NEW CRAZE: ONLINE THRIFT SHOPPING

Thrift shopping has found a new way to reach consumers: online thrift stores.  Say goodbye to scavenging through rack after rack of clothing in your local consignment shop, and say hello to an easier way to browse second-hand goodies! An old trend has found a modern way to boost sales and reach more people… and I am on board!!  Users can both buy and sell items of clothing, accessories, décor and even electronics. It’s easier than you think!  First, download a thrifting app on your smartphone or tablet. Or, you can reach thrifting and consignment stores on the Internet. Here are a few shops that I swear by (each is available online and as an app):

ThredUP
Poshmark
Mercari
Tradesy

Next, create a profile (or just browse without one!). If you’re interested in purchasing an item or selling one, you will need to create an account. The best part is, it’s free! It is so easy to get lost in the thousands and thousands of items for sale on each thrifting and consignment site. Want to save an item but keep shopping? Simply “like” or “heart” the item and it will be saved for you to go back and re-visit without losing your place in a search. Once you have decided you want the item, most sites will let you submit an offer on an item if you so choose. If you want to pay the asking price, go for it! Online thrifting is so addicting because you already know you aren’t paying full price for anything!
Still not convinced that online thrift shopping is your new favorite hobby? Here are some pro tips on how I always nab the best items on my thrifting apps:
• Ask the seller or boutique questions!!! Either drop a comment or private message the owner of the item you are eyeing. You will never regret asking if they will lower the price, when the item was originally purchased, or just anything you may be wondering about an item. Some sellers leave out little details that they may not realize a buyer wants to know, don’t be shy!!!
• Make sure the seller is trusted and reliable. Every time users purchase from a seller they are required to rate their experience. If a seller or boutique has good feedback, you will most likely have just as awesome of an experience buying from them! However, just because one user had a not so good experience with a seller and left a bad review, does not mean their items aren’t worth more investigation. Ask them questions!
• Search using specific brand names and descriptions. The more detailed the search, the better the results will be tailored to what you are specifically looking for. Different sellers and boutiques list items using several tags and descriptors that you may miss. Higher end items will more likely have the brand name in the description of the item, while more common goods will not.
• Lastly… make offers!! More often than not I will purchase an item through an offer rather than at full asking price. Sellers have listed their items for a reason, they don’t want them! The more interested you are, the more motivated the seller. Don’t be afraid to offer what you can and are willing to pay. If the seller can’t let an item go for that price, they simply decline or counter.

Phoebe Walker