10 Ways to Save on Used Clothes When You Shop Online

by Merissa on April 18, 2016

in Frugal Living Tips

Having trouble finding used clothing in your area? Shop online! Here are the best tips and tricks for saving money while shopping for used clothing online.

10 Ways to Save on Used Clothes When You Shop Online

Since we moved away from a larger town, shopping for clothes has become something of a difficult task. Not impossible, just takes a little more work since I can't just pop into a store and pick something up when we need it. Of course, I can always add something to my list for when we do head to town (which is once every 2 weeks right now) but I take the chance that I may not be able to find what I need, I may have to go to multiple stores with tired little ones, and I may have to pay more than I really want to. In other words, it's usually not the best case scenario.

But over the past few years I've become something of an expert in buying clothing online, even used clothing, and today I'm sharing some of my tips and tricks with you.

Don't shop at only one store.

You have an entire world wide web at your fingertips, don't be stuck on only buying from one place! If you get your mind stuck on only buying clothing from one online store you might miss out on some really great deals, maybe even on the exact same brand/outfit.

Know your size before you buy.

Often when you buy used clothing online you won't be allowed to make returns so it's important to know what your size is before you buy. Take your entire family's measurements and keep them on a page in your home management binder. Often a single size (like medium) is irrelevant when you are buying an unfamiliar brand or even something that has been washed a few times. Most of the used clothing websites that I've purchased clothing from offer the exact measurements of the garment so that you can be sure it will fit before you make the purchase.

Know the policies of the store.

Some used clothing websites do offer returns on certain purchases, if they do, make sure to know their policies before you take any tags off your clothing. After you open your package, make sure to look over each garment carefully to ensure that it fits the description and to make sure that it doesn't have holes, excess piling, or ripped seams.

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Learn about the different conditions of used clothing.

Each website that you buy from may have different rules for what designates a "good" used shirt or a "fair" used shirt. Make sure you read the FAQs page on each website before you buy so that you know what you are getting into so you don't pay more for an item that you should.

Grab all the "newbie" discounts.

Many websites offer a special discount if you are a new customer so you can pick up some great deals! For example, Thred Up offers $10 off a first purchase and Swap.com offers free shipping on your first order plus 20% off.

Always check for discounts before you buy.

Even if you purchase from a website before you still might be able to grab some great discounts. A quick google search can help you find discounts but the best way to know the most current discounts is usually to sign up for the website's newsletter.

Sell what you no longer use.

Most online used clothing stores will also buy your gently used clothing and offer your credits on their website towards your next purchase. I have sold clothing to both Thred Up and through Ebay. Sometimes it takes a little longer to sell items on Ebay as you might have to list them a few times but I felt that I made the most money that way. I made a small amount from selling items on Thred Up but they do have a very strict acceptance policy and my clothing isn't exactly the most expensive brands!

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Buy seasonally.

Just like when you are shopping for clothing in a regular store, you will find the best deals on clothing online when you shop for the season at the end of the season. Look for clearance (yes, used clothing clearance!) for winter clothes starting in January and for summer clothes starting in August. If you don't need something right away and are just planning ahead, this method of shopping can score you the best deals.

Shop on holidays.

The relatives may have gone home and the brick and mortar stores aren't open but you can still shop online on a holiday and holidays can often be one of the best days to find a deal. It's not just regular shopping holidays such as Black Friday but smaller holidays like President's Day. If you are signed up for emails from the site, make sure to check your inbox the day before or day of for any special coupon codes or just go directly to their website on the holiday and watch for a pop-up with special discounts and deals.

DO NOT forget your budget.

Just because you are shopping online and without cash, don't forget your budget! Make sure not to go over your budget, even if you find a good sale. It can be tempting to add more items to your cart when you have a great discount but it's still important to stick to your budget.

Bonus Tip -

Only buy pieces of clothing that already go with something else that you have. This tip really applies to any kind of clothing that you might buy, not just used. If you buy something cute that you don't have anything to pair it with, you will end up leaving it hang in your closet or will have to spend more money to get something to match. For this reason, I usually buy plain, basic colored bottoms for all of us (usually black or gray or blue jean) and colorful shirts that could go with any of the bottoms that we have. My only exception is skirts which tend to be in more colorful patterns, for these I have plain colored tops to match them.

About the stores...

I know there are many other options out there besides the ones I will be listing below but I haven't yet tried them so I don't have personal comments! If you've purchased used clothing on any websites before, make sure to let us know your thoughts on the site in the comments.

Ebay -

I've purchased many items on Ebay over the years and usually been happy with my purchase. I've found that items can be found a little cheaper on Ebay than on some of the other online stores since there is no middleman. The cons of purchasing on Ebay are the shipping costs (can add up!) and the fact that you usually cannot make returns. Also, the measurements for garments aren't always listed but you can contact the seller to get them. You will also have to trust the opinion of the seller on the garment's quality since there isn't an overall standard.

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Thred Up - 

I've made a couple of purchases on Thred Up when I needed something specific. They have some very nice quality items and higher quality brands available. Thred Up only carries items that are in like-new condition so they generally don't have conditions listed on the garment pages. Above is a picture of one of the tops that I've gotten recently from Thred Up. Their clothes are often unique and very cute! The con to Thred Up is that sometimes the clothing can be a little higher priced than on some of the other websites that I've used, but as I mentioned, the quality is generally quite high.

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Swap.com - 

Swap is generally my go-to online store when I start looking for something, usually because they offer coupons often and their prices are very reasonable. Plus they have a nice selection of not only women's but children's clothing as well. Swap has s selection of clothing that is in new to fair condition. The condition of each garment is listed in the description. I haven't yet bought anything in "fair" condition but most of what I have purchased has been in "good" condition and it has been very nice, almost like new.

Have you ever purchased used clothing online? Share some of your experiences and tips in the comments section!

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8:00 am

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pamela April 22, 2016 at 7:30 am

No, I haven’t. When our children were young, I didn’t use the internet that much. This was 16 to 18 years ago! I have bought new clothing online. I save by keeping to capsule dressing, neutral pants/skirts with more colorful tops and about 7 scarves or necklaces. I feel like I have a very complete wardrobe and do not shop anymore. My coats and shoes are neutral too. I actually never thought about buying used clothing on the web. I might try it sometime, although I live much closer to town.
It is quite easy to go to a consignment store. I could almost walk there.

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2 Eve April 22, 2016 at 9:46 am

I have found some nice items on Amazon who does sell used and their deals of the day although new can be nice and cheap.
Craig’s list has used clothing but I’ve only bought electronics so can’t say about the clothes. Goodwill has a website too where you can buy online.

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3 Eve April 22, 2016 at 9:57 am

I just checked and Amazon no longer offers their auctions. Sorry about that. Been a while since I bought from the auction site so I don’t know when they stopped selling. They had some good bargains.

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4 Eve April 22, 2016 at 10:12 am

You have to buy from goodwill through eBay but if you type in goodwill and your location, you will find one close to you so shipping will be less.
Now if I had my coffee before I started posting, I wouldn’t have messed up your whole message for today. I promise to do better in the future. ??

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5 debbie April 22, 2016 at 11:19 am

Hi recently I was in thrift store & she asked if I had any discounts,I said only being a senior( I am 62,& a Canadian)I was so surprised at how big the discount really was ,all I had bought was some new yarn for $12.I think it was a discount of 15% can’t remember but what a different it made on the bill,so that’s my tip,of course it wasn’t online.

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6 Lynda April 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

I love your site, makes me feel at home. Also on
Facebook, there are yards ell sites for each area, they offer a lot of kids clothing cheap ( be sure to check sizes)

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7 Sally Ann April 22, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Hi,

I enjoyed your post about buying usied clothing and I wanted to add an option that I didn’t see mentioned yet. I have had great success getting used clothing as well as other items on Listia. It is a site where you use credits to purchase items. You receive credits just for signing up with them and then for “selling” your own items. When you purchase something with your credits you get free shipping, but when you sell something you pay the shipping.
Just thought your readers might enjoy checking it out. http://www.listia.com

Have a lovely day,
Sally Ann

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8 Merissa April 22, 2016 at 8:06 pm

Thanks for sharing!

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9 Clara Golding April 23, 2016 at 12:20 am

I found a web site called schools.com. I have bought from them they are gresat

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10 Melissa April 23, 2016 at 11:31 am

For a little over a year my husband has been very successful selling used clothing (mostly jeans) on eBay. As the popularity of buying used clothing grows so has the price. A plus for the seller. Not so much for the buyer. I’ve checked a few times for things like jeans, as the brand that fits me best is so expensive. About half my boys clothing I buy used. Yet I’m still leery of buying used on-line for myself. I’ve reached a point in my life that if I am going to put out the money for clothing I want it to fit. Like you said, know your measurement! Out of curiosity, I may venture into the world of on-line used clothing and see what treasures I can find.

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11 Chris W April 24, 2016 at 9:30 pm

I use Poshmark to buy and sell. It’s great. I bought a purse with an undisclosed stain and was able to get a refund and free return shipping. Sellers like offers and bundle discounts.

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12 Nicole April 25, 2016 at 3:18 pm

I haven’t used the internet too much to purchase clothes for our kiddos. We tend to shop at our local thrift stores, one of them has 1/2 off everything on the last Tuesday of the month and we can get things for really cheap. If I can’t find what I’m looking for there I stop over to Once Upon A Child since they are likely to have it. It is amazing how much you can save buying used instead of getting new clothes, with 6 kids (5 boys) we need all the savings we can get when it comes to clothes lol. Thanks for stopping over and sharing on Inspire Me Monday. Have a wonderful week!!

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13 Jess April 27, 2016 at 11:30 am

Such great tips!

I would LOVE for you to share this with my Facebook Group.

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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14 Jeanne Luddeni March 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm

I buy from poshhmark I just love them I buy everything from them now.
The only thing you have to use priority and that gets expensive

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15 Douglas Antrim April 6, 2017 at 11:16 am

This is a very good article thank you very much for sharing it with us. My favorite way to save on clothing is to shop the Good Will or yard sales.

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