In recent years, I've been buying most of my clothes secondhand, either in stores or online using one of these apps.
If I have a specific item in mind, I'd check all these sites first. I've personally bought items from every store except ASOS Marketplace. I find Ebay and Poshmark to have the best deals.
These marketplaces also allows you to sell clothes, and I've noted what the experience is like for sellers whenever possible.
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Ebay can be overwhelming due to its sheer volume of listings. I narrow down my choices using Saved Searches on the Ebay phone app. I search by brand ("Christy Dawn") or brand + size ("Christy Dawn medium"). You can be as general or as specific as you want with your searches. When new listings show up that fit your criteria, they'll show up in your Saved Searches area.
Many sellers on Poshmark are simply clearing out their closets, which is why you can find decent deals here. You can make the seller an offer, which is binding once they accept it. Poshmark is only available in the US and Canada for now. I've only bought from sellers within Canada so far. I'm not sure I can buy from a US seller.
If your purchase is over $700 CAD, Poshmark offers a free authentification service. The seller would send the item to Poshmark HQ, and if the product is deemed authentic, Poshmark will ship to the buyer.
The downside to the app is that I can't seem to save my searches, so I'll have to do fresh searches for my favourite brands each time to see what's available.
For sellers, what's nice about Poshmark is that once an item sells, they email you a pre-paid postage label, making the shipping process easier.
Depop (app-only) is great for hip vintage and cool mid-priced brands. This app is popular with Gen Z. A lot of celebrities and fashion influencers also sell here to clear out their closets. You can now save your searches by pressing the star icon after a search.
Etsy is a global online marketplace for independent sellers. I use it to find art, jewelry, hair accessories, decor, and other handmade knick knacks, but it's also a treasure trove of good, affordable vintage. Etsy can also be an overwhelming place to shop, but I would recommend searching local sellers first. Be as specific as possible. After you "heart" some items, Etsy will show you similar items on the home page that they think you would like.
5. The RealReal
The RealReal is an online marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment. They ship from the US, so Canadians do have to pay duty to the shipping company. I've found some really awesome designer pieces here. The "My TRR" section on the app allows you to save your searches.
I doubt it's a great place for sellers to make any profit on luxury goods because The RealReal takes a hefty commission and they set the prices, which are usually low. They often have sales to move inventory and offer discount codes. All that benefits the buyers.
Vestiare Collective is a global marketplace for luxury clothes and accessories, except the sellers upload their own pictures. You can make offers to the seller, and if they accept, you have 24 hours to buy it.
Although I've never sold anything here, I believe what happens is that when an item sells, the seller ships the item to their closest Vestiare Collection hub where the piece gets authenticated and shipped to the buyer. So the buyer does have to pay a small authentification fee and shipping. From my experience, duty fees are calculated and paid upfront with the order. Even so, decent deals for designer goods can be found here.
ASOS Marketplace is home to 900+ small businesses including independent brands and vintage boutiques from 50+ countries. I haven't bought anything on this platform yet because it's too hip for me, although it would be a great place to find rare vintage Levi's. Since ASOS is UK-based, the shops are UK heavy, but you can find local shops if you search by country.