TJ Maxx and Marshalls recently started a big yellow tag event where they marked down a bunch of their inventory. If you haven't been yet, run don't walk because a lot of people are already sharing their huge hauls! If you are looking to utilize this event to source, I have compiled some of my tips for finding the best inventory. Even if you are just buying for yourself, you definitely still need to read tips #2,3, and 4!
Look For One Off Pieces
Honestly, if most pieces have gotten to the point where they are deeply discounted, there is a reason. Either they were just not on the trend, the fit is off, or something made them unpopular. Keep this in mind when shopping to flip! Typically, rag & bone is a brand I will always pick up. As I was going through the clearance racks I came across a perfect pair of r&b white skinny jeans and my instincts told me to put them in my cart! As I continued flipping through the rack I came across one after the other and I immediately put mine back. If rag & bone is not selling something is wrong! When I’m sourcing, I look for pieces that have only been left to one maybe two tops on the clearance racks. Any more than that and I fear returns and saturation.
Don't Assume It's In Perfect Condition
I tend to let my guard down when shopping at a department store because everything is new and I assume they don’t sell damaged merchandise. Well, not so much the case. Recently, I went to try on a pair of AG jeans that were priced down to $15, so I was really excited about them. As I went to zip, bam! The zipper had come completely unattached! No wonder they were so cheap. Give items you buy here just as much attention you would from a thrift store.
Give Designer Items Extra Attention
I had no idea this was a problem until recently when one of my favorite resellers talked about being scammed at TJ Maxx! She had picked up a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress for a great deal. After getting home she noticed later that the dress was missing the dvf hologram and had a different interior material and care tag. Essentially what some scammers do is purchase a designer item, swap the tags with a similar looking non designer item, and either keep the real designer item for themselves or have extra designer labels they slap on and resell. Be thorough!
Don't Have Blinders For Sale Tags
I am the first person to admit that sale stickers can make me a little star struck. And stores know that! I have seen sales stickers stuck directly over prices to hide that the discount is literally under 5% but people still buy it thinking they are getting a great deal. And while the yellow tag stickers at Marshall's and TJ Maxx are typically the lowest price, I have seen them get an even lower sticker put over it. Don't let the yellow color be your biggest determination in buying an item. Make sure you know the original retail price!
Check Your Stats for Price
This is something I wish I had known better when I first started my reselling business: know popularity, and what resells for how much. I could have saved myself so much money and stor
age space! In the beginning I was sourcing and paying up for brands that I liked and thought were popular. For example, I paid about $15-20 for cute NWT Michael Kors tops that I am still sitting on! Going forward, I definitely wouldn't have purchased those unless they were atleast under $10. Ralph Lauren was another brand I overestimated. Research everything!
A lot of people are having the same idea. When a large batch of the same item gets marked down at the same time for a considerable amount less than retail, expect that a lot of them will end up on reselling sites. When I'm sourcing at these spots, I will always look up what is currently available on Poshmark and eBay. If there are more than 2 in the size I want to purchase, I put it back. With so many for sale you will likely sit on it for a while!
When I first started out reselling, I was buying alllll the wrong things. I picked up Ann Taylor anything, no matter the trend or style, and thought the dozens of pieces of Ralph Lauren I bought was going to sell like champs. So wrong! I'm still sitting on some of that stuff! For my first reselling post I ran a report of my items sold in 2018 and decided to share my top ten best selling brands, and tips for each to make sure they sell quick!
1. J. Crew
J. Crew is a preppy, classic brand that users on Poshmark love! The trendy pieces are generally well made so they make for good reselling pieces that buyers don't mind buying second hand. Black label J. Crew sells the fastest, and if you see two little diamonds on the tag that means it was made for the outlet, so expect for it to sell lower.
Ann Taylor Loft was never something I bought for myself before I started reselling, but they make such cute and trendy pieces that are pretty well made! I typically steer clear of the white square tags because this means it's an older style. The newer style tags are rectangular.
3. Banana Republic
I've always looooved Banana Republic, and I probably picked up pieces I shouldn't have when I first started reselling. Buyers aren't so much interested in basic pieces (tees, tanks, cotton sweaters) as they are the jeans, dresses, and wool/silk/cashmere tops so these are the only BR pieces I am currently picking up. Similar to J. Crew, you will know if it was made for the outlet store if there are two squares under the name on the tag, and these are hard to sell.
4. Tory Burch
Tory Burch sells quick, especially shoes. Clothing items I have found take a couple weeks to move, but they have always sold well. I have yet to find Tory Burch shoes out in the wild (one day!) but I like to source them when Nordstrom Rack is have a clear the rack sale. I purchased a cute pair of booties for $30 and flipped that for $120 after only a few days!
5. Sam Edelman
This is another brand I was not familiar with before my reselling life. They are commonly found at Macys and Nordstroms and create really cute, trendy pieces! I have found most at thrift stores to resell, but also sometimes pick them up new at clearance stores when they are under $10.
6. 7 For All Mankind
These are just really well made jeans that people often buy on Poshmark. They are my best selling jean brand for sure! The cuter and more designed the back pockets the quicker and higher they sell!
7. Victoria's Secret
Victoria's Secret NWT (new with tag) items sell soooo quick, especially bralettes! Their VSX sport collection also resells for significantly high comps (particularly leggings!) There is one VS outlet in the country, and it is in Orlando. Whenever I am in Florida I always try to stop by because you can get bras for as cheap as $3! The madness is worth it.
I really don't know why, but people love their cheap and strange European fashions. I've never been a big fan of the store because it is always so busy and I don' t think the clothes' quality justifies the prices, but man do people love to buy these pieces online! If I find a NWT Zara piece, I know it is going to sell within a couple days. Fun story: I found a super cute red and white striped Zara piece NWT for $8. It sold on eBay but the woman returned it because it didn't fit. I sold it again the next day for even more money than the original woman! Also what always sells good from Zara: men's clothes. Something about that European metrosexual vibe is in right now haha.
Add this to the list of brands I've never heard of before reselling! Theory is sold at most high end department stores (Neimans, Nordstrom, Bergdorfs) and their items carry price tags with a couple of zeros. For having such high price tags, I find these items quite a bit thrifting. The resale value is on the lower end considering the retail price, but I never hold onto Theory pieces very long.
DEFINITELY knew about Lululemon for a long time, and my heart still skips a beat when I pull a piece off the thrift racks! I mentally passed out for a moment when I found a tank that still had the tags attached. My record for flipping a Lululemon piece is 8 minutes (a pair of shorts!) and most pieces sell within 24 hours. Always a good return on investment!