Sunday, 27 September 2015

My Top 10 Second Hand Resale Websites


In a world where we are increasingly aware of the effects of overconsumption and long to streamline our lives and wardrobes, constantly buying new isn't the answer. A new breed of internet start ups think they have the solution - buying, wearing and then re-selling second hand items, which benefits the economy without harming the environment, and also allows you to constantly re-evaluate and curate your own wardrobe with pieces that already have a story. Read on for my picks of the sites doing it best - from designer investment pieces at bargain prices to high street fashion given a new lease of life.

1. Vestaire Collective
Rating: $$-$$$
Good for: Luxury items for up to 70% off the RRP

The French website calls itself “the leading online marketplace to buy and sell luxury pre-owned fashion”, and with features in Vogue, 3 million users and 1000 vintage treasures added daily, it’s not hard to see why. The in-house authentication service and quality checks eliminate the problems that sometimes occur when buying second hand clothing, and with up to 70% off the original retail price, it’s a great place to find that investment piece you can hand down over generations.

2. Rebelle
Rating: $$-$$$
Good for: Supporters of “sustainable re-commerce”

The German start-up is one of Europe’s fastest growing online marketplaces for second-hand designer fashion, with over 600 brands on offer from €50 Marc Cain dresses to €5600 Chanel hand bags! All items are inspected for quality and authenticity before being sent on the buyer, and shipping is available to all countries in the EU. Tip: Subscribe to Rebelle’s newsletter with “the latest designer news, hot offers and pieces” and receive a €15 shopping voucher.

3. Vinted (Germany: Kleiderkreisel)
Rating: $-$$
Good for: High street bargains and a thriving community 
A kind of upgraded Ebay, Vinted’s mission is to make “second hand the #1 choice worldwide”, and with 8.5 million users and an item sold every 49 seconds, it’s well on its way! As a site dedicated purely to the resale of clothing and accessories, expect to pay slightly more than Ebay prices, but you also get access to forums and a thriving Vinted community who love nothing better than second hand, clothes swaps and DIYs.

4. Etsy
Rating: $-$$
Good for: Unique finds from individual sellers

What started out in 2005 as a platform for small business owners has quickly grown into a global phenomenon, with almost 22m users and 32m items for sale in Etsy’s “human, authentic and community-centric global and local marketplace”. Find an endless assortment of unique products, including upcycled clothing and accessories and one-of-a-kind furniture made with recyclable materials.

5. Vide Dressing
Rating: $$-$$$
Good for: Curated lookbooks and an international community

Founded by Meryl Job, former product manager at Chanel, Vide Dressing was the first online vintage store and now stocks over 8000 brands with specific sites for France, the UK, Germany and Italy. The site’s biggest strength is its focus on the “customer community” – whether that’s providing a curated selection of the latest trends or a Pinterest-style part of the site where its 785K members can share their profiles and current listings. Look out for: Margarita Missoni’s exclusive wardrobe sale, with all proceeds going to the children’s charity OAfrica.

6. HEWI London (Hardly Ever Worn It)
Rating: $-$$$
Good for: Designer brands at a price point 
Hardly Ever Worn It is the challenger to Vestaire Collective, with a similar range of high-end designer products across women’s, men’s and kids “from £10 to £10,000”. The website may not be as slick as their biggest competitor’s, but the no-frills design and focus on deals such as “Top Designers Under £500” means that you’ll have no problem finding what you want. Tip: check out the sale tab, where you can find quality designer items for £40 and under.

7. 1st Dibs

Rating: $$$$
Good for: Everything from fine art to furniture and fashion

Not just restricted to pre-owned clothing and accessories, 1st Dibs provides access to “the best selection of rare and beautiful objects from around the world”, with everything from unique vintage furniture to authentic Picasso paintings! If the price points are well out of your range, simply allow yourself to be inspired by what’s on offer and pick up some great DIY ideas.

8. Ebay
Rating: $-$$
Good for: Bargain hunters with time to spare

It would be remiss not to include the ‘original’ online auction house, where items can be listed and sometimes sold for as low as a penny. Over the years, however, both sellers and buyers have become much more savvy, from the influx of mass-produced fast fashion at “Buy It Now” prices to special ‘sniper’ software that ensures your bid is placed at exactly the right time. There are definitely still bargains to be found, though, if you have enough time to spare!

9. Tradesy
Rating: $-$$$
Good for: Wedding dresses and an easy shopping process

Tradesy makes “resale fast, simple and stylish – for buyers and sellers.” The American-based company’s main aim is to make the whole process as quick and easy as possible, whether that’s providing free shipping kits, being able to list your item in under 60 seconds, or through the customer journey, with a wide range of filters including price, colour, condition and availability to make sure you find what you need. Check out: The separate “Wedding” section, which boasts an enormous product range and free shipping on all purchases.

10. Rent the Runway
Rating: $-$$
Good for: Closed-loop consumption

Last but not least, Rent the Runway is a different kind of shopping experience based on subscription rather than purchase. Hot on the heels of other successful sharing services like Airbnb and Uber, American company Rent the Runway allows user to rent out designer clothing for a length of time before they are returned, cleaned and passed onto the next customer, either online or in store. CEO Jennifer Hyman is so confident in the model that she claims, “Within five years, it will become normal for women to have a subscription to fashion, just like you have a subscription to music.”


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