The Wonderful World of Online Thrift Shopping

I think by now, most of us know how great thrift stores can be; buying clothing secondhand is cheap, fun, and great for the environment.

According to eartheasy.com, it is estimated that twelve million pounds of textiles end up in landfills in North America every year. However, what a lot of people may not know is that there are a vast array of online thrift stores. Many specialize, whether it's in clothes from trendy brands like Forever 21, Charlotte Russe and Wet Seal, or high-end brands like Marc Jacobs, Coach, and Louis Vuitton.

What is extra cool is that you can sell your clothes as well. This is totally a win-win: get rid of stuff you don’t want, get money for it, and help the environment all at once!

I’ve used two websites to buy clothes online and have had really good experiences with both: ThredUp and Vinted. They each buy and sell trendy, secondhand clothing, but work a little bit differently. If you want to sell items to ThredUp, they will send you a bag to fill with your clothes, assess them, and then pay you accordingly. On Vinted, sellers take their own pictures, list their items online, and then ship out the items themselves, using a prepaid shipping label. 

ThredUp

Pros:

  • ThredUp does their own quality check on items, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to get something that’s in like-new condition.
  • If you sell items to ThredUp, you don’t have to worry about dealing with shipping or taking pictures of your clothes.
  • ThredUp offers refunds on some of their clothing items if they don’t fit/weren’t what you were looking for.
  • Since all of the clothing ThredUp lists is in the same warehouse, you can get multiple items in one box and only pay for shipping once.
  • ThredUp allows you to make your own “closet” that follows specific brands you’re interested in buying from.

Cons:

  • If you sell your clothes to them, you may get less money than if you listed it yourself on another site (since they determine the quality and price).
  • ThredUp doesn’t list or accept any men’s clothing.
  • You cannot communicate with the seller on ThredUp, which means you can’t ask the seller any questions or make a new offer on the price.

 

Vinted

Pros:

  • Vinted, along with having women’s clothing and accessories, also offers men’s clothing, beauty products, and phone accessories.
  • Since you list your own items and control the prices, you'll typically receive more money for your clothes.
  • You can communicate with the buyer/seller and ask questions, talk about discounts, etc.
  • Vinted also has a community message board so you can get to know other people on the site!
  • Similar to ThredUp, you can follow specific brands you’re interested in and see clothes from them pop-up on your homepage.

Cons:

  • If you’re selling on Vinted, you have to take your own pictures and are responsible for shipping the items yourself.
  • Unless the item is damaged/not what you asked for, you cannot return it or get a refund.
  • Since there isn’t another person doing a quality check, you aren’t always guaranteed to get something that’s in like-new condition.
  • If you buy multiple items from the site (unless they come from the same seller) you will have to pay multiple shipping costs for them.

There are a ton of other online thrift stores out there that I haven’t tried yet, like Nifty Thrifty or The Attic. So the next time you’re looking for new clothes, or want to clean out your own closet, I’d definitely look into one of these stores. The environment and your wallet will thank you for it! 

Photos: 1,2,3