Thrift Shopping…Online?

thrift store

Whenever I need inspiration, I assume like most of us, the internet is where I turn. Recipes, make up techniques, outfit ideas, DIY advice, there’s a blog post or a YouTube video for whatever I need.

However what seems to be cropping up more and more is that a lot of the items people have in their posts are thrifted. Now I adore second-hand stores and bargain hunting so its exciting that it’s becoming more common and less ‘ew’. People are proud that they bought that awesome jumper or those retro jeans second-hand because they cost £25 less than their friend’s brand new pair and look twice as cool.

The problem is there really aren’t many good quality thrift stores near me, there are lots of charity shops that I happily potter about in but I usually find, at most, 2 items that are wearable. So as usual I took to the internet to solve my problem.

I found a whole community not only buying second-hand clothes but also selling their own! It’s all totally self organised and people barter down the prices and also do swaps if both parties are selling an item of interest. These communities can be found all over the place, my favourite’s are on Facebook as the exchanges are super speedy. You post a picture and description of your item and state your asking price. People then leave comments if they’re interested and you either sell to the earliest or the highest bidder. Arrange a time and place to meet and voila you have a new addition to your wardrobe!

Gumtree is also a good place for this however I’m less keen due to all comments on items being sent directly to the sellers email. This means other people who are interested can’t see offers that have been made so there isn’t much competition, on the Facebook pages people often offer you higher prices than other bidders if they really want what you’re selling.

I think this is such a great idea; not only do I get bargains but I also get to shift a lot of my unwanted clothes and make a bit of money off of it too! Now, I know this isn’t revolutionary as eBay is a prime example of this. However through sites like Facebook and Gumtree everything is done locally – as you meet up with the bidder in person and make the exchange face to face there aren’t any shipping requirements. Here’s where you need to be cautious! Always meet in a busy public place, many (including myself) arrange to meet outside tube stations and shopping centres. I always take someone with me and it’s a good idea if you’re selling something expensive (e.g. designer labels or electrical goods) to arrange for them to be picked up from your address and to make sure someone is home with you. This isn’t a huge concern as all interest shown in an item is in clear view of the rest of the group members so there’s a degree of accountability.

I just think this is a really cool idea and besides the bargains and pocket change it creates a real sense of community. People have made friends through these groups, everyone is polite, friendly and helpful towards one another and it’s lovely to see how happy your items can make people!

I thought I’d share my new pass time with you and also challenge you to have a look around and see if there’s any online thrifting happening in your area! A good way to start is to type in to Facebook: ‘Items for sale in [insert area name]’ and see where it take you.

Leave your discoveries in the comments below to help your fellow thrifters out!

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