Money & Shopping Wardrobe

Tips for Buying Secondhand Clothing

Shopping for clothing that has been previously owned can often be seen in a negative light, but it’s inexpensive and helpful to the environment. So if that’s something you’re interested in doing, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your thrift shopping experience.

Try out online secondhand clothing sites. There are a lot of websites where you can look for secondhand clothing. The great thing about looking for items online is that you can search specifically for what you want. Instead of having to browse through a whole bunch of clothes you don’t like you can type in “black jeans” or “gray cardigan” and see what comes up. Vinted and Poshmark are just two of the sites you can use to both buy and sell used clothing.

Go to thrift stores in nicer neighborhoods. A lot of times those will have a better selection in general, so even if it means going a little out of your way, you might find something you like a little more quickly. Don’t just stick to the closest thrift store to where you live. Try out different ones, especially if you live somewhere with several different thrift stores.

Make sure you’re not buying items just because they’re cheaper. Ask yourself if you’d buy that piece of clothing for twice as much or ten dollars more. This will give you some perspective on the reason you’re interested in purchasing the item. Sure, items at thrift stores can often be inexpensive, but if you make multiple purchases, the total amount will quickly go up.

Be aware of the quality and condition of what you’re buying. Does the item have holes in it? Does it seem pretty worn out already? Make sure you inspect the clothing in case this is a thrift store where lower-quality items are still sold. If you’re shopping online, odds are the condition will be mentioned in the description. If you have any questions, you should usually be able to send the buyer a message.

Know what you’re looking for. Instead of browsing and hoping to see something you think looks good, make a list of what you’d potentially like to buy. That way, you can browse quickly and figure out easily whether or not you’ll find what you’re looking for.

If you have any additional tips for thrift shopping, either online or in a physical building, let me know in the comments.


  1. Thanks for the tips! That last one is something I’m still working on. I’ll admit I have an easier time shopping second-hand online because I stick to exactly what I’m looking for. Still, I like supporting local shops too. Dilemmas…


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