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How to Choose the Right Second-Hand Website in 2022?

Hi everyone, I hope you had a good start to the new year. The other day I read an article about fast fashion on Linkedin and it made me think that:

– although it is great that more people are aware of the negative sides of fast fashion, there is still a lack of knowledge about alternatives to fast fashion,

– one needs to be aware that sustainable/ethical/eco-friendly/fair fashion is more expensive than fast fashion, and

– not everyone will go/ is ready to go 100% cold turkey and pledge to #shopstop.

How to choose the right second-hand website in 2022-currently wearing-swiss blog
I am wearing Sézane sweater, Sandro pants and Coccinelle handbag – all second-hand from Vestiaire Collective.

So how to make a difference and change our shopping habits? In my experience, finding alternative and more sustainable ways to get “new” clothes is more effective than asking people to stop shopping. It is less aggressive and achievable. That is why it is important to know how to choose the right second-hand website.

There are many online second-hand platforms out there but my favorite are Vestiaire Collective, Vinted, Facebook Marketplace, and MyPrivateDressing. Each caters to a different audience – Vestiaire Collective and MyPrivateDressing are focused on luxury brands. Vinted and Marketplace, on the other hand, are more down to earth. Which also reflects in the price of the listed items.

I have the best experience with MyPrivateDressing which is an online platform for Swiss-based shoppers. I always aim to buy clothes and accessories that are new and still have a price tag. If you use a credit card to pay for an item, the amount gets reserved and only after you confirm receipt of the item, the seller is paid.

Vestiaire Collective is the most-known worldwide second-hand platform. I like the variety of brands they feature but again, one should focus on new, unworn items. When I bought clothes that were previously worn, the condition was not great.

So what are my top tips to shop successfully on online second-hand platforms?

  1. Choose items that are new and preferably still have a price tag. This way you avoid unpleasant surprises, holes in the clothes, jackets with zips that don’t work, etc.
  2. Choose a website that pays the seller only after you received the item and verified it.
  3. Negotiate the price requested by the seller. In 99% of the time, the seller is willing to go down with the price.
  4. Choose the right size. I like French brands Sandro, See by Chloé, and Sézane. But, as you can imagine, each of them has different sizing. Visiting a store that sells these brands and trying the pants/blouses, or sweaters on helped me avoid buying items that would not fit me.
  5. Don’t buy an item just because it is a famous brand. Rather, buy something that will suit you, fits your style, and corresponds to your lifestyle.
  6. Find a good tailor. I found it tremendously helpful to know that I have someone who can take in my pants or shorten my new jeans.
  7. Beware of the final price – for example, I live in Switzerland and have to pay VAT, shippment fee and evaluation fee everytime I order something from abroad. And once I receive the item, I also have to pay customs handling fee. So at the end, the final price goes up at least 30%. But it is still cheaper than buying new clothes. Especially if you choose expensive brands.
  8. Last but not least – follow your colour palette. I have mentioned it several times because it truly changed my life. If you don’t know what is your colour palette, check out this article or this video.

Did you find this article on how to choose the right second-hand website in 2022 helpful? Let me know in the comments below.