Cash In On Your Closet and Win $750 from LearnVest + Refinery29

While we may be slowly rising out of the recession (thank heaven!), we don't know anyone who couldn't use a little extra money in their bank account. It's time to make bank by using the divine skill that can't be taught—your personal style. Refinery29 is thrilled to partner with LearnVest, a website that gives us the personal finance tips we never learned and never needed more than right now. They are offering one Refinery29 reader a chance to win $750 and have also inspired us to take charge of our finances, starting in our own closets. Whether you are an avid vintage collector, an online-auction addict or have hoarded a collection of clothing that's just too awesome to throw away, there are ways to start a small business today that can boost your income. Websites like eBay and Etsy make it super simple to create an online store where you can sell clothing, shoes and accessories. Both are simple to set up, inexpensive to use and make it accessible to customize your personal page so that you can control the appearance, market your store and set yourself apart. Check out our seven best tips to build your own business and starting thinking about how your closet can start earning you big bucks.

Spring Cleaning Out Your Closet

If you haven't worn an item in two (or ten) years, and it holds no sentimental value, consider re-selling. Make sure any item you sell is either new or gently-used. Major stains and gaping holes are a no-no.

Timing is Everything

The most popular auction length is seven days. This is the perfect amount of time for your listings to get good auction exposure. Sunday evenings have very high volumes of bids, as do Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays before 6 p.m., so it may bode well to plan for your auctions to end at these times. Buy It Now is also another smart option, it lets you set the price of your items at a fixed price, insuring you’ll get the price you want on your item. It may take a little while longer for the item to sell, but certain things are worth the wait.
'Tis the Season Try to sell your items while they are in season, as people will typically be shopping for items they can wear immediately. If you have off-season items to sell, store them properly and carefully until it is a more appropriate time to sell them.

Be Vintage Savvy

With a keen eye you can invest in a few great vintage items for re-sale on your Etsy or Ebay store. However, be sure to buy high-quality products, i.e. not from man-made materials, as their value will be greater. When buying fur, be sure all seams are tightly sewn as any rips may indicate that the pelts are dry or brittle. In choosing leather, be sure to touch, look and smell to assure that you are purchasing actual leather, rather than a cheaper substitute. Inspect all purchases before to assure there are not scuffs, pulls, scratches, fading or worn material that lowers the value of an item.
Get Crafty Think about turning your talent into some cold-hard cash. If you have some serious side-talent, you can sew, knit, crotchet, restore furniture, design jewelry, paint, etc. your way into a lucrative business selling your homemade goods on Etsy.
What's Selling It's no surprise that '70s vintage is fairly popular on Etsy and Ebay, as so many current clothing is mimicking the trends, but it seems '50s-inspired dresses, ala Doris Day, continue to be heavy-selling items. Whether these items are being worn or stored away, they definitely make for great collector's items. Vintage jewelry is also a high seller as '70s cocktail rings, '60s beaded necklaces or 30s art deco earrings can still be mixed with modern-day trends.
Free Press There are plenty of ways to promote your own closet collection without spending any additional dough. Brush up on your social media skills to spread word about your business through blogging, Facebook and Twitter. Extra points for those who make a few extra dollars selling ad space on their blog!
Mega Moolah Alert!
Before you get started on your own money-making entrepreneurial adventure, first enter above to win a $750 prize courtesy of LearnVest. Use it to boost your business, invest in the future or simply invest in yourself and enjoy a little indulgence. You deserve it, former recessionista!

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