As temperatures dip below zero, the cold barricades us indoors (for some of us, even more so than we could have possibly imagined given the pandemic). It’s hardly a surprise that online shopping greets us like an old friend during this time. While trips to brick and mortar secondhand vendors are more sparse these days, online thrift platforms are thriving. In fact, online secondhand shops were even projected to grow at least 67% between 2019 and 2021. That being said, we’ve created a guide of the best online thrift stores so that you can shop secondhand without even having to leave the comfort of your bed.
By and large, thredUP is the cream of the crop when it comes to an online retailer for secondhand items. Launched in 2009, the site jumpstarted the online secondhand movement by selling thousands of articles of clothing at discounts as great as 90%. Unlike other platforms, thredUP prides itself in its diverse categories and price ranges. Tried and true, this platform proves itself time and time again as the most well known virtual marketplace for thrifted pieces.
Depop is an online marketplace that functions as a platform on which users can buy and sell their clothing. This site tends to host the most unique everyday pieces that you can’t and won’t find elsewhere; in a way, Depop is Thredup’s younger, edgier sister. Unlike other online consignment shops, Depop has a feature that functions in the likeness of the Instagram Explore page in which the app suggests items to each user based on his/her recent activity on the app.
3) The RealReal
Many of us are familiar with the image The RealReal presents in their TV commercials as lithe bodies prance in front of a white backdrop. Founded in 2011, The RealReal is an online retailer that sells luxury secondhand pieces at a discounted price. As a brand that champions sustainability, diversity, and quality, the online platform ensures that each piece hosted on their site undergoes a rigorous authentication process that tests for quality and authenticity. Because products are typically high-end, ready-to -wear items, the price range tends to fall on the more expensive side.
Tradesy is perhaps the lesser known luxury secondhand website on which you can resell and purchase high end clothes, jewelry, and accessories. This marketplace is full of high fashion priced at half the original cost. Although the site’s image tends to take the form of a luxury secondhand retailer, as soon as you switch the filter to search from “low to high,” you’ll find that they do offer more affordable pieces from brands like Madewell, J. Crew, etc. Whether you’re searching for a $10 t-shirt or a wedding dress that sells for a few thousand, Tradesy makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Urban Renewal merchandise is a platform under Urban Outfitters that seeks to limit production and consumption by implementing four practices: Remnants, One of a Kind, Vintage, and Recycled. As a brand that doesn’t typically engage in sustainable practices, Urban Renewal uses vintage collections and deadstock fabrics to create new designs in the likes of the brand’s signature style. UO updates the site each week with products that typically go for under $100. It does appear, however, that this site is still in the works given the relatively limited supply of products branded as Urban Renewal: two pages on the UO site to be exact.
Much like Urban Renewal, customers can recycle any Patagonia items at any of their stores so that they may be up-cycled and resold on their website. Unlike Urban Renewal, however, these items are sold at extremely discounted prices. This platform has thousands of pieces that are posted for half the original price. Patagonia Worn Wear not only exemplifies how sustainability is a key tenet of their company, but it also makes the pieces more accessible to their customers.
As fear sets in that 2021 won’t live up to the hopes we had conjured for it in 2020, online shopping has hit an all time high. Even though we’re cordoned off from the outside world, that doesn’t mean we have to neglect it. In that same spirit, these six best online thrift stores can give us more of a reason to start altering our online shopping habits to incorporate more secondhand pieces. After all, If we’ve learned anything from the 2020 experience, it’s that change can definitely happen — and through shopping secondhand, we can ensure that this change is for the better.