Lockdown has seen us spring-cleaning our wardrobes, partly as a pastime, and partly because spatial clarity brings mental clarity – and we could all benefit from that right now. So, what to do with those piles of clothes, shoes and accessories that haven’t been touched in years? (Although six months should ideally be the cut-off point!) The economy has been shaken in recent times and re-selling is the perfect way to make some extra cash whilst you sleep – and why not rehouse those neglected pieces! Buying pre-loved is a great way to stretch the budget and indulge in a little retail therapy whilst injecting some character and new (but old) life into your closet. So, let’s explore the advantages of buying and selling and the secrets of how to do so, seamlessly.
The benefits of buying and selling pre-loved
Buying and selling pre-loved is an effortless way to play your part in contributing towards a more sustainable and circular economy whilst eradicating waste and saying ‘no’ to the ubiquitous and dreaded landfill. One (wo)man’s trash is another’s treasure, so if you have a piece of furniture or clothing that is in good condition and needs a new home, don’t you dare think about binning it! Buying pre-loved is also an amazing way to inject some individuality into your personal style. Who can relate to that awkward experience when Samantha wears the same dress as Miley Cyrus in Sex and The City 2 (The Movie)? Well, with pre-loved and vintage pieces, you’ll be turning heads for all the right reasons, eradicating awkward twinning. And similarly with interiors – buying antique pieces is a fabulous way to inject some life and individuality into your home.
Where to buy and re-sell
Many people will drop their unloved items off at the charity shop, which is fantastic! However, if you want to make some extra money, then it’s helpful to know that there are many online platforms where people can re-sell. If you’re selling something that isn’t particularly deemed high-end, then Ebay, Asos Marketplace or Depop are perfect platforms. Also, Instagram and Facebook can be great tools for selling to your friends and followers. Via your story you can alert people to your for sale items. It’s an easy and effective way to sell. If you want to sell something of higher value, then there are several other platforms available. Ebay or Depop remain options of course, but if you’re looking to make more then using a company such as Vestiaire Collective, Hardly Ever Worn It, Rebelle or Conscious Curating will ensure that you get a higher fee. Be sure to double-check the amount you’ll receive after commission has been extracted, and the specific process of selling. For example, Vestiaire Collective take a cut of up to 25% (depending on the price your item sells for). You don’t want to be disappointed in the after-sale profit, so do your homework.
How to buy and sell with confidence
For many of us, it can be a little anxiety-provoking to buy online or pre-loved. We typically worry that we cannot trust that the quality will be good enough. We wonder if the product is authentic. However, if you do your research on the seller beforehand and ensure you are happy with the images you have received and that the seller’s credentials are positive, then there shouldn’t be any issues. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller for videos or further details before buying. Also, if you’re buying from a website that you don’t recognise, then always use Trust Pilot to check credentials. If you’re buying from somewhere such as Hardly Ever Worn It then you can be assured that the item has been authenticity-checked. Always ensure that you check the seller’s rating and then you can make private purchases with confidence. Lastly, if the piece does arrive and you are unhappy, know that many re-sellers offer a returns service and a shop-with-confidence service to ensure authenticity and customer satisfaction. Similarly, if you are buying pre-loved from a charity or vintage shop, many now do offer a returns service. As a rule of thumb: don’t be afraid to ask. Double check everything.
When re-selling your pieces, always make sure that you’re selling seasonally. Don’t be surprised if you list a flimsy dress in the middle of winter and receive little interest. Think about what you’re looking to buy around that time of year and then sell similar pieces. Remember that buying pre-loved is a great way to save money – you do not need the latest Zara release to look good! Finally, always consider your buyer. Honesty is the only policy. If an item has a fault, say so. Be as detailed and transparent as possible in your description and photograph any imperfections. Ensure your pieces are presentable before selling. Best to assume that your buyer has more sense than money. Mend if you need to. Get out your needle and thread and your sales, fingers crossed, will be all sewn up!