Some second hand shops sell-on-behalf, usually they’re clothing stores but several furniture shops do it too. Use the “Sell on Behalf” tag to find the shops that might be willing to sell your stuff on your behalf. Please note that this tag will only list shops that have a paid listing, it won’t show those who have a free listing.

So you have some clothes, shoes and accessories that are in excellent condition, they cost you a pretty penny but you just don’t wear them enough to justify the space in your closet. They’re too good to just give away and maybe the price tag still stings a bit.  Selling online via trademe or facebook has proven to be a waste of time for clothes. The best solution is to have a shop sell them for you. They take a cut and you get some value back out of the clothes.

In Timaru, there is one place you go to sell clothes and shoes on behalf, that’s 2nd Impression in the Royal Arcade. Suzie has a great eye for quality especially when it comes to shoes. In Oamaru there is Revamp with a range of clothes including children’s clothes. Do you know of some more shops that sell on behalf? Use the “add-listing” button to add them to treasurehunting or send us a message at

Different shops have slightly different systems but typically this is how it works:

Take only your best clothes and shoes in to the shop in clean and tidy condition. The shop owner (or manager) will check the clothes over carefully and select only the ones that they think will sell. Known labels and seasonal clothes in almost mint condition will do much better. Current trends also sell better. The shop owner may select the clothes from your lot as soon as you bring them in unless you have a large collection or the shop is too busy with customers, in which case they will be set aside to be reviewed later and you can call back to find out what didn’t make the cut so you can take it home or donate to charity.

Suzie at 2nd Impression inspecting some new clothes to decide if it will be accepted

The shop will take your name and phone number to create your account, but it’s up to you to contact the shop in a few weeks time to find out if the clothes have sold or not. The shop decides a price to sell each item for. Trust them, they know what sells and how much for. They live and breath this game everyday. The shop will have a set percentage that you get when the clothes sell. For example 50%. So the shop takes 50% and you get 50% of the price tag less GST. Lets say the price tag they put on your jacket is $40 and it sells for full price. The shop keeps $23 ($6 of this is GST at 15%) and you get $17.

Priced and out to the rack to sell

The clothes have a maximum shelf life, typically around 6 weeks. If the clothes have not sold in this time, the shop may discount the price for another few weeks and if they still don’t sell they will be donated to charity. It’s your responsibility to collect unsold clothes before this date if you still want to try other ways to recoup some value.

Sell on behalf shops operate like this to ensure there is always fresh stock on their racks for customers. It’s not practical for a shop owner to call you when your clothes sell or due to expire – just look at their racks stocked full of clothes that represent stacks of other people just like you. 

Selling on behalf is a great option to recoup some of the value from your clothes. It probably won’t be nearly as much as you bought them for so it might be disappointing to let it go for $17 when it cost you $170 new. Hopefully you have already had $153 worth of wearing out of it. If you want more than 42.5% for it, you can try selling things online yourself but this takes considerable time to photograph, describe, list and communicate with potential buyers. And the buyers in these forums are looking for much cheaper bargains in a swamped market of other options. All up, $17 is better than nothing at all and it’s nice to know that someone else out there is enjoying a fantastic jacket instead of it sitting sadly unseen in your wardrobe.

One more thing you might like to know, while the shop has your clothes, they still technically belong to you until the 6week expiry date (or other agreed date). At this point they become the property of the shop which is usually when they donate them to a charitable second hand shop to sell instead. This doesn’t mean you can waltz into the shop and whip them off the racks to take home with you if you change your mind. It’s just a technicality that might be important in the case of an insurance claim or dispute. The shop is obliged to take care of your clothes while they attempt to sell them on your behalf.