Five Tips for Shopping Second-Hand Online

Sustainable FashionSustainable FashionSustainable FashionSustainable FashionDress: Barnardo’s, Jacket & Bag: Oxfam, Hat (Similar) & Boots (Similar): ASOS

Over the past few years I have written a few posts about how to get the most from charity shopping (here and here).

I can now get parcels delivered to work which means no waiting in the post office queue at 10am on Saturday morning because I missed every parcel that has ever been sent to me. Because of this I have embraced second-hand shopping online. It certainly makes a Tuesday afternoon at work a lot more motivating when the call comes in to say there is an Oxfam/Beyond Retro/*Insert name of favourite virtual second-hand shop here* parcel with my name on it.

As I have shopped a little more second-hand online lately I thought I would share a few tips to ensure you bag the bargain you’re after.

1. Set alerts on eBay

It was one of those ideas that I thought would lead to me being the owner of a multi-millionaire business. An app to keep your second-hand wish-list safe and let you know when it appears on a second-hand website.

Turns out eBay already have the function where you can save what you’re looking for (i.e. the perfectly fitted khaki suit I have been after all my life) and it alerts you either by text or email when it’s on stock.

Better get back to my day job then, ey.

With this you are able to keep a list of second-hand wants and virtually grab it before it goes.

2. Know Your Measurements

Due to the nature of second-hand shopping, a lot of the clothes are vintage and a size 10/medium from 1989 is completely different to a the size 10/medium of today. Second-hand websites such as Oxfam, Beyond Retro and We Are Cow usually state the chest and waist measurements along with the length of the item so you can be sure the second-hand purchase is going to be a win.

3. Have an idea of what you want

One of my IRL charity shopping tips is to be open minded. So tip numero 3 is the opposite to what I believe with charity shopping IRL.

The big wide web is a wide ol’ world. Rather than having a few shops along a high-street with a finite number of items of clothing, you have access to so much more in terms of second-hand clothing (and pretty much everything) online. By knowing what you want you can narrow down the search a lot quicker.

However, that being said, I do like to browse ‘New In’ sections for a little inspiration.

4. Pay Speedily

Y’know, so you don’t miss a bargain.

On the Oxfam website specifically, they ‘lock’ an item for half an hour in your virtual basket before they put it back on-the-line for others to buy. Because there’s only one of each it’s definitely a good idea to speedily put things in your basket, pay and get out of there with the knowledge that you’ve got some lovely ol’ second-hand clothes coming your way soon.

5. Visit Regularly

As with my charity shop IRL tips, I also think it’s a good idea to keep checking on what’s new in when shopping online. With one off items being added to second-hand clothing sites regularly it seems only right to keep the webpage listed as one of your favourites to ensure you never miss it when the dream dress you missed picking up a few years ago pops up or a designer item for a fraction of it’s RRP appears in the ‘New in’ section along with the All Saints inspired camo trousers that seem to be all the rage at the moment and clothes that could have come straight from Stevie Nick’s wardrobe.

The online second-hand clothing opportunities are bloomin’ endless.

Some of my favourite places to shop second-hand online include:

Oxfam | eBay | Depop | Beyond Retro | We Are Cow

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1 Comment

  1. Lucy Jane
    April 12, 2018 / 3:15 pm

    This was so helpful, I’m a massive charity shopper and depop user but I should really branch out to looking on eBay!

    Lucy Jane | Infinity of Fashion

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