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The Best Places to Buy and Sell Second Hand Clothes Online

After a long week doing whatever it is you do I doubt you want to spend your weekend rummaging through a dusty thrift store, hoping to find one or two killer pieces. I totally get it. Thanks to modern technology you can go second hand shopping on your phone, tablet or laptop. At any hour of the day, while sipping a green smoothie in your PJs. The 21st century is so awesome.

Prelovely - Second hand style

But with all the second hand shopping sites popping up which ones are worth spending your bandwidth on?

Before launching prelovely.com I started selling my wares on various marketplaces, though I am definitely more experienced on the seller side, I have purchased from a few of these sites too. I’ll let you know the best apps for picking up (or off loading) your preloved garms and the pros/cons of each.

Disclaimer: I’m based in the U.S. and my experience with these marketplaces are all from an American perspective. If you find it to be different in your country, please leave a comment and let us know!

Vinted

Is good if you’re still into the fast fashion/cheap clothes thing. When I started selling there (2 years ago) the marketplace was more diverse than it is now. As of January 1, 2017 I stopped selling there altogether. Mainly because they kept making changes to the platform that resulted in a decrease of sells and it just wasn’t worth my time anymore. Buyers also make lowball offers that are borderline offensive or bid on items and never end up buying.

If you’re a buyer and like F21, Charlotte Russe, AF and other “mall brands” as I call them, this is the place for you. You can probably score lots of these brands at prices below $10.

If you’re a seller and have lots of “mall brands” to get rid of, go here. Don’t expect premium prices on fast fashion brands, but that kind of goes without saying. Vinted shines when it comes to seller fees, there are none! They also have a way for you to boost your listings for a fee. This was implemented right after I left so I can’t say how well it works BUT paying slightly less than a $1 to boost a single listing isn’t worth it in my eyes.

Vinted grade: C
Its one of the last places I recommend buying or selling.

Tradesy

Deep pockets? This is your spot. Head to Tradesy if you’re into high end, designer goods. They have a stunning range of preloved designer shoes and handbags that will leave you drooling all over your keyboard. It is not a bargain shopping site. Please do not expect to pay $50 for a pair of Chanel booties.

If you’re a buyer, there are frequent sitewide sales, sometimes as much as $200 off (if you spend $1000) which might get you those Chanel booties for $500 or so. Finding covetable pieces on this site is definitely not the problem, the only problem here may be related to your bank account. Scroll mindfully!

If you’re a seller, don’t list cheap brands here. The more luxurious the better. Shoes, handbags and accessories sell faster than clothes. If clothes is your thing don’t expect them to fly off the site. However, when they do sell, you will most likely get a higher price for them than you would on other sites. Also, unless you’re selling high end, designer vintage don’t bother listing your retro frocks here. One of the best aspects of selling on Tradesy is they let you keep the funds on returned items.

Tradesy grade: A
I’d recommend it to anyone in the designer market.

Poshmark

This app is all about reciprocity. There is no paid promotion of listings. Users share listings of other users which show up on your feed. There is both a positive and negative side to this.

The good. There’s no “pay to play”. Its fair game for all.

The bad. It’s time consuming. As a seller, expect to spend a lot of time on this app sharing your listings and others listings. If it was possible I would pay to advertise here because I really don’t want to spend all my time on one app. My preference is to list and let it go.

The sharing concept can also be overwhelming if you’re a buyer. If you follow a bunch of people your feed will most likely become full of things that aren’t your style since sellers tend to binge share in the hope of building relationships with other sellers who will binge share their items. This problem is solved by using the Prelovely philosophy of more style + less stuff. Simply find a few closets who really suit your style, follow them and keep your follows minimal. If you like perusing through things you’d never ever buy, kinda like you would at a thrift store IRL, then follow away!

For sellers who don’t mind Poshing all day then the “share everything you can” strategy absolutely does work. Prefer to spend your time elsewhere? My biggest tip is sell product that sells itself. Posh has pretty great search capabilities, if your listings stand out buyers will find you via search. Take lovely pics, sell brands in demand, respond promptly to buyer inquiries and you’re pretty much guaranteed to make sells on a regular basis.  Even when taking the latter approach, it’s still a smart move to create alliances with other Poshers who suit your style and happily share your listings.

Buyers, as for what you can expect to find here, well, a bit of everything. It’s quite like the mall in a nice neighborhood with high end boutique shops and your standard department stores. Whatever your style, I think Poshmark has you covered.

Poshmark grade: B+
Sells are really consistent here, buyers are fair with their offers and Posh has good buyer/seller protection. The one area I think they could improve is by offering some way to pay to promote listings so sellers wouldn’t have to spend so much time on their platform.

Etsy

One word. Vintage. If you’re a buyer of vintage, if you’re a seller of vintage, this is my number one recommended place to go.

Its fantastic if you’re a buyer because this is a global marketplace and the offerings are endless yet reasonably easy to find. Sellers on Etsy tend to be really reliable so the likelihood of you getting something completely different than what you ordered is low.

If you’re a vintage seller this is where you’ll get premium prices for your vintage. There is no “make an offer” button on Etsy so the price you list at is most likely the price you’ll sell at. Another reason I love Etsy is there’s a cost effective way to promote your listings so you can get on with your life once an item is listed. Just remember, you can only sell vintage items here. That means anything at least 20 years old.

Etsy grade: A+  
I’d recommend it to all conscious buyers and sellers with a taste for charm, craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Ebay

Of course I had to write about the master of all second hand marketplaces! You’re probably somewhat familiar with eBay but I’ll give you my take.

If you’re a buyer, I don’t have much to say. I’ve not purchased any fashion related item on Ebay since the early 2000s. Much of your experience depends on the seller. I do recommend reading reviews before you buy. Its also wise to know how to measure yourself. Many sellers do not offer returns so you need to be proactive in making sure the item fits.

If you’re a seller and not selling on ebay you’re missing out on the moolah! This is most definitely the biggest marketplace on the list. Its super easy to sell globally here by using eBay’s Global Shipping Program. And duh, selling globally greatly increases your chances of selling. eBay has always been my biggest sales channel. It does have a downside though.

Some buyers are dishonest and make false claims, essentially stealing the item from the seller. Of the many items I’ve sold on eBay this has only happened to me once. Maybe I have good luck! I wouldn’t let that stop you from selling here. Imagine if you had a brick & mortar store, that ratio would be much higher.

Ebay grade: B+
I’d recommend it for sure to sellers and to buyers who have a bit more browsing patience.

Prelovely

This site is strictly for buyers. We cater to fashion connoisseurs looking for a bespoke preloved experience. Our collection of designer, contemporary and vintage preloved clothing is keenly curated with a bohemian-minimalist flare. You’ll find distinct pieces for wanderlusting souls and not so boring basics ideal for capsule wardrobes.

Most importantly, we're committed to building an eco-conscious fashion destination and strive to inspire the world to live a life of more style + less stuff.

Make sure you join us for #PrelovedMonth. An annual campaign celebrating sustainable fashion practices with the goal of keeping clothing and textiles out of landfills.

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Expert online seller? Power buyer? Leave a comment letting us know your favorite place to shop secondhand on the web.


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