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Sales of secondhand items are expected to soar to $77 billion by 2025 and grow 11 times faster than its retail counterpart. We’ve only scratched the surface of second-hand clothing possibilities and it seems every day a new thrifting retailer is popping up.
There are many benefits to shopping for secondhand clothing. For one, it’s sustainable because you are saving perfectly fine clothing from ending up in a landfill. Buying secondhand today is also easier than it has ever been. You have a ton of options when it comes to secondhand retailers, and access to fashionable and pieces at affordable prices. We’re breaking down the best online thrift and consignment shops to get you started on your thrifty fashion journey.
Best Online Thrift & Consignment Stores
Sustainable fashion is now the cool thing to do and these are the stores bookmarked by most fashionistas. Online thrifting has thrived as more shoppers avoided in-person shopping during the pandemic.
thredUP’s goal is to create a more environmentally-friendly fashion world and save precious resources being wasted by the fashion industry. You can even check yourself to see how much of a carbon footprint sits in your closet next to those Jimmy Choos.
To purchase items, you just look through all the different categories and shop like you would any retail site. There’s a 14-day money-back guarantee if you’re ever concerned about clothing quality.
Check out current thredUP deals to save even more.
Poshmark is a popular platform that allows anyone to clean out their closest and list their items for sale. You get to browse their closets and save your favorite Poshers (think eBay). Items can also be searched by category. You’ll deal with the individual sellers for the majority of the process but can still reach out to Poshmark customer service if you aren’t getting a good resolution from the seller.
Poshmark is very popular with the millennials and often includes unused clothing with tags attached. One big bonus is that you can bargain for lower prices or ask for a bundle discount.
Before you shop, check out current Poshmark deals.
Thrifted prides itself in selling high-quality vintage clothing from suppliers globally. You can find designer and sportswear vintage clothing in a variety of styles.
Just be sure to choose the “USD” option with the American flag, otherwise, you’ll be converting prices from pounds to dollars.
To find the best value, search the categories by “Price, low to high”, otherwise you’ll default to the newest and more expensive items.
4. Revive by Rent the Runway
This is a subsection of the thredUP website offering purchases from the uber-popular Rent the Runway brand. Once an item is “retired” from being rented, it goes to this online thrifting marketplace for a final sale and permanent home.
On top of the already discounted price, some items have prices slashed from there. You can see clearly on each item what the current discount is. Rent the Runway is another way to get designer clothing for a short period of time and Slickdeals offers coupons to make the deal even better.
Considering how much ’90s fashion is making a comeback, you’ll love shopping Ragstock with recycled fashion from the ’70s through the ’00s. For the adventurist fashionista, there are uniquely designed prints that will surely make you stand out from the crowd.
Ragstock also has brick-and-mortar stores in nine states that make it easier to shop if you’re in town. Shopping this store online or in-person feels like you’re walking right into a John Hughes movie from the ’80s.
6. ASOS Marketplace
ASOS Marketplace is another powerhouse brand in consignment shops/stores online. As a child asset of the ASOS retail brand, the site consists of more than 1,200 boutique shops you can browse with everything from original designs to second-hand and vintage deals. It’s a great way to support new designers trying to make their power play into the world of fashion.
Depop really pops with the Gen Z crowd. This is another store where you are buying from an individual, not a company. Each item will have the seller’s picture, ratings, and selling history. You’ll be able to see other items in their closet for sale as well. Search for a specific item or browse through different sellers to discover all of the excitingly unique pieces available.
The popularity of Depop is enhanced by its feature of allowing shoppers and buyers to send messages to each other so that they can form virtual connections and networks.
How To Shop Smart While Online Thrift Shopping
With so many options for budget-friendly thrift stores, you need to have some best practices when making purchases.
- Know Your Size: Have your exact measurements written down so you know you’re getting the right size. You may also want to know your measurements for clothing “laid flat”, as many sellers provide these instead of full measurements. If you don’t know the sizing of a particular brand (we all know a 6 could be a 4 with one designer and an 8 with another), check out Looksize to review all brands and see what sizes fit your measurements.
- Bid with a Budget: One of the benefits of thrift shopping is saving money, so set a limit for your purchases and stick to it. On the few sites where you can negotiate, go hard. Sellers hope to get rid of unwanted clothing and will usually take a discount just to get rid of the product—especially if it has been listed for a long time.
- Check the Return Policy: Review the return policy for each site. Each one is very different with time limits for returns, restocking fees, and costs of mailing returns.
- Use Filters: Instead of shopping for just shirts and scrolling endlessly, look for categories that fit your style or the event for which you are shopping. You can also often shop by decade, color, material and more.
- Schedule Your Shopping: Schedule enough time for you to really dig into the site and find the perfect items. Do this at least twice a month to get the best deals and freshest items on a schedule that works best for you. Maybe it’s during Sunday morning coffee or a Wednesday night shopping spree. Most sites also allow you to set up alerts for new items arriving or discounts on saved items.
Online thrift shopping isn’t just a way to save money. This is also a way to help the environment by preventing tossed-out clothing from adding to the more than 11,300,000 tons that ended up in landfills in 2018. Feel good about your thrifting journey while knowing you are doing your part to help close the sustainability loop in the fashion industry.