By Roxanne Banuelos
When COVID-19 forced people into their homes and behind their computer screens, many people ramped up their online shopping habits. After all, a lack of special events does not equate to a lack of reasons to get dressed up.
Some fashionistas cope by getting dressed up for their Zoom meetings, others are shopping for cozy loungewear and others are stockpiling clothes for the day they can finally wear them out.
Many people will gravitate towards fast fashion options. Stores like Fashion Nova and Shien can seem trendy, cheap and convenient. However, these clothes are poorly constructed and will not last more than a couple seasons before you’re on the hunt for something else, not to mention the horrible labor standards upheld by these companies.
Most consumers feel like designer/sustainable brands carry a price tag too hefty to shop from solely, but the good news is that there are many ways to work around the exacerbated prices. Good quality clothes are worth having in your closet as they will last much longer and will help create a more staple wardrobe.
As sustainability begins to take a forefront in fashion, why not make your online shopping more beneficial by shopping secondhand. Secondhand clothing is usually a fraction of the price, and most listings are in great condition.
Most designer clothing is well preserved and the great quality fabrics and materials remain intact.
The secondhand market also offers a vast array of unique vintage designs, providing a great selection of trendy clothes and basics to choose from. While some designs are outdated trends, many remain classic.
Instead of constantly shuffling items in and out of your wardrobe, why not invest in a wardrobe of a higher caliber, while saving money in the grand scheme?
Before mentioning the top 10 best places to shop online, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when shopping secondhand.
- Most importantly, be sure what you are purchasing is authentic. Check the seller’s reviews and never purchase from accounts with no reviews or suspicious listings.
- Check photos and descriptions closely for any signs of flaws. Clothing that is flawed or inauthentic is priced lower than normal.
- Always compare your measurements to the item’s measurements. Because the sizing can vary between brands, ask the seller any specific questions before making a purchase because most sellers do not offer returns.
- Don’t feel shy to make an offer on something. Many sellers expect negotiating and are open to offers.
- Have an idea of what you would like to find. Search for your favorite brands while exploring new brands. There is an overabundance of designer clothing listed online and you can often find beautiful, obscure pieces of clothing from well-known designers for a low price.
- Lastly, the best online thrifters are dedicated. They search each platform every day for the specific brands they are interested in and oftentimes that’s how they find great deals.
Start your search off with:
1. Depop. Depop is like Instagram’s sister, but instead of displaying glorious vanity it displays used clothing. Depop, one of the most popular and convenient ecommerce sites and has a great selection of popular brands at great prices. Depop’s “style edit” offers a personally curated selection of clothes for each user.
2. The Real Real is a highly curated and completely authenticated process of selling and buying clothes. Authenticators examine clothes for flaws and guarantee authenticity. All items are in great condition, and most are able to be returned if something doesn’t suit your needs after all. With coupon code “REAL” shoppers can enjoy 20% everyday, in addition to almost constant 50% off sales.
3. Poshmark is for everyone. It has a wide range of trendy brands to obscure brands at very low prices. Once you give items a like, many sellers will offer a personal discount to get an even lower price.
4. Heroine is a hub of contemporary and indie designer clothing. Carrying highly coveted, in-the-know brands like Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens, it is for the seasoned fashion enthusiasts. In addition to buying and selling, Heroine strives to provide fashion related context and background on its platform in the form of articles.
5. eBay has a great selection of pretty much everything. While sellers can also offer personal discounts, be sure to check for items with bids ending soon. Many items will receive no bids and go for the original asking price, which is always priced low to start.
6. Etsy is another place to find unique clothing. With a great selection of vintage designer clothes, lots of obscure but special pieces are sold here.
7. While most people associate Offerup with old bookshelves and textbooks, Offerup can also be host to a niche selection of designer clothing. Most listings here are from local sellers, which prevents you from having to pay added taxes and shipping fees. There are many old housewives looking to clear their closets that will post their old designer clothing for a fraction of the price.
8. Yahoo Japan is for the people enthused by designer clothing that are willing to go the extra mile for a good steal. Yahoo Japan is available by proxy only for those in the United States, meaning that in order to purchase an item from the bidding site, shoppers must use a third-party proxy service that will buy the package and ship it to the U.S. for an extra fee. Although this is a bit more work, Yahoo Japan has a great selection of Japanese designers like Comme Des Garcons, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto for a fraction of the resale prices here in the U.S. Trusted proxy servers like From Japan, offer different shipping options that tailor to buyers price ranges.
9. Thredup is another online consignment shop that carries over 35 thousand brands at up to 90% off, according to their website. With an emphasis on sustainable shopping, Thredup encourages the end of “throwaway fashion culture,” and pushes the idea of shopping with intention. Users can get 50% off their first purchase as well.
10. Vestiaire Collective has a highly curated catalog of desirable clothes that are expertly authenticated once sold. According to Vestiaire Collective, resale is a “smart and sustainable” approach to fashion.
Now that you know the many different sources for finding clothes online, curating a dream wardrobe is at your fingertips. Designer clothing is more accessible than most people think, and shopping secondhand is great from an environmental standpoint, and a financial standpoint. Now that COVID-19 restrictions will hopefully come to a close, why not buy something and make a statement when you step back out.
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