5 Tips For Thrifting On Apps
Thrift shopping is my favorite way to get new clothing. Giving new life to piece of clothing that still has years of wear left in it is a great way to update your closet while staying sustainable.
In a post about thrifting tips and tricks a few months ago, I mentioned that one great way to start secondhand shopping is with some of the many apps, websites and instagram shops out there. Online thrifting is an especially great way to shop if you don’t have access to a car or live in an area without many good thrift stores. I especially love Poshmark and Depop, and I have a few friends with online thrift shops.
However, shopping online or with an app presents a major problem for many of us: you can’t try the clothing on! And with many apps and sites, you can’t return or exchange items. As a seasoned online thrifter, I’ve rounded up some tips for how to find great pieces that will fit you well even if you can’t try them on.
1. Know your exact measurements. Get a friend to help you measure your bust, waist, hips, and inseam (I measure from crotch just to kneecap). Then if you see something you really like, but it doesn’t look like the size listed, you can always comment and ask for measurements! Since sizing at every store is different, it’s hard to know if something will fit you if it’s from a brand you’re unfamiliar with or if it’s vintage. This is also super helpful for those Etsy or other online thrift shops where everything is secondhand and a few years old.
Sub-tip: also measure your favorite garments so you know what you like. If you like to have a little room in the bust or want dresses to hit a certain part of your leg, measure your favorite things and write down their measurements too. I so this the most with skirts and dresses because length is subjective depending on your butt. Just a fact.
2. Know your size in your fave brands. This is similar to the above tip - it will help you feel comfortable that what you’re buying will fit you. I really wish universal sizing was a thing, but until it is, I go into stores any try things just so I know my size in that brand. For example, I know I’m a medium at Madewell and a 29 in their jeans, but Free People runs large, so I know I’m a small in their tops and dresses. I also try on specific pieces if I’m really lusting after them, and then try to find said pieces on Poshmark a few months later for much less. It’s easy to go through all of the items in a brand category and narrow down which ones will fit you almost immediately just by the size.
3. Filter your searches to narrow down the huge library of items. Speaking of knowing sizing in your favorite brands, you can search by brand on all of the apps. A few swipes of your finger and you’re basically shopping at Anthropologie, just with lower prices. I usually shop by brand on Poshmark, since there’s a wild amount of items. Too many to ever make it through without filters. I also like to search price low-high to find the best deals. On Depop, I also search by aesthetic, like “80s” or “Stevie Nicks.”
4. Don’t be afraid to make offers. On some apps, you can offer to pay a little less. If the seller is eager to get the item out of their closet or just not picky about how much they sell it for, you can often get a few dollars off. Some sellers will explicitly say prices are firm, but if they don’t, offer what you would want to pay and see what happens!
5. Spend a lot of time searching. To find gems and good steals, you often have to do some digging. I like to flip through Poshmark and Depop while I’m watching tv a few times a week, messing around with search filters and scrolling through pages upon pages of items. It takes a while, but sometimes the most worthy thrift finds are the ones you have to hunt for.