Preloved Fashion Tips
My top tips for shopping on Vestiaire Collective
Shopping for “pre-loved” fashion is a whole new world, which I highly recommend trying out. I know it can be a bit daunting and we all have preconceived notions of what “pre-loved” or less enticingly, “second hand”, clothes shopping means. I can reassure you Preloved Fashion no longer means buying musty, out of date clothing – quite the opposite!
Vestiaire Collective (www.vestiairecollective.com) is a great place to start your journey. It offers a wide range of clothes from High Street to Designer, with emphasis towards the designer end. If you feel a bit strange about purchasing clothes that someone else wore, you can actually filter for “Never worn” or even “Never worn, with tag”.
The website is very user friendly and it's easy to set up your own online account. The search function allows you to shop by brand, category of clothing, colour, material, condition, region, etc. It also rates the buyer so you know whether they are a new or an experienced Vestiaire Collective Fashionista! If there is a particular item that you missed in the shops or can’t find in your size, you can set up an alert for it and you’d be surprised how quickly clothes from this season appear on the site. I have heard that a lot of models and stylists who might be gifted clothing, sell it on Vestiaire, which might explain this.
The site shows you the price that the buyer is asking for the item. You can go ahead and purchase the item for the asking price or alternatively you can choose to “Make an Offer”, and this is where the fun starts! Your offer must be at least 60% of the asking price and the system calculates and displays what the lowest acceptable offer is. Once you have made an offer, the seller has a chance to present a counter offer and on it goes until you settle on a price.
When you are purchasing an item, you have the option of “Direct Shipping” (where the seller ships the item directly to you) or “Authenticated Shipping” (where it’s shipped via Vestiaire Collective for quality control and authentication checks). Direct shipping within Europe is usually €13 and Authenticated Shipping costs an additional €15. If you are purchasing a very expensive item, then Authenticated Shipping is a good idea. Most of the time, I just get the item shipped directly to me but on a couple of occasions, when buying something expensive, I did choose to get it authenticated. One item I tried to buy was missing the belt and Vestiaire contacted me and gave the option of purchasing or refusing it. I refused the item and received a full refund within a few days.
The seller has 7 days to ship the item and if they don’t met the deadline, you are fully refunded within a few days and you also receive a €15 voucher by way of an apology, which is a nice touch. This has happened to me twice in all the times I’ve used the site, which is many!
I’m not suggesting that you only buy second hand clothing from now on, as at the moment that’s just not realistic and we all have items that we will find it hard to find second hand. For me it’s trousers – I have trouble finding trousers that fit me well, not to mention trying to find them second hand and online! However, buying preloved clothing is certainly a great way to reduce your climate impact while still enjoying fashion and even finding items that you just couldn’t justify or even afford to buy new.
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