Blog Sustainable fashion

Second hand online shopping

Online shopping: I have to admit that I’m a pro. I can spend hours online to have a look on the best deals. 90% of this time is on websites, such as United Wardrobe or Kleiderkreisel, where people can sell their own clothes online. I love the idea behind those websites: selling unworn clothes to others, reusing fashion, and reducing waste. It’s much cheaper to buy second hand and it’s also much more sustainable. But how do you do online shopping on those websites, when the databases are enormous and the search engine sometimes a little difficult? In this article I’ll first mention some of my favourite online shops for second hand shopping, then I’ll point out some problems with those websites, and of course I’ll also share some tips and tricks, so ensure you that even online second hand shopping is going to be a success for you.

Shopping preloved clothes:

5 online shops for second hand clothing

1. Okay so let’s start with a Dutch one: United Wardrobe (now Vinted). United Wardrobe is a websites that in the meantime doesn’t only focus on The Netherlands, they cover Germany, Belgium and France with their service as well.

How it works: you can upload pictures of your clothes online and you sell them over the platform. You receive 90% of the price, the other 10% is for United Wardrobe. You will receive your money when the buyer confirmed he/she received the clothes. The buyer also pays some money for administration. The platform is super save and you don’t have to be scared of not getting your money, or not receiving your clothes. I’ve sold many clothes here already and I’m really satisfied with the service from United Wardrobe.

2. The second platform I’ll share with you is Kleiderkreisel. Kleiderkreisel is a German website and covers Germany and Austria. However, if you speak German, and live inanother country, most people using the platform are willing to send it to you. Since I’ve moved back to The Netherlands, I’ve bought some clothes and just asked them to send it to my Dutch address instead.

How it works: this platform functions the same as United Wardrobe. You upload pictures of your clothing and can sell them over the platform. The buyer pays for the shipping costs and you can select how you would like your items to be shipped. When you pay over the system, Kleiderkreisel receives some money of the buyer, the seller receives the full amount. Differently from United Wardrobe, is the option to pay for your clothes directly to the seller. You can do this with online banking or whatsoever, but be sure the person is trustworthy, because you don’t want your money to be gone. You can check this in the reviews.

3. REBELLE is a platform I only discovered recently. On this platform you can either sell your own clothes, or you let them sell the items for you. You will receive up to 80% of the price. 

How it works: this platform is Europe wide and you are assured of high quality goods delivered to your door. You pay via the platform and it’s 100% save.

4. The fourth website I’d like to mention here is thredUP. I haven’t used thredUP myself, but I totally love their mission. 

How it works: sadly they do not ship to The Netherlands, which is a pitty, because they have a lot of second hand sustainable brands as well. They do ship to America and other parts of the world.

5. Last but not least is Vestiaire Collective. On this website you can find hundreds of different designer pieces. 

How it works: what I like about their concept is that the seller first has to ship the piece to them and they will forward it to the buyer after the piece has passed the quality test. The buyer will be 100% sure to get an authentic piece and the seller will be assured that the piece will arrive in the same condition as it has been sent. This makes the platform super safe.

Some problems or difficulties you have to take into account

The websites I mentioned before, are really great to either sell your own clothes or buy preloved ones from others. You pay only the fraction of the price, add something of value to your closet and help prevent clothes ending up in landfill. However, at those websites, you can face some real difficulties.

The hardest thing to learn, is to find what you’re looking for. The data bases are enormous and can be a little all over the place. If you don’t know what you exactly want and from what brand, it can feel like a needle in a haystack.

Another problem are the sizes. Because the pieces are second hand and just one of a kind, it can be the case that the size you want to have, is missing. Besides that, it’s hard to be 100% sure of the sizing, because sometimes you can’t return it back to the shop or seller.

Three thrifted looks:

How to successfully shop second hand online

It isn’t all bad and difficult. It’s also a lot of fun. How proud can you be to own your own GANNI piece without going bankrupt? No just kidding, we have to support fair fashion brands by buying new, but I also think that you shouldn’t spend your whole income on shopping.

Here my 4 ultimate tips to succeed in second hand online shopping:

  1. Know your exact sizes. What are the measurements of your hips, shoulders, waist,whatever you need to know if the piece will fit you. On those websites you can often ask questions to the seller, and I highly recommend you do so. Ask the sizes, the measurements in centimetres, so you can check wether it fits you or not.
  2. Know your fabrics. What is the piece made of? Is it synthetic or not? This will give you a indication on how the piece will look like in real life. It also indicates how to wash it and if it will look worn out anytime soon. I will do a longer post, if you think this will be helpful, to share you what the benefits of the different fabrics are. Just let me know!
  3. Know the brands you like and that fit you well. You can make a list in your phone with the different brands, so when you need for example a need sweater, you can go online and search for all the different brands and you’ll probably find something that matches your needs. I do this all the time and it takes some patience, but in the end you have a perfect sweater from the brand you love, for the fraction of the price.
  4. Go real life shopping. I do this to get some inspiration and in the end I probably didn’t buy anything. But then I know to have a look on how the sizes of the brand look like and what their fabrics are. So when you see something online, you know what to expect.

Last note

Those are my tips and I hope you know what to do, when you’re bathing in this huge amounts of online clothing. You will notice that second hand and online shopping can be a wonderful match as well!

Before we go I want to make some disclaimers. Shopping is fun, but it’s not the most important thing in the world. We should support the people that really need it, so don’t buy trash. Only buy out of need. And always do what feels right for you! 

(2) Comments

  1. Alisa says:

    This is a great post! Thank you for the useful information, Alexandra! I was looking for it the last months. I definitely should sell all my good clothes which aren’t my size anymore but still in a perfect condition. I didn’t want to bring it to the Second Hand shop because they want to have almost a half price as a fee.

    1. myslowworld says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

Comments are closed.

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