It’s undeniable, the second hand shopping movement is on the rise and, if you aren’t already, there are so many great reasons to get on board. Not only does it cut down on landfill waste by giving new life to pieces that someone no longer needs, but with the current cost of living on the rise, second hand shopping can mean some serious savings when it comes to refreshing your wardrobe, as well as giving you a few extra pennies to play with if you choose to sell too.
So, if you’re wondering how to get started, we’ve got all the info you need. From the best places to sell and shop, as well as some handy tips and tricks from the people who really know. Save this page as your guide to becoming a second hand shopping and selling pro.
The best places to shop and sell second-hand
Part selling platform, part social network, depop is a resale marketplace for clothing, jewellery, beauty products and more. It focuses on creating a community alongside allowing people to sell their unwanted items so you can not only shop, but you can also follow your friends to see what they’re liking and buying too. It’s also the go-to app if you want to find indie brands and designers like KMI Studios or LA Label, as the platform is all about empowering creators and championing individuality.
Vinted is the resale platform to be on right now and since launching in 2008 it’s amassed more than 65 million members across the globe. Focusing on clothes, homeware, entertainment and pets (not the actual animals, don’t worry) it’s a one stop shop for all your second-hand needs. Unlike other resale platforms Vinted allows sellers to list and sell without fees meaning many items have bigger discounts than on other sites. Plus, buyers can choose from multiple postage options giving more control over the shopping experience.
If you’re on the lookout for pre-loved designer pieces, Vestiaire Collective is the place to go. A global shopping and selling platform, its goal is to rehome luxury pieces meaning you can treat yourself to a designer purchase at a fraction of the price (or resell something you no longer love). Best of all, once sold, all items are checked over by their in-house team to guarantee their authenticity and that they match the description the seller provided so you can ensure the product you purchase will be up to standards.
The original resale website, you’ll undoubtedly already know about eBay’s selection of preloved clothing and accessories whether you’re a seller or shopper. However, I bet you didn’t know that many charity shops like Oxfam and Barnardo’s also have stores on eBay meaning you can give back while also cutting down on clothes waste. Also, did you know if you’re in the market for a designer accessory eBay offer an authenticity guarantee service on any items that have a blue tick so you can guarantee you’re getting a genuine item at a fraction of the cost.
Tips for successfully shopping second hand
- Search smart
No matter what platform you’re using, accurately searching for what you want will save you aimlessly scrolling through pages of items. “Make use of the Depop filters like sizing, colours and budget, this really helps narrow the search and show products which are actually relevant to you,” says a Depop Spokesperson.
Similarly, Natacha Blancard, Consumer Lead at Vinted also says “It’s better to start an advanced search without keywords. Rather than typing ‘mini skirt’ specify each category and sub-category. [Then] you will have exactly the selection that matches your filters!”
- Ask questions
“Don’t be afraid to message sellers for more information,” says Natacha at Vinted. “Perhaps you’d like to see the item in a better light, request measurements or you would like a close-up? Sellers are usually very keen to help.”
This is especially important if you’re new to second hand shopping as sellers can give more information on the condition or fit of an item. “The beauty of eBay is being able to communicate with the seller. So, make sure you put this to good use and ask any further questions or request more images,” says Lucy Peacock, Head of Preloved at eBay.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle
Alongside being able to ask questions, the great thing about shopping second hand is you can discuss prices with the sellers directly.
“Haggle!” says Natacha at Vinted, “Always within reason of course as second-hand items already tend to be well-priced. Sellers often have many items on sale at the same time, so have a look at their other listings and if there are several items that catch your eye, ask the seller if they could offer a discount if you buy a bundle.”
Tips for successfully selling second hand
- Images are key
If you want to sell an item quickly and easily, having quality pictures makes a big difference. “Keep it simple with clear photography. You definitely don’t need a ‘professional’ set up so long as the lighting is good and the background isn’t cluttered, you’re onto a winner,” says Adwoa Owusu-Darko, seller and Depop coach.
This applies to both high street and designer items. Vestiaire Collective’s style insiders advise users “[Include] close-ups of important features, such as the label with the brand’s name or a size tag, as well as any areas where there may be damage. We encourage sellers to be forthcoming about imperfections, wear, and damage — it helps avoid canceled sales later.”
- Price accordingly
Any seller of course wants to make the most money possible however pricing accurately is important. “Try searching for similar items on eBay, to make sure you’re going for the right price and always ask yourself ‘would I pay this price for this item?” says Lucy at Ebay.
On Vestiaire Collective they do the hard work for you “When you list an item on Vestiaire Collective, you’ll get a price recommendation. We recommend following this suggested listing price — it’s been calculated using over a decade’s worth of data.”
- Time it right
When listing items, think about what you want to buy yourself. “Think seasonally — most buyers aren’t seeking coats in June or bikinis in December,” says Vestiaire Collective’s style insiders, “We encourage sellers to list items early in the month, as most sales happen within the first half of each month. And FYI, Sunday is our community’s favorite day to shop.”
On Vinted, Natacha advises “Upload new items regularly as some platforms allow your followers receive a notification each time you list a new item. This ensures you return to the top of their feed!”