PHILADELPHIA – Under quarantined, many people are passing the time by undertaking cleaning projects and getting rid of old clothes.
Donating clothing, however, has become a bit of a challenge, as many donation sites remain closed because of the coronavirus.
What to do? Well, some people are reselling their old styles for cash instead.
“This month has turned out to be, like, my best sales month ever,” said reseller Michelle Perez.
Perez runs her own business selling second-hand clothing online. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic intensified in March, she has been offering to pick up peoples’ bags of clothes in Philadelphia.
“Because donation centers aren’t open, it’s a really great way for them to get it out of their house and also for me to be able to keep going with my business,” said Perez. “With me offering to possibly pay for the items that they are giving me, it’s kind of a win-win for them and for me."
Perez said shes' been busy ever since posting the idea on Facebook.
“The immediate response was really overwhelming,” said Perez.
With so many clothes, she even started renting a storage unit to hold everything. Before that, "everything was in my living room,” Perez said.
“We definitely have seen a surge in people looking to clean out their closets and send us stuff,” said James Reinhart, the CEO and co-founder of thredUP.
According to Reinhart, thredUP has seen a 100 percent increase in sellers for the month of May. And at Poshmark, listings have gone up by 35 percent, and orders have risen by 50 percent since the coronavirus outbreak.
“You know as long as the mail is running, we will be able to help consumers out in a time like this,” said Reinhart.
ThredUP has a program through FedEx and UPS that allows people to send their recycled clothes in without leaving their home.
“We send you a prepaid cleanout bag. It holds, like, a laundry basket worth of stuff. You fill it with all the stuff you are no longer wearing and we pick it up from your house,” said Reinhart.
“I had always thrifted before, but I never knew that it could be done as something that was a full-time business,” said Oh.
Oh has been picking up people’s clothes from their porches, as a way to practice social distancing. She also gets a lot of the clothes she resells from friends and family.
“All my friends are cleaning out their closets because they're bored. So, at this point, they have bags and bags of things and they are like, ‘What do I do with it?’” said Oh.
“I would say it’s not unreasonable to look for a thousand, two thousand, maybe even three thousand dollars a month."