There are numerous reasons to shop secondhand. Some people love the affordable pricing of secondhand items and stellar thrift store discounts. Others shop secondhand to be environmentally conscious. Others value individuality and self-expression through fashion, admiring secondhand clothing’s uniqueness and one-of-a-kind feel. Whatever your shopping motives, this article provides the best tips for buying secondhand at thrift stores and online.
EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT WARDROBE
First and foremost, it is important to evaluate your current wardrobe. Peek inside your closet, dresser, and storage bins and take note of:
Taking inventory is useful when creating a shopping list. For example, maybe you just got into running but only own one workout outfit. This is a gap in your wardrobe and athletic shorts, a sports bra, and a Dri Fit tank top are all items you could add to your secondhand shopping list.
KNOW YOUR MEASUREMENTS
Another thrifting tip is to know your measurements. Many online thrift stores and secondhand marketplaces feature clothing where the sizing on the label is not accurate, and shoppers are encouraged to refer to the measurements of a garment. Vintage items in particular do not typically align with current sizing scales.
Measurements to know:
To learn how to properly measure your body to know your clothing size, check out the website Size Charter.
CLOSELY INSPECT ITEMS BEFORE BUYING
Another thrift tip is to inspect items before purchasing. Buying pre-loved items means those garments had a prior life and likely endured some wear and tear. Be sure to check garments for stains, rips, runs in the fabric, and discoloration. Also check if an item has been tailored to custom fit the previous owner. When shopping secondhand on thrifting apps like Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari, zoom in on the images to check for imperfections. Sellers also often list the condition an item is in, such as “brand new,” “used,” and “fair condition.”
SEARCH FOR SPECIFIC ITEMS ONLINE
Another tip for successfully shopping secondhand is to search for more specific items online rather than in physical thrift stores. Modern search engines are quite good at yielding results. Search “Selkie dress secondhand” on Google, for instance, and links to used Selkie dresses sold on Depop, The RealReal, Poshmark, and other secondhand sites pop up within seconds. Be sure to compare pieces across resale platforms to find the best deal. One of my favorite resale sites is eBay due to its friendly sellers, low prices, and wide variety of items for sale.
BE WARY WHEN SHOPPING FOR DESIGNER ITEMS
Shopping comes with the risk of getting scammed, especially when it comes to buying secondhand designer items. Sometimes thrift stores accidentally label a dupe as an original, and sometimes malicious online sellers purposely scam innocent shoppers for a fat profit.
Here are a few tips to follow when buying designer items secondhand:
DON'T BE AFRAID TO BARGAIN
A final tip when shopping secondhand is to not be afraid to bargain. Typically, physical thrift stores have set prices, but online resale apps are known for their bargaining and price flexibility. Most secondhand shopping websites and apps have a “make an offer” button where users can send in an offer on an item. It is recommended to send an offer between 10-20% off the original price. The worst that can happen is your offer is rejected.
Whether your secondhand shopping motives are sustainability-based, style-based, or savings-based, the above tips will ensure a stress-free and enjoyable shopping experience.
SEE YOU NEXT SATURDAY WITH ANOTHER FASHION POST.
hey it's Steffi, and this is my website where I post fashion, travel, and lifestyle blog posts. Enjoy!