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Thrifting Online Like a Pro: Everything You Need to Know

Thrifting online doesn't have to be overwhelming. These tips make online secondhand shopping from the comfort of your home easier than ever.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen

Thrifting is only increasing in popularity, as more and more people are transitioning into eco-conscious lifestyles. And we're all for it: Shopping secondhand is one of the easiest ways to find "new" clothing without breaking the bank or harming the planet.

As much as we love hitting up our local thrift shops and combing through the racks, we know thrifting in person isn't an option for everyone. That's where thrifting online come in. But while thrifting from your phone is amazing, it can also be incredibly overwhelming.

First of all, there are millions of options to scan through, making it hard to know where to start. Second, finding the perfect thrifted fit online isn't nearly as easy as it is in-person when you can try on an item IRL. That's why we're sharing a handful of ways to make thrifting online a little less daunting.

With these tips, you'll be secondhand shopping from the comfort of your couch, stress-free.

Thrifting Online Like a Pro: 5 Tips You Need

1. Know Your Sizes

One of the hardest parts of thrifting online is figuring out the sizing. Because of how differently brands' sizes are, you could buy three pairs of pants in the same size and wind up with three totally different fits. That's why knowing your measurements is so key.

Once you know your measurements, most platforms will let you filter through the options by size. (For instance, you can search for jeans with a 29" waist instead of depending on an unreliable size 8.) This will not only allow you to find secondhand clothes you know will fit, but will also narrow your choices down significantly.

Extra bonus: For platforms like Depop and Poshmark, you can even message the seller and ask for all the measurements personally. That way, you'll know exactly what you're getting into.

2. Keep Your Favorite Brands in Mind

Having certain brands you're already familiar with can really aid in the process of finding great secondhand clothing online. When you buy from brands you already know and love, you'll be less likely to make a purchase you regret and wind up getting rid of down the line.

Pro Tip: This includes fast fashion brands, too! If you can't give them up, buying them secondhand is a great eco-friendly alternative.

3. Know What You Want

In order to avoid overconsumption, try not to mindlessly shop even when you're doing so secondhand. Instead, get onto those apps with a plan and an idea of what your closet is lacking.

Whether you've been searching for a vintage blazer or a perfect sage green sweater, knowing what you want will drastically declutter the search results (and your closet). You'll only see what you're interested in.

4. Make Sure It's Truly Secondhand

Unfortunately, in a sea of thrifted pieces, there are also people drop-shipping products under the guise of being secondhand. Drop-shippers typically purchase their items from a third party, then have it sent out to the customer.

Luckily, there are some red flags to look out for. First, check for personal pictures of the item they're selling. If there aren't any, skip it. Also see if there's a huge delivery window. If the item takes weeks to arrive, or the arrival date is really unspecific (like "14 to 35 days," for example), look for another option instead.

5. Have an Open Mind

While thrifting online with a plan is great, it's also a really amazing feeling when you come across something you never knew you needed until you saw it. Don't be afraid to just filter by a certain color or style you find appealing and see where it takes you. You may find a favorite clothing item you'll never want to take off.

Did you learn a lot about thrifting online? Next up, watch this video on sustainable fashion: