Can You Still Donate and Sell Clothes During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Here's how major thrift stores, consignment shops and websites are handling it right now.
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Americans are spending unprecedented amounts of time in their homes at a time of year during which they might already have partaken in some good ol' spring cleaning. I, like many of you I assume, have spent some of my free time going through my closets and cabinets with plans to get rid of things I no longer use or need, including clothing. It then occurred to me that the places I usually take these unwanted items are likely closed. So what do we do with all the stuff we're trying to get rid of — and is that even something we should be doing right now?

While there are still some options for those looking to unload used clothing, they are definitely limited, particularly among nonprofit organizations, many of which are understandably only accepting monetary donations and items like masks, gloves and cleaning supplies (which you should absolutely donate if you can) right now. We obviously can't reach out to every individual secondhand store in the country — your best bet is to check their social media accounts or call your local spot — but we did check in with a number of chain stores, online marketplaces and popular thrift shops and shelters in New York and Los Angeles to find out how they're handling donations or processing consignments.

Some overarching takeaways: While you may have to hold onto used items you were hoping to donate for a while longer, consignments are still largely being accepted by mail, for those looking to make some extra cash. No, you should not leave bags of clothes outside of closed thrift stores, as they will likely become trash. And if you live somewhere that has clothing donation bins scattered around, they probably aren't getting picked up for the time being, so you may want to avoid those as well. Otherwise, read on for specific updates from Goodwill, Housing Works, The RealReal and more.

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Salvation Army: All donation pickups have been suspended and the organization is only accepting specific items at service centers — listed here — and would prefer monetary donations above all else.

Goodwill: Policies vary by region; southern California and New York/New Jersey locations are not accepting donations. You can check for your region here.

Housing Works: Locations are not currently accepting any donations, but the organization says it hopes to announce "an alternative drop-off strategy shortly."

Project Ropa (Los Angeles, CA): Currently accepting men's and women's gently used clothing items and will pick up in Los Angeles, details here.

Downtown Women's Center (Los Angeles, CA): Clothing donations suspended, info here.

Los Angeles LGBTQ Center (Los Angeles, CA): Clothing donations suspended, info here.

Bowery Mission (New York, NY): Clothing donations not accepted, only accepting items related to Covid-19 listed here.

Cure Thrift Shop (New York, NY): Shop is fully closed and donations are not being accepted; mail donations are not being accepted, either.

Clothingdonations.org: Pickup services have been discontinued.

Career Gear: Still accepting men's clothing donations by mail.

Dress for Success: All in-person operations are closed in New York and Los Angeles as well as most other cities, and the organization is asking for monetary support. You can check in on individual locations here.

Free the Girls: Still accepting bra donations by mail, more info here.

Helpsy: This certified B Corp is still open and taking donations via containers (find one here) and even pickup, though they won't go into homes or have direct contact with people.

Grow NYC: Collection of items in this organization's many clothing drop-off sites in NYC has been discontinued until further notice, info here.

RefashionNYC: Items are not being picked up by RefashionNYC, which has boxes installed in many New York apartment buildings.

What Goes Around Comes Around: All locations are fully closed.

Decades: Stores are closed, but the luxury vintage consignment retailer is accepting consignments by appointment only, more info here.

Buffalo Exchange: While stores are closed, items are still being accepted by mail, more info here.

Crossroads: Locations are closed and consignments are not being accepted, even by mail.

Beacon's Closet: All locations are fully closed with no items being accepted.

Thredup: While stores are closed, Thredup is still accepting clean-out kits by mail, though processing times may be longer. On Monday, the site is launching a partnership with Feeding America where for every donation bag ordered, Thredup will give $15 to Feeding America to help with its Covid-19 response. Updates can be found here.

The RealReal: While stores are closed and at-home consignments have been suspended, the company is offering virtual consignment appointments and accepting items by mail.

Vestiaire Collective: This European luxury peer-to-peer marketplace is accepting seller deposits, with a temporary delay in processing. After April 19, it expects to have its NYC warehouse fully operational again.

Rebag: While stores are closed, sellers can consign by mail.

eBay: Like most peer-to-peer marketplaces, you can still sell on eBay, which has outlined some new guidelines and announced it's deferring fees for now.

Poshmark: It's still business as usual at Poshmark, which has shared the safety adjustments it's making in regards to packages and price gouging, and announced it's extending delivery windows.

Depop: This Gen Z-beloved marketplace is also still up and running and has shared its guidelines here.

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