Why Most Pawn Shops Do Not Buy Used Clothing

Why Most Pawn Shops Do Not Buy Used Clothing

Used clothing is not bought or sold at most pawn shops. Some exceptions exist for collector's items and valuable clothing.

Last updated December 13, 2022

Used clothing in clothing store

Source: Pexels / William Matt

People often ask if pawn shops buy used clothing - the simple answer is that pawn shops do not typically buy used clothing. There are exceptions in some instances - pawn shops may buy valuable clothing and collector’s items.

The main reason why most pawn shops do not buy used clothing is that used clothing often has a low resale value and can be worn out, stained, or damaged in some way. Pawn shops have limited floor space to sell goods, and they want to focus on selling high-value goods that can generate a profit. Used clothing is often cheap and has lower overall profit margins. You can read more about how pawn shops work.

Used clothing is generally priced lower than new clothing for a few reasons:

  • Used clothing has already been worn and washed multiple times. Fabric breaks down over time and becomes less durable.
  • Used clothing may have stains, tears, or other signs of wear that make it look less attractive than new clothing.
  • Many buyers do not want to buy used clothing.

Why Some Used Clothing Can Be Valuable

Some used clothing can be valuable and sold to pawn shops. Below are examples of used clothing that pawn shops might buy:

  • Rare/collectible: Some rare and collectible clothing items are carried at pawn shops. Examples could include 1800s early settlers’ outfits, Civil War soldier wardrobes, Elvis Presley costumes, etc. The valuation of rare and collectible clothing can range greatly. You can our tool to find pawn shops that carry antiques and collectibles. Contact the pawn shop ahead of time to discuss your item before bringing it into the store.
  • High-end designerwear: Some high-end designer wear is carried at pawn shops. The item should be authentic (pawn shops do not want fake goods), and the resale value should be a minimum of $100. High-end designer brands include:
    • Prada
    • Gucci
    • Dolce & Gabbana
    • Hermes
    • Ermenegildo Zegna
    • Louis Vuitton
    • Tom Ford
  • High-value materials: Some clothing can include high-end materials like fine silks, gemstones, or even gold. Your clothing might have value if it contains high-value materials.
Evis Presley costume
An vintage Elvis Presley costume.

Places Where You Can Sell Used Clothing

There are many places where you can sell used clothing. Below is a short list of online marketplaces and other venues where you can sell your used clothing.

  • Thrift stores
  • Online consignment stores
  • Online secondhand marketplaces
  • Yard sales
  • Vintage stores
  • Local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups
  • Online classifieds
  • Swap meets
  • Flea markets
  • Clothing swaps

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