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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?

As of mid-July, many stores have reopened, which means donation and selling options have expanded. There are still some limitations, though. 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.

Read on for specific updates from Goodwill, Housing Works, The RealReal and more.

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Salvation Army: Stores have begun reopening and allowing drop-offs. Find local information here.

Goodwill: Most locations are now open and accepting donations. Find local information here.

Housing Works: Locations are beginning to reopen and accept donations. Find local information here.

Project Ropa (Los Angeles, CA): As of July, Project Ropa is only accepting hygiene products, plus-size men's clothing, men's jeans and cargo pants (sizes 32-42), men's shorts (sizes 34-46), button-down men's shirts, men's sneakers and sandals (sizes 9-14), tote bags and backpacks. More info here.

Downtown Women's Center (Los Angeles, CA): As of July, DWC will only accept cleaning supplies and new, unworn pieces of clothing (with tags still attached preferred), until further notice. More info here.

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

Bowery Mission (New York, NY): Only accepting men's clothing and shoes, and items related to Covid-19 listed here.

Cure Thrift Shop (New York, NY): Shop is back open and donations are being accepted — just email first. More info here. Pickup services are still discontinued in most regions. Head here for info on individual locations.

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

Dress for Success: Most regions are still not accepting clothing donations. You can check in on individual locations here.

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

Helpsy: This certified B Corp is taking donations via containers (find one here), and pickup is currently available in Westchester County.

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: For buildings already enrolled, pickup appointments are now available. More info here.

Decades: The Los Angeles showroom is now open and accepting consignments. Curbside pick-up and drop-off of consignments is also available, more info here.

Buffalo Exchange: Now that stores are opening, there are new guidelines on how to sell at Buffalo Exchange. Sellers must set up an appointment ahead of time to drop off their goods. They must limit the items to 50 or less and let the items sit untouched for 24 hours ahead of the appointment. After dropping off, sellers will be contacted with payment options, which include Paypal, Venmo or a virtual trade card. Sell by Mail is also still available. More info here.

Crossroads: Stores have reopened with new selling procedures: It's drop-off only at most stores. Sellers must be 18+; only 30-50 items are allowed and they must be laundered first. Sellers can return for cash or trade or have a check mailed. More info here.

Beacon's Closet: Locations are open with new selling protocol: It's drop-off only; items must sit for 24 hours prior; 50-item limit per customer; selling percentages adjusted temporarily to 30% cash or 50% store credit; cashless payment options provided. More info here.

Thredup: While stores remain closed, Thredup is still accepting clean-out kits by mail, though processing times may be longer. Updates can be found here.

The RealReal: At-home consignments are suspended, but virtual consignment appointments are being offered with complimentary curbside pickup or drop-off at retail locations. Consignors can also request a free shipping label to mail in items. In-person consignments are also now possible. More info here.

Vestiaire Collective: This European online luxury peer-to-peer marketplace is open for selling.

Rebag: Stores have begun reopening, so sellers can consign there or by mail. More info here.

eBay: Like most peer-to-peer marketplaces, you can still sell on eBay.

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.

Note: This article was updated after publishing to reflect updates from the companies featured.

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