Online thrift stores like ThredUp are booming and that’s because online thrifting is one of the hottest trends in shopping for affordable and brand-name items.
Remember those pre-pandemic times when one could go to their local thrift store and come out with treasures galore? While thrift stores have been reopened for quite some time now, you may still feel uneasy over the idea of scouring through racks and shelves of used clothing and accessories right now.
Because let’s face it – while thrifting is lots of fun and a great way to live a more sustainable lifestyle, it can be a bit…icky. I personally wash everything I have purchased from my local Goodwill in hot water before I wear it.
Luckily, the emergence of online thrifting has taken the sustainable fashion world by storm.
And total disclaimer: of course, there are fast-fashion pieces all over local and online thrift stores. However, you are basically upcycling if you think about it. You are still helping the plant.
What Are Online Thrift Stores?
Online thrift stores are basically what it sounds like. People can post their used clothing and accessories on the platforms and somebody can purchase them. There are a few ways to do this.
ThredUp, the biggest online thrift store, has people mail their unwanted items to them. Anything deemed “meh” is returned to the seller, and ThredUp pays them for the rest of the clothing. They then post it on their site for members to purchase.
Another way to online thrift is through apps such as Poshmark and Mercari. People post their unwanted items (clothing, shoes, accessories, novelty items, home decor, etc,). and members may purchase them.
Both of these platforms have made the shipping process easy. Sellers are sent a shipping label to print out and use when they ship out an item. It is already prepaid for, so trying to calculate fees isn’t a hassle.
Online thrift stores are a great way to upcycle and make use of someone’s unwanted treasures. It is a convenient way to hunt through hand-me-downs, with filters to specify what exactly you are on the hunt for.
Why You Should Shop at an Online Thrift Store in 2021?
Shopping at your local thrift store often entails long hours sifting through piles of clothing, searching for that perfect piece and with COVID-19 and social distancing still in place, there is no better time to shop from the comfort of your own home.
Thanks to the internet, it’s now a lot easier to find trendy, gently worn clothes without leaving your house or breaking the bank.
I love going to thrift stores and brag about the designer clothes I found for $5 or sometimes less. But, nowadays, there is a better way – online thrift stores.
Online thrifting is a thing these days, and they have all the stuff you’ve been searching for neatly sorted and arranged. All you need to start online thrift shopping is your credit card and a keen eye for fashion.
Online thrifting is one great way to save tons of cash as well as the environment. But that’s not all. You also enjoy the thrill of discovering something unique and priceless. If you’re on a shoe-string budget and love designer clothes at bargain prices, an online thrift store can be a great shopping experience for you.
Our List of The Best Online Thrift Stores For 2021
Thredup – Our top choice for the best online thrift stores for 2021
ThredUp is a San Francisco-based company that specializes in “Secondhand Clothes, Firsthand Fun.” This online thrift store stocks more than 2 million pieces, which consists of over 35,000 brands – in their own words – “from Gap to Gucci.”
The site neatly categorizes the items and provides filters that give online thrift shoppers a personally curated experience.
Thredup has a pretty cool selling process. If you want to sell off some of your unused clothing, all you need to do is to order a Clean Out Kit. They will send a bag to you, which you will fill with the unused articles and return to them. ThredUp will then have your items professionally photographed and listed. You’ll earn a percentage of any item sold in which you can collect cash or leave in your store wallet.
If any of your items are not collected, they’ll either be sent back to you or properly recycled. If, on the other hand, you don’t want to sell your unused items, you can ask for a donation kit.
For every donation kit, Thredup donates $5 to any charity of your choice.
ThredUp is the go-to online thrift store if you want trendy fashion pieces.
Their bulk-selling bag offers you a chance to clean out your unused clothing to declutter your space. Another reason to shop at Thredup is that they created a Circular Fashion Fund which supports the sustainable fashion movement. They also created Upcycle, which lets you spend your Thredup credit buying stuff from other sustainable retailers.
Refashioner – Top quality, elegant and classy designer items
Refashioner is an online thrift store established in 1990 that deals with high-quality, unique designer items. Therefore, they tend to be much pricier. The fashion pieces are mostly vintage designers, some dating back to the 1920s.
They include such big names as Miu Miu, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and more. This could be the thrift store for you if you’re looking for something elegant and classy that won’t be seen on anyone.
What sets Refashioner apart is their total dedication to vintage clothing. They are meticulous when it comes to selecting apparel for sale. They are also involved in checking unethical sourcing prevalent in the industry. There’s no better place to buy quality original vintage wear.
ASOS Marketplace – Vintage but trendy
This is a London-based online thrift shop launched in 2010. An offshoot of the well-known popular fashion site ASOS. AsosMarketplace showcases clothing for vintage boutiques and independent clothing brands. Here, you can get some of the best deals in exclusive vintage clothing for men and women.
ASOS maintains a high level of quality workmanship while keeping up with the latest trend in the fashion world. Meanwhile, AsosMarketplace keeps up to the high standard as the original but deals in vintage clothes. ASOS marketplace is different from the other online thrift stores in that you can’t sell your old items there as an individual.
It’s a place for vintage boutiques, independent designers, and other thrift and consignment shops to list their inventory.
Presently, they represent over 800 boutiques across the world, which is why they have about the most diverse collection of products – their strongest selling point. Their products range from 90’s vintage sportswear to high London fashion to the latest trends in the industry.
ShopGoodwill.com – The everything online thrift store
For many thrift shoppers, the local Goodwill store is a favorite brick-and-mortar thrift shop. But did you know they also have an online thrift store? Rather than buy from them directly on their website, you can bid on items online, just like eBay.
ShopGoodwill.com is an internet auction site created and operated by Goodwill – a non-profit organization. ShopGoodwill.com lists all Goodwill-donated items and auctions them off.
The shopgoodwill.com site offers almost everything you can think of. They list an enormous amount of items for sale. This ranges from clothing to electronics and books to collectibles.
You may miss the excitement of wading through tons of stuff at your local goodwill store. But the online thrift store version saves you time and money when you search for an item.
Poshmark – Top brands and my daughter’s favorite
Poshmark is a peer-to-peer online thrift store with over 25 million items from 5,000 brands. It also has a cool android and iPhone app that makes it easy to buy and sell. Anyone can list items on the site for sale and name their prices.
Poshmark’s inventory is mostly made up of modern stuff, unlike other online thrift stores or shops. What we like about Poshmark is the full range of selections available.
There’s hardly any designer name that you won’t see listed on their site.
Poshmark also lets you haggle prices with sellers as most people tend to value their items more than they actually worth. The platform encourages bargaining with their counter-offer/offer feature.
It gets better. You can also “like” items, so you’ll be notified about any price job if you so wish. You can negotiate discounts by buying more than one item from the same seller.
Poshmark’s app is at the root of its appeal. If you are looking for a particular item of clothing, type exactly what you want into the search bar, and you’ll get hundreds of results to choose from.
Poshmark is one of the best online thrift stores when it comes to the scope of selections available.
For sellers, the Poshmark app also comes through with its ease of usage. Just take a picture, post, and start selling instantly. And you can make some good money too as a seller. You may check out our article on how you can start selling on Poshmark here.
Facebook Marketplace – The search for everything marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is an online marketplace that lets you discover, buy, and sell items with other users in your locality. Somewhat like eBay and gumtree. All transactions on the Facebook marketplace are done outside the app, and Facebook takes no responsibility.
Buyers and sellers message each other to arrange the transaction.
With the Facebook marketplace, you can search for things to buy or browse items by category and/or location. As a seller, you can create item listings using the camera function of the app to take pictures. Your for-sale items are sorted neatly by category or location. This allows people nearby to find the items you put up for sale. You can view your transactions and notifications in the “your items” section. You can also set custom bids for items.
The exciting thing about transacting on the Facebook marketplace is that there are no seller fees or taxes involved. And it is also easy to bring your listings to the notice of your Facebook network. You’ll never know which of your friends might be interested in your gently used floral dress.
ShopThrilling.com – Your gateway to the best boutiques in the US
Shop Thrilling gives consumers access to the best boutiques across the US. The online marketplace has a collection of curated vintage and secondhand items. When you purchase an item, it is shipped directly from a specific boutique.
Thrilling hosts 100 stores from 15 cities, allowing for a unique experience. The platform encourages consumers to use their marketplace to support these small and vintage businesses. Since these are one-of-a-kind pieces, do not expect to find your typical below $20 prices here. However, the items are original and of high quality.
From clothing, shoes, and accessories, Thrilling has got you covered. They have promos such as free shipping over $75 purchases from time to time, and every purchase goes towards a small business!
Vinted.com – Available in nine countries
Vinted is a Lithuanian online marketplace that allows users to buy, sell, and swap second-hand clothing. Founded in 2012, it serves nine other countries besides its home base: the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Luxembourg, Czechia, and the Netherlands.
The company’s mission is “to make second-hand a first choice.”
Sellers upload photos of their items and include a description. This includes basic information such as brand, size, and style.
Once an item is sold, the seller is provided with a prepaid shipping label. All they need to do is pack and ship the item. Payments go directly to the Vinted wallet. From there, funds can be transferred as payouts to one’s bank account can be made or used to make purchases on Vinted.
The only difference between Vinted and Poshmark? There are zero selling fees, so what you make is 100% yours to keep!
Depop.com – Creativity is their forte
Founded in 2012, the London-based fashion marketplace allows millions of users to buy and sell items worldwide. The app allows you to sell items by snapping a picture and adding a little description and tags to your listing.
You can find items you are looking for by simply using the search bar. Depop is very dedicated to creativity, “From the most inspiring creatives to up-and-coming influences across fashion, design, art, and music.”
Depop provides sellers with a shipping label once an item is sold. There is a 10% seller fee, with fees sometimes being frozen as incentives.
Last Notes on Online Thrifting
For many thrift shoppers, stepping into a physical thrift store has the thrill of its own. They love the excitement of the hunt – sifting through tons of clothing and items, then the exhilarating moment of discovering a treasure!
But for others, it can be overwhelming going through all that stuff. Although separated broadly into sections, the clothing is all jumbled together, making it difficult to find what you are looking for. Clothes of different colors, patterns, and styles are grouped together, and you could spend hours finding a particular skirt to go with the blouse you just bought.
Fortunately, technology has come to your rescue. With thrift stores migrating to the internet, you can avoid the hassle of treasure hunting in physical thrift stores. With just a few taps and a click, you will quickly find the items you have in mind, making your thrifting experience a great one.
If you are conscious of saving the planet and saving money at the same time, online thrifting is the way to go. The 9 of the best online thrift stores listed above aren’t the only ones – there are many others, but they are definitely the best and a great place to start.