some time and requires a lot more logistics. But I think that the return would be much more valuable in my opinion. So if that's a video you want to see, definitely let us know by dropping a comment below.

Again, I'm Julian Thomas with the Financial Diet. And this was the Test Lab. I hope to see you all in our next episode.

Be sure to like this video. And subscribe to the channel if you haven't already. Let us know what challenges we should take on next by leaving a comment below.

And until then, peace. [MUSIC PLAYING]