The resale market is booming.
And when we say booming, we mean it has been growing 21 times faster than traditional retail over the past three years, and is set to overtake fast fashion in 10 years.
While high-street shops fold left right and centre under the strain of a Covid-19-induced lockdown and expected recession, re-commerce platforms have experienced a spike in usage. Depop, for example, have reported an 80 per cent increase in listings, with traffic on the app going up by over 100 per cent since April 1 in the UK.
Whether its due to a collective understanding of fashion's impact on the environment, or simply a money saving (and making) technique, circular fashion is on the rise in a big way.
And, if second hand shopping still carries the stigma of threadbare coats, knock-off handbags, and stressful bargain bin rummaging for you, then let us change your mind.
We spoke to the experts to find you the best resale sites for buying and selling second hand designer clothes and bags, plus we've advice for exactly how to use them.
With everything for sale on eBay including the kitchen sink, the platform may feel a little overwhelming. We spoke to eBay’s Head of Preloved, Emma Grant to learn why eBay is a great platform to buy and sell designer clothes and bags, alongside her top tips.
'Whether you’re on the hunt for a designer deal, or looking to make some more cash by selling off some of your pre-loved items, eBay is the perfect place.
'For sellers, eBay has more shoppers than Oxford street, with 28 million people shopping on-site monthly, meaning that your items are being seen by a large number of potential buyers.
'For designer shoppers, no matter what your price bracket is, eBay is a great place to get your hands on high-end items for less money. '
Tips for buying second hand designer clothes and bags on eBay
- 'eBay has just launched a new Vintage Hub that can help you to source some classic vintage designer goods. From Burberry to Dior, this is your one-stop shop to add a touch of vintage to your wardrobe. You can search by category, or even by decade, to help you hunt down that dream vintage designer number that your wardrobe has been missing.'
- 'Want to get a good bargain on that designer item you’ve had your eye on? eBay has a ‘Best Offer’ function, that means whenever you see ‘Make Offer’ listed on an item, you have the option to contact the seller with your preferred price. If they accept your offer, it could help your pennies stretch even further when trying to bag that designer bag.'
- 'If you’ve seen a designer item that you want, you can set up notifications so that eBay alerts you if someone lists the product on site. Simply type in the designer product you’re looking for, select save search, and eBay will email you when your designer dream is available to buy.'
- 'Look for sellers with over 99 per cent positive feedback and 'trusted dealer', 'premium service' or 'top‑rated seller' badges. eBay assigns these logos to trusted sellers based on positive feedback.'
- 'Always ask the seller for more images of the item if you want a closer look. The beauty of eBay is being able to communicate with the seller, unlike some resale sites. So make sure you put this to good use and ask any further questions or request more images.'
- 'When you shop on eBay, you are protected under eBay’s Money Back Guarantee policy. This means that if your designer item doesn't arrive, or isn't as described, eBay will refund you the cost of the purchase plus any delivery charges. Just make sure that you pay via PayPal in order to be covered.'
Tips for selling designer clothes and bags on eBay
- 'Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton are among the most popular second-hand fashion brands on eBay, so if you have any of these items in your wardrobe that you no longer use, you can be sure to find a buyer for them on eBay. If you have held onto the certificates and authentication papers, that’s a plus, as including them will help to boost the price of your item.'
- 'When listing your designer items, timing is key. Sunday at 7pm is the most popular time for shoppers to buy second-hand goods on eBay UK, so when you’re listing an item, schedule your listing to end around that time to attract more shoppers.'
- 'When it comes to your designer items, brand names are extremely important. Make sure to hero your designer’s name, list your item in the right category, and include good images of it so that it stands out to shoppers on eBay. Remember to always be honest about any wear and tear that your item might have, and ensure this is reflected in the pictures and price, so that your buyer knows exactly what they’re getting and leaves positive feedback.'
The most commonly-known designer resale platform Vestiaire may be easy to navigate, but that doesn't mean there aren't tricks to get even better deals, or higher sales. We spoke to co-founder Sophie Hersan to learn them.
'Encouraging consumers to join the circular economy as a sustainable alternative to throw-away fashion, the platform is unique due to its highly engaged community, its rare desirable inventory and its authenticity and quality control process.'
Top tips for buying second hand designer clothes and bags on Vestiaire?
- 'Save time by looking through tailored edits. For example, at Vestiaire Collective we have a team of in-house specialists that curate daily Edits highlighting the most desirable pieces.'
- 'On Vestiaire Collective you can also check the status of the seller to see if they are ranked as an Expert or Trusted seller which highlights sellers who demonstrate exemplary behaviour on the platform. Ask the seller questions and follow your favourite sellers. This will help you get a better understanding of the seller and the items that they sell to help inform your purchases.'
- 'I'd recommend buying less and buying better, don't be too drawn into quick trends.'
Top tips for selling designer clothes and bags on Vestiaire?
- 'Being active will help get more eyes onto your items whether it’s regularly updating your listings, liking and enquiring about other sellers' items, or reacting to buyer inquiry in a timely manner. Encourage the community to follow your profile.'
- 'When unsure whether to sell an item, consider colours, designers, styles and shapes which are popular right now. Selling certain designers in alignment with cultural moments can dramatically boost the popularity and prices of their pieces for resale.'
- 'To ensure your items don’t hang around on Vestiaire Collective it’s vital they look their best. Photos should be taken in natural lighting to show the true colour of the items. Items must be photographed neatly on a plain background.'
Gen-Z favourite Depop is a selling app for the grown-ups too. With its simple interface and Instagram-style setup, you can find yourself scrolling for hours for the perfect designer piece. We spoke to the people at Depop to find out more.
'We have over 20 million items available for sale on Depop, with upwards of 140,000 new listings every day so there’s always going to be something for everyone. Standout products include '90s and '00s designer Margiela, Jean Paul Gaultier, Prada, and Galliano for Dior,' a representative told us.
Top tips for buying second hand designer clothes and bags on Depop
'Always do your research. If you’re unsure on something, leave it, if it seems too good to be true, leave it, nobody wants to get stuck with a bootleg,' Rory Pearce, a Depop seller who collects and sells vintage designer pieces told ELLE UK.
Top tips for selling designer clothes and bags on Depop
'It’s extremely helpful to know the brand and the story behind the piece. If you can spin a detailed description about why the Prada shoulder bag you’ve got is so amazing people are more likely to buy into the idea and buy it from you,' Pearce continued.
Designer Exchange provides a luxury client experience with customer favourites of theirs including the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, Burberry trench coats, and classic Chanel handbags. We spoke to the Designer Exchange team to learn a little more about them.
Why Designer Exchange?
'At any given time, Designer Exchange has approximately 5,000 pieces for sale with items becoming available to purchase in store and online every day. All items have been meticulously inspected and priced by highly trained researchers and authenticators before being purchased and available to our customers.
'We are the only pre-loved designer company with stores across the UK. The products are not only beautifully displayed in our shops but sanitised, dry cleaned and expertly cared for at every step of the process giving you the experience of shopping at a designer store.'
Top tips for buying second hand designer bags and clothes on Designer Exchange
'Designer exchange Sales Ambassadors are available to help you shop the vast collection of items, prices and styles to find exactly what your looking for.
'Let us know what you are looking for and our expert sales team is here to help you find your next wardrobe staple.'
Top tips for selling designer bags and clothes on Designer Exchange
'Selling is as simple as walking in to a store with (or posting in) your item with a form of photographic ID, before it’s booked in, priced and authenticated. Then you can decide if you would like to sell with us. If not, you can just take the item back or arrange for it to be collected.'
'There’s no penalty or cost so you should always see what those items in the back of your wardrobe could turn into.'
'Designer Exchange gives a customer three options when selling their item; cash, direct bank transfer, or an exchange voucher. The exchange voucher offered is always a higher amount and is available to use instantly in-store or online with no expiration date.'
HEWI, which stands for Hardly Ever Worn It, helps sellers flip barely and unworn designer pieces over a sleek interface. We spoke to their team to get the best tips and tricks.
'HEWI has over 100,000 items for sale at any given time. Its standout brands are Chanel, Gucci, Ganni, and Zimmermann, with items selling for up to 75 per cent below their original price.
'Receiving purchases next day and very responsive support team, make for a seamless buying and selling experience.'
Top tips for buying second hand designer bags and clothes on HEWI
- 'Communicate with your seller, don't be afraid to ask for more information on sizing, fit, more images etc, our sellers provide as much info as possible but don't be afraid to ask more questions.'
- 'Pay close attention to the sizing. Look-up the brand to see if they are true to size, check the measurements, try a similar style on if possible. It can be heartbreaking to receive an item that doesn't fit or suit and not all sellers accept returns (of course, you can always re-sell.)'
- 'Follow your heart. Don't buy something just because it's trending now as this quickly changes. Buy something that makes you happy and that you will use again and again.'
Top tips for selling designer bags and clothes on HEWI
- 'Communication is the biggest key to selling on HEWI. Our top sellers have a huge percentage of repeat customers because of this. Respond to queries quickly, ship promptly and communicate throughout the shipping process and buyers will keep coming back.'
- 'Great listings make the difference. Add lots of bright and clear images, detailed measurements and be completely clear with sizing and condition. This will reassure buyers and help prevent returns.'
- 'Attractive prices. Remember your item has probably been through sales, what would you be happy to pay if you were the buyer? If your pricing is realistic, you're sure to get a sale.'
If ease is as important to you as that Prada nylon bag, then consider luxury resale platform Cudoni your ideal re-commerce site. This is what James Harford-Tyrer, Cudoni CEO and founder, had to say about buying and selling with them.
'Unlike other resale sites, Cudoni does everything for you in reselling your designer pieces - allowing you to focus on the things in life that really matter.
'Our in house authentication experts have been trained to the highest standards within the luxury resale industry, and have over 25 years experience in authenticating luxury goods.'
Top tips for buying second hand designer clothes and bags on Cudoni
- 'When buying pre-loved designer items, you need to ensure that your purchases are authentic and have been priced and taken care of correctly. Using a fashion specialist, like Cudoni, ensures items have been processed precisely, authenticated by a professional, and priced using accurate market data.'
- 'If you are unsure or would like to to find out more about an item, just get in touch. By being there for our buyers, we hope to build personal relationships which provide peace of mind and confidence in your purchases.'
- 'In the resale market, items come and go quickly. If you see something you love, you need to act fast to avoid disappointment. Don’t worry, if you missed out this time, you can get in touch with our sales team who would be more than happy to contact you when your desired item becomes available.'
Top tips for selling designer clothes and bags on Cudoni
- 'Refer to our Designer Directory or simply give our VIP representatives a call; our experts are here to discuss any questions on garments and brands you’re considering selling and provide any insider knowledge on what’s hot in the world of resale - you may be surprised at the hidden value in your wardrobe.'
- 'If you find yourself lacking in time or creativity when it comes to selling your clothes, Cudoni is here to help. Your time is valuable and should be spent on what you do best. Leave the photography, listings, and valuations to the professionals. Just sit back, relax and get paid.'
- 'Our team of fashion experts use in-depth industry knowledge to achieve the highest possible sales prices for your luxury items in the shortest amount of time. There’s no need to worry about selling on-season as we sell globally.'
If you think Etsy is all handmade cards and twee bunting then you'd only be partially right, since it has a booming vintage designer section. We spoke to Etsy's trend expert Dayne Ison Johnson to get the scoop.
'Etsy.com is the ultimate destination for discovering some of the most unique and one-of-a-kind vintage items and what’s great is that you’re not restricted by your local vintage store.'
Top tips for buying second hand designer clothes and bags on Etsy
- 'Be specific with questions you ask the seller. Confirm details like colours, fabrics, shapes, and the condition to make sure you know exactly what you’ll be receiving.'
- The curated Editors’ Picks guides are a really great way to get inspired.
- Click the heart icon to 'Favourite' items as you browse and shop. The more you favourite, the more new items, personalised to your tastes, will show up on your Etsy homepage.
Top tips for selling designer clothes and bags on Etsy
'There has been a 29 per cent increase in searches on Etsy for vintage designer items in the last twelve complete months (compared to the same time the previous year),' Isom Johnson told ELLE UK, so now is a good a time as any to get in on the action.
With 250-300 fully verified and professionally-photographed designer handbags that will be received three days post-purchase, Bagista, who specialise in Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès, are a curated designer bag resale site to be reckoned with. We spoke to Bagista to learn a bit more.
'Our team is what makes us stand out. A lot of luxury shopping experiences can be daunting and a bit too formal, whereas we love creating a friendly, helpful and experience in our boutique.'
Top tips for buying second hand designer bags on Bagista?
- 'Keep an eye on our Instagram page as almost 30 per cent of new arrivals are sold before they even make the site.'
- 'If you’re looking for a special piece, just reach out to us via phone, email, or direct message and we can keep you on a waiting list and source almost any bag for you.'
Top tips for selling second hand designer bags on Bagista
- 'Locate all accessories and packaging of your old bags since they will all help add value to the final sale.'
- 'To extract the most value out of your items for sale, exchange with Bagista - you can earn up to 80 per cent of the sale price if you opt for store credit.'
- 'Be sure to take care of your bags - well kept items can sometimes hold or even increase in value years after their initial purchase.'
- 'For sellers who don’t want to wait to earn money from their bag, we offer to buy their item’s outright, via a quick and easy selling process.'
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