How to Find the Best Second Hand Pieces



Second hand shopping is a fantastic way of sustainably shopping, as it ensures old clothes are kept out of landfill. It can also encourage consumers to branch out with their style and wear unique pieces. The issue is, sometimes it can be overwhelming to filter through all the second hand items in shops, whether online or in person. Here, we share some tips that can help you find the best second hand pieces.


To receive the Luxiders newsletter, sign up here.


If you love the idea of second hand shopping but struggle to find the best pieces, you have come to the right place. Although second hand shopping can be fun and incredibly rewarding, it can be difficult to find items in your size, style, and price range. Second hand shopping is a good way to contribute to the circular fashion industry. Rather than the linear fashion model that results in over use of resources and mass amounts of waste, second hand shopping ensures clothes live a long life. Here, we offer some solutions to your problems with some simple tips you can use to improve your second hand shopping experience.



First of all, where to start? There are a large range of both online and in person second hand shops, whatever your requirements. In person second hand shops have been growing more and more popular, perhaps due to the growing eco-consciousness of the population. Examples of such places are vintage shops, thrift stores, charity shops, car boot sales, kilo sales, and even swap shops that you can set up with friends. Online, the options are numerous. Resale sites like Depop, Vinted, Ebay, and Facebook Marketplace have been gaining more publicity and popularity. But these are not all of your choices – for more examples of the best affordable places to second hand shop online, click here. It is important that you find somewhere that fits your budget and style, however the good thing about second hand shops is that most of them have a variety of prices and looks.




Refining your personal style is a good way to make second hand shopping less overwhelming. Outline some of your favourite colour palettes and shapes that you love and you feel suit you best prior to your shopping trip. Applications like Pinterest and Canva can help you make aesthetically pleasing inspiration boards, or you can print out images for a scrapbook style board if you would prefer to have a hard copy. Having an inspiration board gives you the chance to refine your focus before launching yourself into the mass amounts of second hand clothing on sale. The perfect pieces are more likely to catch your eye if you have a vision of what you want.



If you are online second hand shopping, and know of a particular brand you like, filter by size and price range to narrow down the hunt. Going through all the tops in your size might seem tedious, so add more filters to further personalise your results. Do this by changing the filters to only show certain colours, styles, or whatever else the site offers. Being open allows you to find a potential gem, so try not to be overly specific in your search terms. Remember, everyone has a different idea of what a ‘summer dress’ looks like, for example. This is a more difficult technique to use in person. Perhaps going to a store you know organises their clothes by size, or colour, can help. Find a store that organises their pieces in a way that you prefer and stick to the sections you intend to find a garment in.



If you find an item you love in an online second hand shop, consider visiting the seller's profile to see if they have any other items of interest. We have found this to be a very successful technique, as often the seller will be offering other items in your size and price range. Perhaps you could consider following them, if this is possible on the application you are using. This way, you will be the first to find out when they list new items. This is also a good way to find items that may not have been listed using key terms that you searched for, meaning you can find some hidden gems. In terms of in person second hand shops, if you find one that you love, there is no shame in revisiting.



Part of the fun of second hand shopping is finding some really amazing unique pieces, however, it can take a while. Unlike fast fashion stores, which can have upwards of ten trending pieces in window displays alone, second hand shops are full of many different styles and decades of fashion. You may need to prepare yourself to visit several shops before finding a single piece you fall in love with. But this is the rewarding part of second hand shopping; you can find some really great items. If you are truly having no luck, consider visiting a curated Depop or Vintage store, where some of the best items are selected, displayed, and sold (typically for a higher price). You could also consider garments that you could get tailored or alter yourself. Hopefully our techniques help unite you with a great piece, but remember to enjoy the process too!



+  Words:

Emma Dahl
Luxiders Magazine