As we become more environmentally conscious and money savvy, especially during the current coronavirus climate, more of us are looking to second-hand fashion. Yes, at the moment, we're just dressing for ourselves, but that's as good a reason as any to enjoy sustainable style. From apps to concierge services, here's our guide to the best sites to buy and sell second-hand fashion.
The fashion resale market is currently growing 21 times faster than retail and Gen Z is adopting second-hand faster than any other age group. The benefits? Buying second-hand not only allows us to reduce carbon, water and waste emissions by 73% versus fast fashion, but it also opens up a whole new world of items that might otherwise be out of our price range.
“There have been fundamental shifts in consumption habits; particularly among Millennials and Gen Z,” says James Harford-Tyrer, founder & CEO of Cudoni. “We are seeing the constant evolution of attitudes towards sustainable living, in a society that is becoming more financially savvy.”
While the retail industry, like many others, has taken a financial hit due to the coronavirus pandemic – down by a record 8.7% in March – this has brought online resale sites into the spotlight. From those hosting the resale of lockdown closet clear-outs, to platforms that feature luxury fashion with a value that holds despite economic crisis, there's a full spectrum of second-hand sites.
“We're seeing significant growth in both those buying and selling second-hand,” adds Harford-Tyrer. "Most interestingly, there's a clear cyclical pattern, where sellers who were not previously buyers, and vice versa, are engaging with the market as both.”
Whether you’re new to the second-hand market, or a seasoned pre-owned veteran, here are six of the best fashion resale sites.
Turning 25 in 2020,
is one of the original resale sites and has undoubtedly become a go-to for fashion’s sustainability crowd: two pre-loved items are purchased on eBay UK every second. The auction-style website attracts competitive bargain-hunters, launching its Vintage Hub in March 2020, where you can search by item, brand or decade. This is the place to find those vintage Levi's, or if you're lucky, an original '80s Laura Ashley dress. Ebay Best for: Last-minute bargains How it works: Sellers take and upload pictures, write titles and descriptions, choose starting prices and set the length of time the auction will be open for. Buyers then enter what's often a bidding war, and the buyer posts the item once sold. It's worth doing your research to compare what similar pieces are selling for. What to sell: High-street brands such as Next, Marks & Spencer, and H&M tend to do well, while Zara and Nike bring in the highest average selling prices, and Dolce & Gabbana, Mulberry and Prada top the luxury labels list of pre-loved items. Ahead of the working week, on Sunday evenings between 7 and 9 p.m., is when most second-hand sales take place, so that's a good time to schedule your sale to end. Commission: It's free for private sellers to list items on eBay (up to 1,000 items) under a basic listing, or you can upgrade for a fee, which allows you to add a Buy It Now and Reserve price. When your item sells, you pay ebay 10% commission of the final transaction value, including postage – although this is capped, so you'll never pay more than £250 in fees for a single item. 2 Edit Second Hand New Line Cinema/Hbo/Village Roadshow/Kobal/Shutterstock
, Darcy Shepherd and Amy Fyfe operate out of the brand’s beautifully curated store in Haywards Heath, where items are uploaded to the website as soon as they come in store. Shepherd and Fyfe tell us they turn away up to four times what they are offered in order to ensure the highest quality of their collection, only accepting items that are up to three years old. Do get in touch though: they tend to make exceptions for special items. Edit Second Hand Best for: A personal touch How it works: Both Shepherd and Fyfe take a very hands-on approach. Get in touch on the phone, via email, or in store to discuss the items you wish to sell. The team then offer an estimated price, verify the items, take pictures and manage the whole process through to sale. On average, pieces tend to sell within a week. What to sell: Shepherd tells us that mid-range brands such as Masscob and Essentiel Antwerp are popular, as well as “items that retain quality, from brands such as Isabel Marant and Saint Laurent, plus material-specific items, like good-quality cashmere”. Commission: Up to 50% of final sale price, depending on the item, which is paid one month after the sale. 3 Depop
“What sets us apart is our community,” says
’s UK and commercial vice president, Rachel Swidenbank. In March 2020, the community reached over 19 million registered users in over 147 countries, with over one million unique sellers and over two million unique buyers. There can be anything up to 140,000 new listings every day. Huge. The social media-style interface has secured its popularity among Gen Z: 90% of Depop’s active users are under 26; and one-in three 15 to 24 year olds in the UK are registered. The platform - a cross between eBay and Instagram - allows users to follow their favourite sellers, including celebrities and influencers, and search items by brand or category. Depop Best for: Quick, easy listings How it works: Once you've downloaded the app, just tap the camera icon to create a new listing. “Really focus on taking the best pictures of your items,” says Swidenbank. “Include photos wearing the item, from different angles, and make sure to take pictures of any natural imperfections.” Shoot straight from the app to add photos and videos, write a description of what you’re selling, and specify details such as categories, brands, sizes, and locations. Once published, you can edit your listing at any time. What to sell: “We have one of the most unique assortments you can find, with over 20 million items available. Some of our top-selling categories are resold streetwear, vintage, and designer items, in addition to recycled and reworked items,” Swidenbank tells us. High-street tends to do really well on Depop, too, so get that Zara dress you never got around to wearing listed asap. Commission: Depop automatically charges a 10% fee of the total transaction amount (including shipping costs). This charge will be taken directly from your PayPal or card, before the rest of the sale price is transferred to your account. 4 Rebelle keeps the luxury aspect of shopping alive with a concierge service that offers a 48-hour turnaround, including authentication and delivery. CEO Cécile Wickmann, who founded the company in 2013, credits an increased environmental awareness with Rebelle’s success. “The acceptance of second-hand fashion, especially in the high-end and luxury sector, has grown significantly,” she says. “It’s important for us to question the classic rules and fast-paced trends of the industry.” The site has an average of 80,000 unique visitors each month, and sees accessory categories (bags, shoes and jewellery) bring in the highest resale value. Rebelle Best for: The luxury experience How it works: You can either choose to manage the process yourself – from uploading pictures, to writing the description and answering enquiries – or, if that sounds like a bit of a faff, you can use the concierge service. Send your item to the Rebelle team free of charge, who verify and authenticate, before taking professional photos and adding to the site. Once sold, your item will be sent to the buyer from Rebelle’s Hamburg HQ, guaranteeing 48-hour delivery. What to sell: Hundreds of new pre-loved designer items are added to the site everyday between 5 and 7 p.m – it's worth remembering that it takes 24 hours until listings go live. It comes as no surprise that Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel are some of the best selling brands on Rebelle, with some bags selling in seconds. Commission: Commission is tiered and calculated based on the final sale price, starting at €20 for anything under €40. For example, if you were to sell a €200 dress, the final commission would be €72: €20 (flat rate for the first €40), plus €36.30 (33% commission for €41-150), plus €30 (30% commission for €150-500). 5 Cudoni Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock takes the stress out of selling by taking care of everything involved in the resale process; from collection, to professional photography, pricing, listing, customer handling, storage and shipping. Relatively new to the market (launched in 2017 by CEO and founder, James Harford-Tyrer), Cudoni uses a data-driven approach, which Harford-Tyrer says brings in 30% more per item than resale competitors – the value of stock from sellers is up almost 200% on last year. Cudoni Best for: Taking the stress out of selling How it works: Register online or call Cudoni to chat about selling, the team will then arrange a complimentary collection or consignment kit for you to post your items, before providing market valuations. Payments are made after sale. What to sell: Bags, shoes, and accessories perform particularly well says Harford-Tyrer: “We're seeing higher demand than ever before for vintage icons reborn; Fendi Baguette and Dior Saddle handbags are proving ever-popular, both newer editions and the original classics.” Anything from Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Dior are surefire second-hand hits, while brands like Van Cleef & Arpels go down well in the jewellery category. There's also an increasing demand for men's items, such as Berluti jackets, Yeezy trainers, Tom Ford accessories and anything Loro Piana. Commission: Cudoni works on a commission-only basis, which means that there are no upfront costs. Once an item has sold, you'll earn incremental percentages of the net sale price: 60% for sales up to £1,000, 70% for sales over £10,000. 6 Vestiaire Collective ’s expert team curates the online catalogue, featuring the latest trends and some 8,000 new products added daily. With over nine million daily users around the world, you can be sure your item will get in front of a buyer. Vestiaire Collective Best for: Investment pieces How it works: Use the form online or on the app to upload your images and item description in less than 60 seconds – your listing will go live once it has been approved. Vestiaire Collective’s team authenticate first, keeping a close eye out for counterfeits. Once sold, sellers post the items to VC's HQ using a prepaid label, where it is checked again in person, before sending on to the buyer. Payment is processed post-shipping. What to sell: Limited-edition, high-street collaborations saw one of the largest increases on the site in 2019; Nike X Sacai sold at an increase of 8,704 % (year-on-year), and H&M’s collection with Moschino was up 250% (year-on-year). Buyers like to mix big-name designers such as Gucci and Prada, with more niche or accessible brands such as Jacquemus, Marine Serre, Ganni, Rejina Pyo, Staud and Rouje. Commission: Again, it's based on the final sale price and tiered accordingly. Items with a sale value up to £130 have a fixed charge of £13, whereas for every item over £6,500, it's £1,300. For all other amounts, commission will be between 10% and 25%, maximum. For example, a sale price between £130 and £140 will be charged at 10% commission, while a sale price of £210 to £220 will be charged at 20%.
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