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Tips For Shopping Vintage & Second-Hand Online

Tips For Shopping Vintage & Second-Hand Online

Let’s be real: it is obviously very difficult to find AMAZING vintage  & second-hand clothes online. You never know what you’re going to get until it arrives. You think you’re getting one thing & then it arrives looking totally different ?

Today I am giving you some tips & tricks for thrifting online. A lot of these tips I picked up from my best friend Erica of @fashionlush. She has so many secrets when it comes to thrift shopping online & finding vintage pieces. Personally I love thredUP. It’s the best online thrift store that I’ve been using for a while now. You can use code SKINNY for 30% off your first purchase too !!

SO HERE ARE ALL OUR JUICY SECRETS when it comes to thrifting ( we will also get into selling tips too- duh ).

The Skinny Confidential’s 5 Tips For Shopping Vintage & Second-Hand Online:

Make a plan.

Be sure to have a vibe- I like to create an Instagram ‘favorites’ folder, & on there I have all my favorite vintage finds featured by bloggers, celebs or the everyday girl. It’s named ‘VINTAGE BABY.’ This way I know exactly what I’m looking for. 

Think of this like a pinboard, but on Instagram. You can refer back to it & keep adding to your IG FOLDER. 

( For instance, I was looking for this very specific Louis Vuitton cosmetic bag, so I put it in my Instagram folder. One day I was looking on my favorite online thrift store ( yup, thredUP – don’t worry we’ll get more into what it is in a sec ) & there it was. SOLD. I use it all the time now.

To say finding an item that was on my vintage vision board thrilling is an understatement. Sometimes you don’t find what you’re looking for right away so to have it all laid out on Instagram is incredibly strategic. LOL.  

Tips For Shopping Vintage & Second-Hand Online
online thrift shopping tips

Be patient.

This brings me to my next point…BE PATIENT. It’s so hard to do but have faith.

It’s frustrating to know exactly what you want & not be able to find it anywhere. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me- like we’ve all been there.

Recently there was this buttery, dreamy Rails black & white flannel that I wanted so bad. I had it pieced together with a whole outfit in my head, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Then one random day when I was perusing thredUP ( AGAIN ) & it popped up. The feeling was so exciting- almost like finding treasure ?

Something about the hunt really gets me going, which is why I love to shop vintage & second-hand.

So BE PATIENT. What you want will not always be available right when you want it which is why the Instagram vision board is important. You can keep checking back to easily search what you want on thredUP, even daily, because you just never know. 

Shop on a well-known site.

This is obvious. Make sure you do your research before committing to any site. We’ve all heard horror stories about buying something on a random site & it not turning up or showing up totally different than pictured. 

I like to really do my research when it comes to shopping online. For second-hand & thrift shopping thredUP is my go-to because it’s high quality, there are over 35,000 brands & you get things for up to 90% off what the retail price was.  Plus, I always find vintage pieces too. 

Also, what I love about them is they’re devoted to decreasing the fashion footprint. New clothes & factories do have an impact on the environment so buying pre-owned items gives clothes a new, longer life. 

Quality is important.

Buying high quality, classic items that last for a long time can save you money in the long run, while also helping the environment. 

thredUP items go through multiple inspections to make sure that each item is in excellent condition & that the listings are accurate. There’s nothing worse than ordering something, excitedly waiting for it to arrive, then being disappointed when you get something crappy in the mail. Also, when their packages arrive at my door it’s always packaged & presentable. 

Quality, quality, quality, you guys. Research before shopping anywhere online. 

how to buy second-hand online

Search for one-of-a-kind pieces.

As I mentioned above, finding that Rails top & Louis Vuitton cosmetic bag was so much fun because it wasn’t available anywhere else. It’s sort of this really fun game to play with yourself. LOL. 

Finding unique pieces that no one else has ( or can get ! ) makes your wardrobe more interesting, especially when you have a vacation or events coming up. It’s special to know that no one else will have it. 

With the Rails flannel I ordered a black velvet dress & I paired them together. It was so major. Buying pre-loved clothes & shoes is an affordable way to purchase classic high-quality items, but also play around with your wardrobe & buy things that you wouldn’t normally wear. 

Tips For Shopping Vintage & Second-Hand Online

You can step out of your comfort zone, affordably. CHIC.

Sidenote: Know your shit when it comes to selling your clothes. Do your research here too. I’ll never forget being 21 & selling my stuff on an unauthorized site. I sent all the goods & the buyer disputed the transaction & there was nothing the company could do about it. A major lesson was learned, so I always do my research when it comes to buying/selling online. 

On that note, I went to straight to the source for some of the best tips for selling your clothes.

Here are some of thredUP’s top tips for selling your clothes on their site:

♡ Make the closet clean out fun! Keep what sparks joy, get rid of what doesn’t.

♡ Try to sell the luxe labels opposed to non-luxe, as they’ll sell for more.

♡ Take care of your clothes! This means:

+ shaving your sweaters so they aren’t covered in pills.

+ make sure all stains & odors are removed.

+ replace missing buttons or broken zippers.

+ iron & fold your items nicely so the it gives a great first impression.

{ source: 1, 2 }

There you have it. Some of my favorite tips & tricks for buying pre-loved & vintage clothing. Would love to know if you have anything to add. 

Be sure to use code SKINNY for 30% off your first purchase with thredUP.

Happy shopping!

love, lauryn.

+ the lint roller you need in your life.

++ how to organize the shit out of your house.

+ this post is in collaboration with thredUP- as always, all opinions are my own. 


  1. I love vintage shopping, I cannot wait to do it again soon!

    Danielle |

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