Students raid closets to cash in on COVID

Evelina Gaivoronskaia | Staff Writer

Junior Blake Brewer buys clothing at wholesale values and then sets prices to make profit.

The tedium of quarantine has led some students to cash in virtually while mandated to stay home.  

With the increased demand for online shopping, combined with the preference for more environmentally friendly options, online thrift shopping has been gaining popularity. Some Mason High School students are taking advantage of this surge of buyers as they create social media profiles to sell their clothes and earn extra money. 

Junior Blake Brewer has both an Instagram page and a page on a clothing sale website, Mercari. These sites make it easier for Brewer to find customers, set prices, provide shipping, and receive reliable payments. He said his store sells a variety of clothes, ranging from pieces out of his wardrobe to wholesale items.  

“I typically buy from thrift stores or I buy wholesale lots from other people and resell them to make money,” Brewer said. “A lot of people love vintage clothing and band t-shirts. I have bought shirts two months ago that never sold, on the reverse, I have bought band shirts for three dollars and sold them for 30+ multiple times.”

Junior Katie Reeves decided to sell her clothes online after watching Youtubers talk about their own virtual businesses. She created a separate Instagram page to sell clothing that she did not need anymore.  

“People usually just comment or direct message me if they’re interested in buying something,” Reeves said. “Sometimes they’ll try to negotiate a price. When they buy a piece, I just drop it off or they come pick it up.” 

Previously, these clothes would have likely been sent to thrift stores that either take donations or will give people two to three dollars back for their clothes. Now, with more people using the internet to shop, students get a chance to get more money back for their clothes. Reeves said that her prices average from five dollars to $15. 

“I decided to do it just as another way to make money,” Reeves said, “It was just something easy to do. And when you sell them, like Plato’s, you don’t really get as much money.”

Similarly to Reeves, Brewer started selling his clothing in July of 2020 in order to earn extra income, but soon decided to go more in depth into reselling by researching it through YouTube and other public figures with platforms similar to his. 

“I sell clothes because I like having a little extra money in case I need it, as well as interacting with buyers and other sellers because there is always more to learn.” Brewer said. 

One topical issue regarding reselling is thrift store gentrification, meaning the activity of buying for cheap and then reselling for profit might be harmful to the lower income population. Consistent and popular , as wrestling takes away clothing from stores like Goodwill. 

Brewer acknowledged the issue, but said that he is leaving a plethora of clothes behind for those who might need it. He also suggested that his online store may be helpful for those who do not want to shop in person during the pandemic. 

“Reselling is a full time job for many people in the world and it’s how they make a living,” Brewer said. “I also believe that during these hard times, I’m helping many people who don’t want to go out to the store to shop for clothes.”