I shop secondhand in person most of the time but when I’m looking for a specific item I sometimes shop used online.
I’m sharing my best tips on how to successfully shop secondhand online.
How To Successfully Shop Secondhand Online
Use Accurate Measurements
Sizing is subjective so don’t go by the size indicated, small medium or large, instead refer to the measurements in the description. Learn how to accurately measure your body here. Knowing your correct measurements when shopping online is paramount.
What if no one is around to help you accurately measure your body? You can measure another piece of clothing you already own that fits you well and compare those measurements to the item you’re interested in purchasing. Be sure to compare similar items of clothing for the best results, (jeans with jeans, dresses with dresses).
If you’re buying a hat you will need an accurate head size measurement. Learn how to correctly measure your head here.
I find buying shoes online tricky as shoe brand sizing can vary. Most often I avoid buying shoes online unless I can return them. I make an exception for buying used boots online as I’ve come to prefer buying one full size up so I can add in thick insoles. This allows some room for error.
Pay Attention To Fabric Contents
Some fabrics have stretch which aides in proper fit. Look for fabrics that include elastane, nylon or Lycra in the contents. Some wool, polyester and most knits will have some stretch. If in doubt you can always ask the seller.
Elastic or tie waists are ideal for online shopping as they fit a variety of sizes.
Read The Reviews
No matter where I shop online I always read the reviews. I don’t expect spotless reviews because I know one can’t satisfy everyone all the time but I do expect an overwhelming majority of satisfied customers. Reviews are the easiest way to know that you can trust the seller to deliver on their promises.
Look Closely At The Photos
This seems obvious but did you know you can often enlarge the photos? Clicking the item and enlarging the photos helps you assess the wear of the item.
If you’re unsure of something simply contact the seller. Sellers prefer dealing with questions prior to shipping rather than returns afterwards.
Narrow Down Your Search Parameters
Most online shops have dropdown menus to help you narrow your search parameters. Using them will save you lots of time.
I was able to locate these sequinned Anthropologie jeans on Poshmark because I knew the product name that Anthro sold them under.
Browsing to search for items on large websites works best with modifiers from the drop down menus such as color or style.
Often times when I shop for vintage items through Ebay I will narrow down my searches by opting to only look at items listed in auctions ending the soonest. You have many modifiers you can add to narrow your search parameters.
Do They Offer Returns?
Many secondhand resellers will not offer returns. Some resellers offer returns but will not cover the cost of return shipping or the initial shipping charges you paid. Some sellers also charge a restocking fee for returned items.
Pay Attention To Shipping Customs And Duty
Often if you are located outside of the United States shipping charges can really add up. Some online sellers won’t ship outside of the US.
Most of the time if you are ordering online internationally you will be held responsible for any additional customs or duty charges. These fees are usually due upon delivery.
Places To Shop Secondhand Online
Some resellers sell directly from Instagram. Just put in the hashtag #reseller #forsale or if you’re looking for vintage items #vintage.
What about you?
Have you shopped secondhand online? Were you happy with your experience?
Please share any secondhand online shopping tips you have.