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I love thrifting. I really do, it’s such a fun thing to go shopping and give a piece of clothing or furniture a second life. It was such a fun pastime of mine when I was out and about more often than I am now. I had my own set of tips and tricks for when I would be able to thrift shop in the stores, but when the pandemic hit I came up with tips for thrifting online.
I learned to love online thrift shopping pretty quickly. It was by no means close to the experience of thrifting in person, in fact, it was a lot harder and a lot more expensive at times. I had to really learn how to find good deals, get the best quality, and not get scammed along the way. Here are a few of my best tips for shopping on a few different platforms. I’ll go through a few of my tips for shopping on Instagram, Poshmark/Mercari, and ThredUP.
When shopping on Instagram thrift accounts one of the biggest things to be aware of is of scammers. You will of course find scammers elsewhere on the internet, but of all of the online thrift outlets I’ve found you really have to be careful of this one. It’s important to go through the account and look for signs of a false account: inconsistent backgrounds for items, stock photos and no real photos, and no personalization for the account. There are fake accounts that try and convince you that they are real by posting proof that they take from other accounts to make you believe that they are legit. Trust your intuition on this one, you should start by being cautious of buyers on Instagram until you can get a better feel if they are real or not. A good rule of thumb is to follow them for awhile because if it is a fake account they get shut down pretty quickly.
My Top Tips for IG: start by following bigger accounts that are credible, beware of fake accounts, and follow people with a similar aesthetic to you.
There are TONS of amazing thrift accounts that I would highly recommend. I purchase many of my clothing items from Instagram thrift accounts, and I’ll link my Instagram guide that I made of my favorite accounts 🙂
My tips for thrifting online would be nothing if I didn’t talk about these two platforms. Poshmark/Mercari are great places to thrift good items or to sell your old items (check out my post on tips of how to sell things). The hard thing with these sites is that you can’t browse things very easily. You have to search for specific items which makes it hard to discover new things. You have to have a good idea of what you are looking for and even then you might find yourself really looking through things. The trick with finding items is sometimes getting creative with the wording of what you are searching for. If you are looking for a cream cropped puffer jacket I would start by searching that phrase. But then you should try “cropped puffer coat” and then use the color filter to find a cream color. Or try “Puffy” or “down” or even just “cropped winter coat” which may give you what you want but will probably give many more results.
If you want to thrift on Poshmarks and discover new items cheaply, my best suggestions is to search for “bundles” or “lot” of something. Sometimes I would search for “Aerie bundle” and it would have results for multiple clothing items that might interest me. My favorite find was 15 items of a variety of brands that I liked all in my size. You don’t always find things like this but “lot of leggings” could bring up a variety of great leggings for you. Adding those keywords could help you discover more clothing for less money.
Also, you can search for something pretty vague and then utilize the search filters to help you find things!
ThredUp is another online thrift account that is easier to browse but there are a LOT of things to browse through. With Poshmark/Mercari or Instagram there are individual sellers behind the items, but ThredUP is a large company that directs the sales. There are people who sell their clothing to ThredUP, but the company takes care of correspondence and posting items. This sometimes makes it harder to see the quality of the item or know more about where it came from. I think ThredUP is a wonderful site, but this is where I typically come to look for my professional clothing for work or I look for specific brands but never for specific items.
With Poshmark and Mercari you can always search for a specific bag or brand name item, but with ThredUP it’s really better to search for brands you love and browse the items. You can also search for things like “leggings” or “boot cut jeans” and find a variety of things in those categories, but for some reason it’s much harder to find “Lululemon Leggings” or “American Eagle boot cut jeans”. I find that I have to keep my searches pretty vague in order to find things, and I typically end up browsing for longer. BUT you will find better price points on this site than most of the others and the experience feels more similar to thrifting in person.
There are many online shops you can check out while you shop from home. It’s something I love to do and I would much rather shops from places like these than from fast fashion places (which I still do sometimes, I just prefer thrifting for many reasons). Have you shopped on any of these places? Any other recommendations that you have?
Share your tips for thrifting online in the comments 🙂