Because sometimes you need a break from wading through the crowded fleamarket!
In a recent article we discussed the Top 5 Free Budget Fashion Apps. There are so many great options out there to get great pieces, that it seems just silly to go out and spend tons of money. Two of the Apps we highlighted, Depop and Vinted, are dedicated to connecting buyers and sellers of second hand clothes. While second hand shopping has been a common occurrence in the typical brick and mortar shop for many years, recently second hand shopping via digital tools such as mobile applications or the Internet has started to gain momentum and take shape.
Second hand shopping is actually really great (but we probably don’t have to convince you of that). One of the best things about second hand shopping is that it creates a sustainable chain of use of items. Most of us will go shopping for the enjoyment, because we got a big paycheck or we absolutely need that outfit for the upcoming party. And furthermore, many of us just wear some items a few times before deciding it just isn’t what we are looking for. Previously you could just donate your old clothes to a charity shop or pass them down to younger friends or relatives. While that is still a great thing to do, having the ability to sell your old clothes is a great way to make some money! (Probably for new clothes). Best of all, selling your gently used items to willing buyers is a great way to save resources, think: sustainable fashion!
For most, the best part about buying second hand is the lower price tag. Why buy a brand new pair of jeans when you can pay half the price for the same pair that has been worn once or twice? Sometimes you can even find brand new items with tags on them (the ultimate score!). All the way from your local flea market to an upscale second hand boutique are great ways to save big on your wardrobe.
#1 How to guarantee the items are in good shape?
With the traditional mode of second hand shopping (as in purchasing items in person) there was the advantage that you could look through the item to make sure that it didn’t look to worn or dirty before you bought it. As second hand shopping becomes more digital, it is especially important to ensure that there is an element of quality. You must ensure that the item you are buying is still in good shape. One of the best ways to do this is to buy from a shop that guarantees a thorough inspection of the clothes. For example, you can find guaranteed designer second hand at rebelle, who also ensure that the brand you are purchasing is authentic and not a knockoff.
#2 Is it better to meet with the seller in person?
If you are purchasing from an actual person through a platform such as Ebay, for example, it is a good idea to meet with the person to exchange the payment and item so that you can ensure you get exactly what was described to you. If you do meet face to face, bring along a friend, meet in a public place.
#3 What kind of seller should you buy from?
A good indicator of the quality of the items will be the seller’s reputation. You can look through reviews of websites or the specific seller to see if there are complaints, such as the seller does not send the item quickly, or the products do not appear in person as in the photos or description. These are red flags. Instead, look for sellers that customers have given mostly positive reviews. If you do have a positive experience with the seller, write a review yourself, as the second hand selling business relies a great deal on trust.
#4 Is there a return policy?
Some second hand clothing websites will offer a return policy, some will not. It is reasonable to comprehend why they would not offer returns, but is really important to understand the policies of the company or website before you make your purchase. There are some helpful, online guides to help you to gain a better understanding of potential to return, especially if the item you received is damaged.
#5 How is payment made?
Buying online can sometimes make people nervous because you have to input your payment info, with the potential for it to be stolen. Limit the risk through utilizing a safe payment system such as PayPal and learn how to shop second hand safely. If you do meet in person to exchange the item, make sure you don’t bring large amounts of cash.
You may also want to check out our guide on second hand shopping in London.