Best Used Clothing Apps to Buy & Sell Second-hand Fashion

edited October 3 in Acer Corner

The thrill of fashion doesn't have to mean buying something brand new - vintage and used clothing can be just as stunning! Not only is it more sustainable, but you're more likely to find clothes that will stand the test of time in style and quality. Plus, you can trade, donate or sell your old clothing.

Buying pre-loved is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment and boost your bank account. Plus, instead of buying into the fast fashion industry and ending up with a cookie-cutter wardrobe of pieces inspired by the latest catwalk trends, your wardrobe will have a story to tell that's totally unique.

Buying used clothes isn't new, but how we now do it is. Many vintage apps act as social network sites merged with shopping platforms, which allow you to buy, sell, swap, or even rent clothes. The best pre-loved clothing apps are free and user-friendly, so you can rock your closet, bank account, and conscience. We've handpicked 5 used clothing and vintage apps to help you shop.

Fast fashion and its environmental impact 

The average American throws away 81 pounds of clothes yearly, so it's clear that there are more than enough clothes in circulation. Over 85% of our clothes are burned or end up in a landfill - over 16 million tons. Imagine a garbage truck full of clothes burnt or buried every single second.  

36 billion is the estimated number of clothing items thrown away annually in the US, 95% of which could be recycled or reused. The fashion industry significantly impacts the environment, and the UN Environment Programme has warned that fast fashion is:

  • The second-biggest consumer of water  
  • Responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions 
  • 24% of insecticides and 11% of pesticides global usage

If nothing changes, by 2050, the fashion industry will consume 25% of the world's carbon budget. Synthetic textiles like polyester account for approximately 9% of the ocean's microplastic  – tiny pieces of non-biodegradable plastic. 

A circular economy for fashion creates greener alternatives, less pollution, and regenerates the environment. We can all help reduce these statistics by making more sustainable clothing choices. If you buy second-hand clothes, the carbon footprint is reduced by 82%.

Look for brands that use sustainable materials, and try to buy, sell, donate second-hand when you can. Every little bit helps!  

1) ThredUP 

Best for variety and sellers in a rush 

ThredUP is the world's largest thrift store and allows you to buy or sell second-hand clothing from over 35,000 brands at up to 90% off the recommended retail price. Choose from quality and designer luxury brands, including:

  • Coach  
  • Tory Burch 
  • J. Crew 
  • Hermès 
  • A.P.C.

Each item has a 12-point inspection before being available for sale, ensuring you're getting high-quality fashion at a fair price. The app is easy to navigate, and you save time as ThredUP only lists high-quality pieces.

For sellers, ThredUP is unique because you don't have to create listings to sell your clothes. ThredUp does all the work for you - listings, photos, and shipping, so it's perfect for sellers who don't have time. Simply order a free Clean Out Kit.

Selling is free on ThredUp, and they take a percentage of the profit of the sold items. Payouts will depend on the brand but on premium brands, you'll receive up to 80% of the selling price. If your items don't sell, you can choose for ThredUP to either:

  • Ship them back  
  • Recycle them 

ThredUP Pros:  

  • Huge variety of brands 
  • Filter options make it easy to find the right clothes for you 
  • Affordable pricing 

ThredUP Cons: 

  • Men's clothing is not available 
  • Free shipping is only for orders over $79 
  • Sellers' clothing has a high rejection rate 

Shipping: US, Canada Category: clothing, bags, shoes, accessories, plus size For: women, maternity, children 

Get it free on iOS or Android. 

2) Depop 

Best for Gen Z shoppers 

Beloved by GenZ, Depop is the perfect place to shop for fashionable second-hand streetwear, sneakers, and vintage items. With over 26 million users and 90% under the age of 26 - you'll find a mix of the latest seasonal styles, fast fashion brands, '90s gear, vintage pieces, and independent sellers.

Depop is a peer-to-peer online marketplace that looks and feels like Instagram, where you can buy and sell clothes directly from each other's closets! With a vast selection of menswear, womenswear, and accessories and over 32 million items for sale. It's virtual thrifting for the TikTok generation, as you'll find great deals that are a fraction of their retail price.

As a seller, you're responsible for taking photos or videos and writing up the product listing. Listing is free, but Depop charges a 10% flat rate plus Paypal transaction fees on all items sold.  Transaction fees will vary based on your location and shipping destination. In the US, the standard Paypal fee is 3.49% + $0.49. So, altogether it's a lower percentage than many other apps.

Unlike many other vintage apps, Depop allows sold items to stay on a user's profile for buyers to browse. 

Depop Pros:  

  • Find quirky, original clothing 
  • Global platform available worldwide 
  • Only pay a 10% seller fee plus transaction fees which is lower than competitors

Depop Cons: 

  • Sellers can contact you through DMs 
  • Only receive payments via PayPal or Stripe, so you'll pay transaction fees 

Shipping: Worldwide Category: clothing, bags, accessories, shoes, jewelry For: women, men

Get it for free on iOS or Android. 

3) Poshmark 

Best for high-end designer clothing 

Poshmark is the leading social marketplace for upscale brands, with a community of over 80 million people. It's ideal for bargain shoppers, who get up to 70% off on over 9,000 brands. From clothing to homeware to electronics, it's a treasure trove of second-hand goods. You can find clothing, accessories, and shoes from well-known fashion brands, including:

  • Michael Kors 
  • Louis Vuitton 
  • Coach 
  • Nike  
  • Lululemon

For a positive user experience and value for money, Poshmark is ideal for shoppers seeking a bargain. You can easily compare similar-priced items, filter search results, and see what sold recently for how much money. Plus, with Posh Protect, you'll receive a full refund if the item doesn't match the listing or never ships.

Poshmark appeals to fashion lovers who want to sell new, pre-owned, or vintage clothes. Use the free app to upload pictures, write a description, and set a price for the items you want to sell. Once you sell an item, you'll be emailed a prepaid shipping label, making it easy to pack and track your package. As shipping is included, drop it off at a USPS. Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95 for clothing under $15 and 20% for higher-priced items. This includes all financial transaction fees, so no other costs are involved. 

Poshmark Pros: 

  • A tight-knit community with its social media component 
  • Offers protected payments 
  • Bargain the price with the offer button 

Poshmark Cons: 

  • Shipping fees can be high 
  • Poshmark charges higher commission fees than rivals 

Shipping: US, Canada & Australia Category: clothing, bags, accessories, shoes, jewelry For: everyone 

Get it for free on iOS or Android. 

 4) Grailed 

Best for menswear 

One for the guys! Grailed is a one-stop shop for buying and selling men's and women’s clothing. The app offers both used and new fashion, focusing on high-end luxury brands. Grailed is filled with streetwear brands, vintage pieces, and independent designers, so prices are higher than other apps. Their team ensures that all items are authentic before they're sold, guaranteeing an easy shopping experience for consumers. Plus, with a purchase protection guarantee, you'll receive a full refund if your item is inauthentic, different from the listing, or never arrives.

Sellers only pay a 9% commission flat fee on any item sold. Plus, you'll need to pay the PayPal transaction processing fee, and handle any shipping.

Grailed Pros: 

  • Shop rare, vintage, and luxury men's goods 
  • Buyer protection policy 
  • Price bargaining with binding offers

Grailed Cons: 

  •  International shipping fees are high 

Shipping: Worldwide Category: clothing, bags, accessories, shoes, jewelry For: men and women

Get it for free on iOS 

5) Rent the Runway 

Best for designer rentals 

Looking for the perfect outfit for your friend's upcoming wedding? Or do you need a dress to impress at the conference? Rent the Runway will rent you clothes and accessories to save money, closet space, and access over 750 brands. Membership costs between $144 - $235 per month and enables you to choose 8, 12, or 16 items. One-off rentals and buying items are also available. With a constantly rotating closet, you'll eliminate waste.

Their fully managed service means all items you get arrive ready-to-wear and include:

  • Rental insurance 
  • Free shipping 
  • Free cleaning 

So you can party in a designer dress stress-free that can cost up to $3000. Their easy-to-use iOS app makes rentals a breeze.

Pros: 

  • Designer clothes are stunning 
  • Experiment with your style and new trends 
  • Reviews show how the item will look

Cons: 

  • Cost: $144 - $235 is a lot if you're not regularly renting outfits 
  • Clothes aren't always available

Shipping: US Category: clothing, bags, accessories, shoes, jewelry For: women

Get it for free on iOS

Whether you're a fashionista or just trying to save money, these apps are a great way to get the best deals on vintage designer clothes. So, shop sustainably and save the planet.

*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.

About Robert Stark: Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech. 


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