Experts weigh in how to navigate your way through the secondhand shopping market

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(NEW YORK) – With inflation and rising prices across industries, many people are looking closely at how to save or further raise their dollars. Fashion is not exempt from the conversation, and part of the reason there has been an ongoing riot within the second-hand shopping market.

From thrift stores to online consignment stores, these accessible destinations offer shoppers the chance to breathe new life into used items, save money, and get a greener wardrobe.

At a time when there are so many fast fashion retailers mass-producing large volumes of clothing, everyone from influencers to shopping enthusiasts are opening up to the idea of ​​slow fashion through second-hand shopping and other methods.

“It helps slow the carbon footprint in the fashion industry,” fashion content creator and @ThriftNTell owner Iesha Gilchrist told ABC News. Good morning America. “I’m not sure there’s a way to stop it completely, however, if I know I’m choosing to check the thrift store on those popular fast fashion sites first, then I’m one less person adding to the crowded landfills. “

Dallas-based fashion and beauty influencer Stephanie Taylor Jackson also explained GMA that another key benefit is the endless amount of unique vintage pieces you can find when shopping for second hand.

“It’s always so special to find something that no one else has right now,” she said.

He added: “You are doing your part to help the environment. Rather than something that is thrown away, destroyed or even just sitting on an unused shelf, I see second hand shopping as giving new life to beautiful pieces. “

Towards the end of last year, she was able to snatch a pre-loved Chanel bag from the online luxury fashion retail website Fashionphile.

Tips for used, according to experts

If you’re brand new to the idea of ​​second-hand shopping and don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. If you are a beginner, Gilchrist advises not to enter with high expectations and to shop in multiple stores.

“If you find a fundamental piece in a thrift store, you win,” he said. “Thrift is about building a sustainable dream wardrobe while still adding a few trendy pieces here and there.”

Taylor also added that another key factor is to always look for reputable sites and retailers who can guarantee authenticity.

Brand director at leading online shipping and thredUP thredUP store, Madeline Cronin Aaronson, pointed out that GMA how easy it can be to get carried away by truly fun and unique pieces. Her advice for making the best decision: “My rule of thumb is to think of at least three items I have in my closet that will go with the second hand item. That way I know it’s a useful addition to my wardrobe. worst case, if you save an item that ends up not working, you can always resell it and put it back into the circular economy for someone else to try. “

In addition to the advice mentioned above, the CEO and founder of the luxury second-hand shipping store Dora Maar Lauren T. Wilson said GMA other key factors include knowing your style and knowing your measurements.

“Make sure you know the size of the bust, waist and hips,” she said. “Every designer is different, so platforms like Dora Maar make sure to include measurements in our dress descriptions to help our consumers know if it’s the right size for them.”

What is real and what is not?

When it comes to second-hand purchases, especially for luxury items, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher between what is authentic and what is not.

Gilchrist suggests that the best thing to do is to research and examine the product a lot.

“Pay close attention to the seams and the lining. Personally I can tell when something is cheaply made, especially if it’s faux leather, “he said.” Most duplicates or imitations have something wrong with them, be it the color of the thread, the zipper, the inner lining or logo font – don’t get me wrong, there are some great imitations out there that may fool you but researching your favorite designer brands is always my best advice before buying.

If the platform you’re buying from doesn’t have its own authentication process, some reputable websites that can help you include Authenticate First, Real Authentication, and Zekos Authentication.

What are some downsides of shopping at thrift and consignment stores?

Taylor advises shoppers to be absolutely aware of the condition of the item they are buying, especially for anything purchased online.

“Use the rating scale that many sites have and ask for additional photos whenever possible,” he said.

In addition to thoroughly reviewing conditions, Gilchrist warns to confirm that you will not bring home “unwanted guests” such as insects, rodents, germs, etc. from a thrift store.

He added: “Make sure you tremble completely and check every garment you pick up and try to stay away from stained clothing, especially if you can’t figure out where the stain is coming from.”

The bottom line

“In a world of fast fashion, second-hand shopping is a rare opportunity to extend the life of a garment, whether it’s a Chanel bag or a Carolina Herrera dress,” said Wilson. “Those pieces took time and real craftsmanship to create. Being a fashion lover and giving that garment a new life is a wonderful thing. I also firmly believe that buying second hand is more rewarding: you are searching and scouting, and more often than not you find a piece that speaks to you and has a unique touch that is not found anywhere else.

Best online stores for pre-loved shipping purchases, according to experts:

Dora Maar
The real real
Julia Rose Boston
Vestiaire collective

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