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Second-hand Eco Tips for Online Shopping

November 03, 2020

Second-hand shopping is becoming more and more an issue, no wonder since it is much more sustainable than continually buying new clothes and throwing things that have hardly been worn in the trash. So it's time to collect a few tips & tricks for second-hand shopping. You can find out what you should look out for when buying used clothing, where you can find good bargains, and what you should consider if you want to sell clothes.


Second hand shopping on online platforms

Even if it's online, buying used clothing is a good idea to make your clothing consumption a little more sustainable. You can often find the latest trend parts online because every one of us knows it for sure: a wrong purchase happens, and it quickly ends up on eBay & Co. With these little tricks, you can make the best bargains:

  1. Make a list of parts that you will want to check regularly online. For example, a specific dress that was sold out in the store. With patience, you will find it online a little later.
  2. Compare different platforms and providers to get a real bargain price.
  3. Do not be unsettled by fast-moving trends - you can still confidently buy and enjoy retro items or clothes that were trending last year.
  4. Don't be ripped off. Some hype parts are often sold entirely overpriced. Better wait a while for prices to normalize.
  5. Be careful with branded items with bargain prices. If the article is very cheap, the authenticity can be doubted. Pages whose branded products have been checked for authenticity are better here.


Our tip: If you know what you are looking for, online second-hand shopping is a great sustainable alternative. The most well-known shop for this is probably eBay, and you might have also heard of thredUP. Here you can search specifically for a black jacket and get all available models displayed side by side. When searching, you can use many filters to find what you are looking for. Always read the description of the seller carefully and check whether any defects are pointed out. It is also worth taking a look at the seller's ratings.

The disadvantage of online second-hand shopping is that you cannot try things on and cannot return them. Therefore, if in doubt, you should ask for the seller and measure whether it will suit you. If you have discovered and tried on a part, you can also search used online directly. 

This method works particularly well with bulk goods from large chains. If the part is not immediately available, you can save your search and receive a notification as soon as a part that fits your description is inserted. 


The best selling method of your used clothes

To sell well on a clothing online market, one thing must be clear to you: nobody wants to buy worn, washed-out clothes - not even for a few euros if they are new and flawless at H&M & Co. It's not about getting rid of old and worn things, but much more about giving good things a new home.


  1. Only sell clothes that you would recommend to your best friend.
  2. Broken and washed-out items belong in the trash, not to be online.
  3. Wash everything thoroughly again; good-smelling and stain-free items of clothing sell better, of course.
  4. Be fair and wise to point out hidden errors (for example, a hole in the inside pocket) to interested parties.
  5. Set realistic prices. Remember that the "sale" is a big competition and that new parts are also available at fair prices.
  6. Branded goods, in particular, sell very well online.
  7. Pay attention to well-lit photos and an attractive backdrop. The image can determine whether your ad is clicked.
  8. Set realistic prices and compare what others are asking for similar items.
  9. Be fair and point out any mistakes and defects and show them in the pictures.


Tips for buying more eco-friendly

For example, we are currently looking for everything missing in our wardrobe, first and foremost second hand. This is even better than fair fashion because the parts already exist and don't have to be specially produced. The only hack is the shipping, of course. However, we think it is negligible compared to the rest of the shopping madness we pursued for years.


Only go shopping when you need something.

Against aimless buying, it helps only to go shopping when we need something. That sounds pretty simple, but it's often difficult for us to implement. So write down a list of the things that you need. The next time you go shopping - including online - you will only select these things.

Try to make sure that you don't deviate from your Lise while shopping. If you do see something you want or need, put it on your wish list. In this way, you avoid impulse and bad purchases and save a lot of money.


Imagine exactly having something

We're pretty bad at predicting future happiness, so we tend to overestimate some purchases. Would you finally feel confident with these new jeans? And with the new camera, you could finally take the best pictures?

It can help to envision in detail what it would be like to own certain things. This is how you can find out if you need it. Does this camera meet all of the requirements that you place on it? Would you use it that much? Or do you just like the idea of it? Do you have other clothes that go with these jeans? Does the material feel right, or is it pinching somewhere? Do not compromise when shopping and only buy what is completely convincing to you.


Don't be afraid to miss anything

"Only two left in stock" - we find the feeling of missing a good opportunity unpleasant and, therefore, naturally want to avoid it. Consequently, we buy faster when the seller or the online shop tells us that there is little left of a particular product. The same applies to limited product series, one-time discounts, or offers limited to a short period.

With such offers, make yourself aware that this sales trick exists and then think about whether you need the product, whether you are currently feeling pressured to buy it and what would happen if the product no longer existed. Probably nothing, right?


Invest in experiences rather than things

Researchers have found that in-store products only make us happy for a short time. Material things bore us quickly; they pass into our possession and are then just there. The feeling of happiness that you generated when you bought it usually doesn't come back. In contrast, beautiful experiences make us happy in the long term.

So the next time you see a lovely dress in the store, think about your next vacation, a concert that you would like to attend or the dance class that you wanted to start a long time ago - maybe you'd instead save the money for it. You will have something of the memory of it for longer.


Pay with cash

Paying with the bank card seems less real because we don't see our money changing hands. We are therefore prepared to spend more money when paying by card than when paying in cash.

A simple trick to consuming less is, therefore: Always pay with cash when shopping. Not only do you keep track of your expenses, but you also tend to leave a product in the store that you don't need.


Create a wish list

When you see something you like and don't want to have, don't grab it right away; take your time. This will also help you avoid unnecessary purchases. Instead, create a wish list on which you write down everything that you find interesting. This can be a pair of pants with a specific cut, such as a bicycle or a food processor.

You can then add to and edit the list regularly. You will see that there are often things that you cross off the list after a few days. Then the first impulse to buy has been overcome, and you can make more rational decisions.


Consume ecologically and ethically produced products

If you then really want to buy something, try to opt for environmentally and socially compatible products.

Sustainably manufactured products rarely come from mass production. The raw materials used in the works are often of higher quality than conventional ones and are therefore more robust and durable. Because fair wages are paid, the products can be processed cleanly and are often of better quality. You can benefit from sustainable products for more extended, and high-quality products usually cost a little more than mass-produced goods - and in the best case, you buy fewer new works.


Shopping as a natural part of everyday life?

Shopping is an excellent Saturday afternoon activity, a great activity with friends. Stroll through the shops together, examine the latest trends, have a coffee in between, and if you haven't found what you are looking for, you can continue shopping on the internet in the evening.


Of course, everyone likes days like that—a lot. In a certain way, fashion is also art, and people want to look at it. However, lately, we've ended up going home more often empty-handed more like after a museum visit than a vernissage. When all the beautiful parts surround you, you are also very tempted to take one with you. Like a dry alcoholic at a free beer party. Except that the beer costs something, after all.


Our tips for less consumption

How do we manage to resist? We've thought and researched about it and put a few tips together.


  • Staying away from temptation is probably one of the best tips. So you are at least safe from useless spontaneous purchases.
  • "It's not a good deal if you don't need it" - we always try to keep this motto in mind because as trite as it may sound now, it is true. We don't want to live an utterly minimalist life, but we don't need cabinet keepers either, who may be done once a season. Unfortunately, we already have too many of them.
  • When you see something that you like, please don't buy it right away. Most of the time, you should think for at least a week about whether you want it. It isn't a problem to wait a little longer for your clothes after all, especially if you already have enough.
  • It would be best if you only threw out the things that don't suit you anymore or that you don't feel comfortable with. We often found that we suddenly liked parts that we had initially sorted out but which we didn't sell or give away immediately. At the moment, thanks to the Marie Kondo method, it is in to throw everything out of the closet as much as possible, but if new things then replace it, that's not necessarily the real thing. If you have a little storage space, we would therefore recommend that you put old treasures in the cellar for the time being, and after a few years see if you don't want them anymore.
  • We try to mend old favorite parts that break. A current example is a pair of shoes where, unfortunately, their zipper is broken. That's not a reason to throw them away. Finally, you can easily replace the zipper.


Do not get too much into Fast Fashion. Patience pays off!


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