The best time to list activewear clothing is before the new year because people are looking for new workout clothes to help them kickstart their fitness resolutions. Some of the top brands selling well on Poshmark, Depop, eBay, and other resale platforms include Nike, Lululemon, Gymshark, Alo Yoga, and Athleta. For the record, I'm usually not a fan of BOLO (Be-On-The-Lookout) lists, because there are so many factors as to why that item sold for that particular reseller. There are several explanations as to why an item might sell, including the price, the condition of the product, and how well it was listed. Sometimes, luck is also a factor.
If you want to resell products, it can be helpful to research popular brands that have established a cult following. You can find active communities on Facebook groups and on Instagram. This way, you will have an idea of what sells well and what doesn’t. Let's dive deep into what type of activewear products you should be on the lookout for to resell.
Nike is one of the most popular athletic wear brands, and their clothes sell well on resale platforms such as Poshmark, Depop, Mercari, and others. Nike's products are popular among athletes and non-athletes alike due to their quality and style. Originally founded in 1964 in Portland, Oregon, with the vision of bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world, Nike designs and develops products, services, and experiences that elevate the performance of athletes. They are known for their iconic logo, a "Swoosh" and trademark saying "just do it".
Some of Nike's best-selling items include athletic leggings, sports bras, running tops and tanks, sneakers, yoga pants, and shorts. However, these are the types of items that consistently sell well in the second-hand market:
Sports Jerseys (Football and Soccer)
Vintage Short Sleeve T-shirts
At the end of the day, Nike is a great brand to resell on resale platforms because its products (especially sneakers) are highly sought-after by casual shoppers, sneakerhead collectors, and hardcore shoe resellers. Unfortunately, since the brand is so well known, most (if not all) thrift stores mark up their prices from shoes to tank tops! Relatively, the marked-up prices are still a cheaper option compared to buying it new but that's only an advantage if you are not a reseller.
As a reseller, there's barely any profit to be made if you succumb to the thrift store's elevated prices. If you want to increase your profit margins when reselling Nike products, consider sourcing from garage sales, estate sales, and Facebook marketplace. When sourcing for new Nike products, consider going to the outlet or a Navy Exchange (requires government access- so ask a friend or family member to bring you along!) where you can shop tax-free at any time of the year.
Another popular brand is Lululemon which has huge followers of raving fans. Lululemon resale is a major driver on Poshmark, Mercari, Depop and more. The company was founded in 1998 in Vancouver, Canada, with the vision of creating a community hub where people could learn and discuss the physical aspects of healthy living, mindfulness, and living a life of possibility. The company has grown rapidly in recent years, and now has stores all over the world. Lululemon is most famous for its high-end yoga activewear with its signature Align yoga line. The Align leggings can easily cost you $98+ (yikes!) but the quality is so impeccable that Lululemon seldom advertises its brand. Fans say that the leggings are "buttery-soft", don't roll down during a workout, and hugs you in all the right places to give you a flattering look.
Some of Lululemon's best-selling items include leggings, yoga pants, sports bras, sneakers, sweaters, and shorts. However, these items are the types of items that consistently sell well in the second-hand market:
Everywhere Belt Bag
Wunder Under leggings
If you're looking for high-quality and stylish activewear to resell, Lululemon is a great brand to consider because it holds its value. When you are listing this brand, make sure to find the style name and color to make a quick sale! Lululemon consumers search by specific styles and colors. Unfortunately, Lululemon products are a bit challenging to source in the thrift store because most of the time the size tag is cut out and the only way to find out is to search for the tiny logo.
The tiny logo is not always placed in the most obvious place like on the back of the hip (for leggings), so it requires a thorough inspection. And if you do happen to find one in the thrift store jungle, oftentimes the item is marked up that does not leave you much room for profit. However, one sourcing strategy that you can implement is to go to the pajama/lingerie section where you can find hidden Lululemon products. Most thrift store workers won't catch the clothing items that look like lounge sweatpants, sweaters, and jackets.
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Gymshark is another popular activewear brand that has a massive following in the fitness industry. The British e-commerce company was founded by Ben Francis, a 19-year-old, who grew this $1 billion+ brand from his garage in 2012. Instead of splurging big on advertisements, Gymshark decided to invest in relationships and community-building. They gained their popularity by having fitness influencers promote their products on social media, primarily on Youtube and Instagram. Gymshark would send their influencers clothing samples which essentially promotes the brand to their followers organically. Marketing experts would agree that Gymshark was one of the early adopters of influencer marketing before it was even a concept.
Some of Gymshark's best-selling items include leggings, shorts, sports bras, and sets (leggings & sports bra). However, these items are the types of items that consistently sell well in the second-hand market:
Flex Cycling Shorts
Vital Seamless Sports Bra
Essential Bomber Jacket
If you're looking for functionality and affordable athletic wear to resell, Gym Shark is definitely a brand to look out for. Fitness enthusiasts (aka their 5.9 million ravings fans on Instagram) love their products so much that new product launches always sell out almost immediately, which drives the resale value in reselling platforms higher. Also, this is a brand that you rarely find in your local thrift store and if you do, most likely it is not overpriced compared to Nike and Lululemon brands. One of my sourcing secret sauce for this brand is to join Buy Sell Trade Facebook groups for Gym Shark (there are a few!). You can find amazing deals and sold-out items in these groups compared to sourcing them through Poshmark, eBay, Depop, and Mercari.
Another activewear brand that deserves a mention is Alo Yoga. This brand has gained popularity for making high-end yoga and pilates clothing and activewear with a hefty price tag. Danny Harris and Marco Degeorge are the two founders of Alo Yoga which was established in 2007, and based in Los Angeles, California. The company's mission is to bring yoga to the world by "spreading mindful movement, inspiring wellness and creating community". Although Alo Yoga and Lululemon are often compared, they are very different from each other. The brand's distinctive marketing strategy is that it sells "studio-to-street" clothes, embracing the multi-purpose role of today's athletic clothing. In short, Alo Yoga is geared towards casual wear versus Lululemon for intensive workouts. Another key difference between these two activewear brands is that Alo Yoga has more of a digital footprint where they offer free yoga classes and "mindful" podcasts on their Youtube channel. They also recently launched an online membership called, Alo Moves, where you can do 4 different types of training: yoga, meditation, fitness, and skills.
Not only Alo Yoga sells your typical activewear items such as leggings, sweatpants, sports bras, and sweaters. They also sell:
- Beauty Products
- Winter Coats
- Accessories (socks, hair, sunglasses etc.)
- Yoga Mats & Equipment
- Bags & Blankets
However, these items are the types of items that consistently sell well in the second-hand market:
Alo Yoga is a designer activewear brand that's known for its trendy, comfortable designs. While you can find Alo Yoga clothes at some high-end retail stores, you're unlikely to find them at your average thrift store or bins. And if you do happen to find one out in the jungle thrift store, most likely it is not marked up! Thrift store workers are not knowledgeable about this brand (cross-fingers) so you can find leggings at a fraction of the original cost. You can also find deals on Mercari from casual sellers who are just looking to unload their closets and did not bother to do price research. At Alo Yoga, their main focus is not just on the clothes but also on overall wellness. So if you're looking for a brand that focuses on promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, Alo Yoga is definitely worth checking out.
Athleta is a well-known activewear brand that consistently sells well in the secondhand market. This high-end, premium sports clothing brand was founded in 1996 by founders Scott Kerslake, Jennifer Jerde, and a branding firm called Elixir. Athleta was originally a catalog brand but was later acquired by Gap, Inc. in 2009. Since the acquisition, Athleta has been an online and in-store retailer. But what truly makes Athleta popular - and stands out from its competitors like Lululemon and Alo Yoga - is its social impact and inclusivity. Athleta is an inclusive, diverse company that believes in acceptance and diversity. They offer clothing for women of all ages with sizes ranging from XS-3XL to match their commitment to inspiring active, healthy, confident women to reach their limitless potential. Not to mention, they are the only activewear brand to incorporate a little girls' line. In 2020, Athleta and their parent company Gap launched the Create for All, With All campaign to zero in on social issues like representation, pay equity, wellness grants, and amplifying the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) women and girls within their community. Some of the ways they have done this are by increasing the representation of Black and Latin employees in their headquarters offices by 2025, as well as increasing the representation of Black employees in their store leadership positions. They have also donated over $1 million in wellness grants, called She Fund, to organizations that focus on women's and girl's confidence through movement and connection.
In addition to selling conventional activewear items like leggings and sports bras, Athleta also offers a wide range of products such as:
- Bras & Underwear
- Shoes & Socks
However, these items are the types of items that consistently sell well in the second-hand market:
Leggings With Prints (animal, camo or floral)
Sweater and Hoodies
Athleta is a secondhand goldmine. The clothes are high quality, on-trend, and relatively inexpensive. You can find everything from casual athleisure to trendy activewear. The pieces are versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Because of the high-quality materials and construction, Athleta clothes hold up well over time, which means you can wear them for years to come. Whether you're looking for a comfy sweater to lounge around in or a trendy legging to show off at the gym, Athleta has got you covered. And the best part is, most thrift stores do not mark up the brand compared to Nike and Lululemon!
So which brand is better to resell? This answer is ultimately up to your reselling model and what is available in your area. If you are looking for a high-profit margin, then I would recommend focusing on Alo Yoga brands because it has less chance of being marked up by the thrift store. On the other hand, if you are going for the volume reselling model, then I would recommend going for Nike and Lululemon. Thanks for reading, and happy reselling!
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