While I’ve always lived for the thrill of finding a bargain in all forms — whether it be scoring at the dollar store or waiting for the end-of-the-year sale to finally snag the dress sitting in my virtual shopping cart for the months — there’s truly nothing that I love more than second-hand shopping — whether it be at the local charity shop, an estate sale, antique fair, or flea market. Thrifting has been my hobby for as long as I can remember, and while some of my fellow bargain hunters tend to get turned off by the semi-disorganized setting in used clothing stores or having to dig through racks and piles to find their size (of course, I do love upscale vintage stores as well), I actually really enjoy the adrenaline rush that I get from such a treasure hunt.
In case you need further evidence of my obsession: I even turned my favorite pastime into a profitable side hustle in college “flipping” stellar second-hand scores on eBay and Poshmark to earn some extra cash. While I no longer have to sell online to pay rent and buy groceries, the thrill of a good thrift find hasn’t escaped me — and I doubt it ever will. Sadly, with social-distancing protocol still being observed where I live (Los Angeles, in case you’re curious), embarking on my weekly Sunday thrifting ritual has been a bit more tricky, prompting me to look to other avenues to get my fix, and looking for online thrift store options. It true: e-thrifting won’t always yield the cheapest prices on home decor, practical household items, and of course, clothing, but you will, at least, get a more streamlined shipping experience, and a more tightly-curated selection of items to choose from than you’d find while second-hand shopping IRL.
Plus, let’s face it — unlike me, I realize that not everyone has the time or patience to deal with the hit-or-miss nature of thrift store shopping or the allergy-free physiology required to handle the dusty interiors of second-hand brick and mortars. Whether you’re looking to score some authentic vintage Levi’s jeans that lift your bum like a dream or want to add some retro flavor to your apartment with a vintage home decor piece, scroll through below to check out my favorite second-hand shopping sites. Because, hey, buying used stuff not only saves you money, but it’s good for our planet too.
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So, eBay may not technically be an online “thrift” store, but it merits making the list because not only can you find just about anything on the platform, but it’s also the O.G. online auctioning site for buying and selling used goods over the Internet. Plus, for me, it still ranks at the top for the times when I’m looking to score rare collectibles or lower-priced pre-owned goods (I love to buy vintage Gunne Sax Prairie Dresses on eBay), despite the recent surge of similar e-commerce platforms. While there are tons of items available on auction, many sellers are now switching to the “buy it now” model with a fixed price, which guarantees your purchase without having to bid on it (though usually “buy it now” sales will cost you a bit more money up-front).
Touted as the world’s largest online thrift store, ThredUP’s huge selection of gently pre-owned apparel, shoes, and accessories from top brands like Madewell, Lululemon Athletica, Anthropologie, Free People, Coach, J.Crew, and thousands more. Prices are again, much cheaper than you’d find in a thrift store — and even a buy-sell-trade store like Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Co., or Plato’s Closet, but they do offer plenty of coupons, seasonal sales, and have a robust clearance section. Also, as a side note, if you sell your unwanted clothing to ThredUP, you can actually select credit towards Reformation clothing instead of shopping their selection or accepting cash.
One King’s Lane Vintage
If you’re seeking an upscale online antique store with a tightly curated assortment of rare home decor and furniture pieces dating back to the 1900s and beyond, One King’s Lane is your one-stop-shop. Their vintage collection features a variety of one-of-kind works of art, rare books, unique lamps, and plenty of luxe art deco mirrors each sourced and hand-selected by curators and appraisers. You’re definitely not going to find thrift store price points here, but you will definitely find value. In short, it’s a great destination for an investment buy, but not ideal for bargain hunters.
ASOS not only sells a massive range of new apparel, accessories, and even beauty, but they also have a Marketplace website that offers second-hand and vintage apparel and accessories sold by independent sellers. Of course, you’ll only find clothing, accessories, and jewelry on Marketplace (no furniture, decor, or retro electronics here), and most of the listings are ’80s and ’90s styles. In order to sell on ASOS marketplace, you have to apply to be able to sell merchandise and are thus subject to more regulations, so you don’t have to worry about flaky sellers.
Shop Goodwill (Online)
Goodwill is a staple thrift store chain with hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations around the country, but did you know you can also shop at Goodwill stores via their online store too? This gives you access to solid scores available in stores across the country — no commute required. Prices are a bit steeper (which is fair, TBH), and the platform works similar to eBay in that most items are sold on auction. I’ve purchased a few super-rare vintage film cameras from the site and two vintage coach bags over the years.
Swap is probably the closest thing to an online version of a conventional thrift shop you’ll find without leaving the couch, offering a large assortment of low price points on knick-knacks, to clothing, and collectibles — basically all the random stuff you’d actually stumble upon at a brick and mortar. In addition to men’s and women’s, games, sporting goods, and a variety of miscellaneous household items. Don’t expect to find any designer labels here — you won’t. But you will find plenty of deals on well-known brands like H&M, Forever21 and Gap. Swap also allows you to save on shipping — you can buy multiple items from different sellers and combine shipping for most orders, and they offer a money-back guarantee and return process.
2nd Street USA
2nd Street USA is an upscale pre-owned clothing chain that recently added an online website, allowing thrifty fashionphiles the opportunity to shop their well-stocked stores online. This second-hand shop offers an impressive online collection of expertly curated clothing and accessories from global fashion houses and trending streetwear designers like Gucci, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, and many more — all without the lofty price tag. The online shop is chock-full of gently used designer pieces all marked down steeply.