How to Thrift Shop Online Like a Pro


For those of us who live for the thrill of finding a perfect piece second hand, this pandemic has really put a cramp in our style. Luckily, there’s a way for you to still get your thrifting fix — without all the funky smells.

Online thrift shops are a great way to not only keep you safe but to sharpen your deal-getting abilities. Read on to learn the best tips and tricks to thrift shop online.

Why Thrift Shop Online?

We’ve all been there: you walk into a thrift shop and your brain completely overloads from the massive amounts of stuff everywhere. It’s hard to know where to begin and there’s that ever-present, nagging feeling that you’re missing out on an unchecked corner of the store.

With online thrift stores, all the items are not only organized but categorized. If you’re looking for a specific item (rather than just willing cool stuff to come to you), thrift shopping online is your best bet of finding it secondhand.

Help! Which Online Thrift Shop Should I Use?

Online thrift shoppers are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to secondhand platforms. One of the main factors to consider is exactly what you’re looking for.

Online Thrift Shopping for Furniture

If you’re on the hunt for home accessories and furniture, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist is a great place to start. Oftentimes, you can talk a seller down on price and, since you pick it up, there’s no costly shipping when it comes to purchasing big pieces. Pro tip: check out the “free stuff” categories on both platforms. You never know what people might just give away!

Online Thrift Shopping for Clothes

Purchasing budget-friendly clothes at an online thrift shop is a great way to stretch the boundaries of your style without breaking the bank.

For more curated pieces, Etsy is a great way to go. There are tons of independent resellers with a passion for vintage and re-worked clothing. Though it tends to be a bit more pricey, you can expect super high quality from this site.

For more contemporary clothing, thredUP, Depop, and Poshmark are your best bet. Each platform is super intuitive and gives great deals on modern trends. With Depop and Poshmark, you can reach out directly to the seller to work out a lower price or deal on a bundle of clothes.

Don’t forget about eBay! There are tons of sellers that specialize in both vintage and modern clothing—and the auction feature means you can snag really great deals. Just be sure to double-check that the item your purchasing is actually secondhand and not mass-produced, as that’s common on Ebay.

Know Which Brands Work for You

One of the risky parts of online thrift shopping is the fear of whether or not an item of clothing will fit you or not.

If you’re an avid thrifter, chances are you’ve stumbled across a certain brand or style that really speaks to you, that you own a lot of pieces from, and know exactly how the sizes run.

Not only does this help avoid any “it won’t zip!” meltdowns but it makes searching through online thrift shops much easier. Instead of endlessly scrolling, you’ve got a great jumping-off point to find items of clothing that suit your style —and your body— perfectly.

Take Your Measurements

While knowing how a certain brand fits you is a great foundation for your first foray to thrift shop online, it can be limiting if you spot an item of clothing you adore from a brand you’re unfamiliar with.

Knowing your measurements is an (almost) foolproof way to make sure your online score fits just how you like. Most online thrifting platforms list the measurements. If you’re shopping from an individual seller, such as on Depop or Poshmark, you can message them for the measurements of a garment if they’re not already listed.

Especially when it comes to vintage fashion, which tends to run smaller than modern sizing, knowing your measurements is a necessary step to ensuring your newest thrifted find works for you.

Set a Budget

A person can go broke buying bargains. It can be tempting to keep adding items to your cart when the prices are so low and, before you know it, you’ve spent more than you would have at a regular store.

Especially when it comes to auction sites like eBay where the price can skyrocket in just a few mouse clicks, sticking to your budget is paramount to taking advantage of online thrifting deals.

Being mindful of your spending habits makes sure you maximize the good deals. Shopping online means you can utilize digital coupons to save a percentage off or even get free stuff on your birthday.

Be Patient

If you have a vision for an extraordinary secondhand piece, chances are you won’t find it on your first search. And, if you do, you’ve got some thrifting superpowers. It can take months (even years) to score the white go-go boots (or whatever) of your dreams in your size and budget. Setting up keyword notifications in your browser is a great way to know the moment a new pair of boots is added to a site.

Your persistence will pay off. And, when it does, the feeling will be wonderful.

Check the Return Policy

For those items that don’t quite work, it’s important to know your options when it comes to phasing them out of your closet. Before purchasing, read up on a seller’s return policy. Often times, individual sellers won’t take returns. Larger platforms such as thredUP do take returns.

If you find yourself unable to return a garment that doesn’t work for you, try reselling it yourself. It’s a great way to make your money back and extend the life of the piece of clothing.

Go Forth and Thrift Shop Online!

Now that you know the basics (plus some tips and tricks!) of how to thrift shop online for furniture and clothes, take your measurements, set those keyword alerts, and keep your eyes peeled for the newest addition to your wardrobe.

You never know when that perfect piece will find you. For more advice and educational articles, check out our website.


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