Online Vintage & Second-Hand Shopping Tips & Tricks
The sounds of hangers clinking together, the feel of fabrics and rummaging through the racks might not be possible right now. But it doesn’t mean you can’t hunt for some gems online. And with these seven tips I hope to make your hunt a resounding, affordable and stylish success.
Amend the price filter when searching
Mainly to save yourself from falling for something that is too expensive. If the platform that you’re shopping on doesn’t have this option, just sort your search on low to high price. This helps me not go over my budget AND sometimes it allows you to find some great bargains.
Start off by searching for brands that you know
If you’re new to this, then start with searching for brands that you already wear and that you know the sizing and fits of. If you’re still feeling a bit yucky about wearing something used then add ” brand new with tag” or ‘bnwt’ to your search term.
Go for the basic items first
For newcomers, leave the bold dresses and eye popping jumpers until you feel a bit more comfortable. As you can imagine, the chances of getting a T-shirt, jumper or skirt that fits are much higher than with trousers, shoes or shirts.
Prioritise natural fabrics when shopping secondhand
You might think that all vintage clothes are made from natural fibres. But there are 70s polyester dresses and 80s acrylic jumpers that are not breathable and will just get you sweaty. Go for Cotton, silk, linen, and wool as they are both breathable and comfortable. If you take care of the garments the right way, these fabrics are guaranteed to last longer and are much easier to repair.
Learn your measurements when shopping online
Don’t look at the label size, check the measurements instead as sizes have changed over the years and even vary from shop to shop. When buying a new brand to you it’s essential to know your armpit to armpit length for tops, especially for buttoned shirts and where the materials aren’t stretchable. Also, remember to check your waist size for bottoms. If it’s not mentioned in the description, always ask the seller.
Know the item value of second-hand and vintage clothes
Be prepared to pay big money for a second-hand or vintage Chanel, Gucci or Ralph Lauren. But did you know C&A brands (especially their CandA brand) are valued at a higher than average price these days? Who would have thought? I have to give it to them, the C&A pieces I own are really well-made and still hold strong. Fabric is also something to keep in mind then deciding your price range. You don’t want to pay £25 for an acrylic jumper, but £25 for wool or cashmere is a win for me.
When in doubt… don’t!
It might be tempting to buy it just in case, but save yourself from that and invest the money you were going to pay in something else. Same goes for items that need some fixing. Ask yourself if you are really willing to go to the tailor to get it shortened, or get the buttons changed.
Where to find online second hand / vintage items these days?
eBay is my go-to platform for cheap finds.
Etsy is perfect for the more curated items.
DePop is a huge app in the UK.
Vinted has been popular in mainland Europe and is making its way over here.
Your local second-hand, vintage and charity shops might have shifted to selling online.
Instagram accounts have started to pop-up more and more.
Do you have any golden tips for online thrifting?