Get in loser, we’re going shopping!
But obviously it’s me so it’s not ya normal shopping trip, with big brands and fast fashion, I’m talking a slow second-hand shopping trip on apps like Shpock, Vinted, Depop and so on.
Gone are the days of trawling through racks of fantastic secondhand clothes, actually touching and seeing the wonderful items people from all walks of life have donated; charity shop shopping in 2021 is a very distant memory. The switch to online second-hand shopping was inevitable, with Coronavirus restrictions and the shutting of shops for the safety of the country, but fear not we can still bag some amazing second-hand beauties. So that’s what we’re going to do today!
Specifically, I want to talk you through my personal Do’s and Don’t’s of online second-hand shopping. It can be difficult at the best of times shopping brand new, and second-hand can be an even greater HEADACHE! But hopefully my list of online etiquette can be of some help, so let’s get into it!
Ask for more pictures!
If you see the item of your dreams but the seller has only uploaded one or two pictures then feel free to ask for more. If you need to see more than just the item laying on the seller’s bedroom floor, then ask – I know I want more than that. I also sell on some of these apps, and sometimes I can be like ughhhh *eyeroll* when people ask for more pictures but I get it! At the end of the day you are parting with your hard earned cash money therefore want to be 1000% sure about it and know as much as possible about the item. If the seller is reluctant to add more, maybe leave it and look for something similar. Or maybe wait for the item to be reduced in price. Anyway my mum always taught me if you don’t ask you don’t get!
Just buy for the sake of it!
It may seem like it’s not as damaging as fast fashion, which is correct to an extent, but if you don’t really need it or are just buying because you’re money is burning a hole in your bank account then don’t do it. Save your moolah sis! In all seriousness, if you are just buying because it’s an impulse buy and may not be something you love and will get much wear out of, leave it. It’s awesome you’re buying secondhand though – keep that energy but don’t just buy buy buy!
Ask for measurements.
Like asking for more pictures, you just want to be sure of the item you’re buying. For myself whenever I see the beautiful dresses that Vinted has to offer, I always have to ask about the length of the dress as my 6ft height means a lot of dresses do not leave much to the imagination (if you know what I mean.) I think some sellers think I’m nuts but if I didn’t ask I’d have a wardrobe full of dresses I couldn’t and wouldn’t wear. If you want to know just ask, what’s the worst they could say? No? 9/10 sellers are more than happy to send them over as they want to sell the item.
Feel pressured to buy.
The amount of times I’ve been bombarded with messages about buying an item I may have just liked or viewed. It’s almost harassment under the guise of “I’m doing you a favour, hun” – I appreciate that people want their items sold and just want to know if someone wants to buy it. But often sellers send message after message about I’m posting tomorrow, I can do it for £2 cheaper, are you interested all from a quick glance which can be quite overwhelming and might make you think oh ok I’ll buy BUT remember you don’t owe them anything. Even if you have asked them questions, you don’t have to buy – again if you aren’t sure, don’t just buy for the sake of it or because you feel bad.
Read reviews of the seller.
Reviews speak volumes. We read reviews for restaurants or cafés so why wouldn’t we for online sellers. I’ve had plenty of near misses on Shpock where I’ve bought an item, been somewhat disappointed only to read after the fact that the seller isn’t the best at describing the condition of the item(s) but that’s my own fault. Nowadays if I see items I like I’ll add them to my favourites, look at the sellers page incase there’s any other bits I like then follow my liking spree up with a quick read of their reviews. I don’t believe everything I read but if there is a common negative theme with the reviews, I’ll likely leave purchasing the items. Obviously you can’t guarantee that even a 5 star seller will get everything right every time but it is somewhat more comforting to know that their customers are typically very happy with their purchases.
Expect thing to be perfect.
At the end of the day it’s secondhand. I feel like this is obvious but some people have very very high expectations even when the seller explicitly states the condition of the item. I’m not saying every second-hand item is one man’s trash but it won’t always be your perfect treasure.
Now that I have imparted some of my wisdom on online second-hand shopping, I’m off to upload a truckload of items onto Vinted! (you can find me on Vinted under the username emmabloodyporter – see ya there!)
Must dash x