I am normally the type of person who simply donates rather than resells items. For me, my time and effort is generally worth way more than any small profit to be made in reselling items at a garage sale or consignment, etc.
But, when it came time to re-purpose my maternity clothes I gave second thought to donation as my first option. Specifically, because I work in a professional setting I had ended up investing a fair amount in some very good maternity clothes. In particular, I had invested in several Seraphine maternity dresses (Kate Middleton is a fan) since I work in a field where I need to look good and present a polished, professional appearance. And, I had at least three or four dresses that I had only worn two or three times.
I did a fair amount of research regarding on-line maternity (and baby) consignment stores. First, I sure wish I had known about these sites when I was buying maternity clothes as I would have tried out some of these sites for my own needs. I had thought about consignment stores when I first started my maternity clothes shopping, indeed I had even tried to find one. But, I was thinking and looking for physical stores and not virtual. Dang! Second, a lot of these sites have very mixed reviews and reputations.
After doing my due diligence, I decided to go with swap.com for a couple of reasons. Importantly, they seemed to have the best reputation based on my research (please note - I've not received anything in exchange for this review). Also of importance, to me, they do almost all the work. They take the photos, write the description and they mail out the packages to folks who buy. As I mentioned before, I don't have the time to be shipping out packages to customers since with work and a baby I can barely complete one chore a week.
So, this is how it works. (1) Sign up as a seller. (2) Order a UPS shipping slip. (3) Pack up neat, clean and in good condition items and send them off to Swap.com. You can also bundle items together so they sell as a set. Swap.com then does the rest, taking photos, writing description, mailing to buyers, sending you the money (via PayPal).
As a test, I sent in a box of mostly maternity clothes (a few newborn baby items) consisting of mainly casual, lower cost items (not my fancy maternity work apparel). And, I would say that it generally worked as promised.
Communication was good. When Swap.com received my package they emailed me. When my items were ready to price (about two weeks later) they emailed me. While I am still learning the site, I found pricing to be relatively easy. An error in a description and classification for an item was promptly corrected after notification.
And, so far, I have actually sold some items and money has been sent to my PayPal account. I think the fees are generally reasonable since Swap.com does most of the work and they store the items for months with no charge (there are storage charges after a set time passes). There is a charge for the in-bound UPS shipping and a $1.50 plus 25% sales commission for each sold item (or set).
With fees and competition, pricing is an art. I set my prices by looking at what similar items were priced at. So, I priced maternity t-shirts at $7 and sold several. Not much of a profit at $3.75 but better than nothing.
I must say it was painful to price a skirt that I wore once at $12 when it cost me $70. And my super expensive maternity jeans that cost $150 are currently priced at $15 (but they were worn many times). With my next box, the professional maternity items, I will need to price so I can recoup drycleaning costs (since I had it all recently cleaned in preparation for consignment) and make a decent profit so that will be tricky.
I was somewhat befuddled by what was rejected and they don't really tell you why. I had sent in a barely worn maternity maxi dress that was in the rejected pile. You can choose to have rejected items shipped back to you, but there is a charge (of course). I'm not sure what happens to the items if you donate them (which is what I probably will choose to do). No idea whether they actually get donated or if the site simply sells them. Inexplicable rejections was a very common complaint in my research regarding other sites.
I haven't yet bought anything from Swap.com, but I do plan to try it out for baby clothes. I already know that with my baby there are outfits, especially the fancy ones, that get worn once (and some not at all). One trick I've learned about recently is to leave tags on baby clothes until they are worn. That way, if baby never wears them you can list them as "new with tags". If you remove the tags, even if baby never wears that outfit, you can only list them as "good condition".