reselling your old clothes online: pluses, minuses, tips

reselling your old clothes online: pluses, minuses, tips

Over the last few years my lifestyle and personal style have changed several times, and every time I faced the problem of what to do with the clothes & accessories that were not me anymore. In my previous blog post, I’ve shared with you some insights & ideas on how to identify those items and what you could potentially do about them. In this post, I’m digging deeper and sharing my experience of reselling clothes – because it’s still sustainable, but also bring you some extra cash – and who would mind that, right?!

Like with many things in life these days, here you have two options: go online or offline. Both have their pros and cons, and I tried both, so in this post will be happily sharing all about my online reselling experience here in the Netherlands.

General tips:

  • Take clear photos (front, back, close-up, and how an item looks on). If you upload an item with only one photo of it, 99% of the time you will be asked to upload more.
  • Don’t overprice your items & be ready to reduce the price if it’s reasonable (especially if it’s been online for a while and haven’t been sold yet)
  • Think from the buyer’s prospective: if you were to buy a second hand item online, what information would you want to know and what would make you buy something?
  • Be responsive. In online world, it’s very easy to lose the attention, so if someone shows interest in whatever you’re selling – be nice & helpful 🙂

United Wardrobe

This is an app that plays a role of a broker in reselling your clothing & accessories. I personally really like it because you can not only sell your stuff, but also find some really cool items that got sold out in store/ not available in your size with a reduced price (Winning!). 

How it works:

You can use both a mobile app & a website – I personally find the app more convenient. When you create your account you’ll need to provide your address and your bank account details, so you can get paid if you sell something. After that you can start adding items yo your “Closet”, which is essentially your personal page with all things you’re selling. You can change your profile pic & background to make it look more appealing. The whole interface is pretty straightforward and if you have any questions, there is a whole FAQ section waiting for you. 

When someone buys an item from you, the payment goes to the UW account. Once the item is sent, your as a seller update the status indicating that you sent the item (and include a tracking code if you have it). When the buyer receives their purchase, they can update the status that the item has been received and, if they decide to keep it, UW will transfer your payment within 24 hours. 

What if a buyer doesn’t want to keep an item? Returns are possible only if the seller didn’t inform the buyer about correct sizing or some defects. If the information was shared correctly, but the item doesn’t fit properly, the buyer can decide to resell this item via UW straight away. If, however, an item was, for example, damaged, the buyer can submit a return request with some photos and explanation. In this situation, the seller can either accept or reject the request. All the rejected requests are also checked by UW Support team and they make the final decision whether the return is reasonable or not. 

Pros: 

  • Easy to use
  • Payment protection
  • Diversity (you can sell pretty much anything fashion related there, both cheap and more expensive items)
  • No scam accounts (to my knowledge)
  • Seamless bidding/ buying 
  • You can easily promote what you’re selling on Instagram & Facebook
  • You do not need to pay any fees to extend “expired” items

Cons: 

  • Available only in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France
  • Seller & buyer fees (10% of the purchase for sellers & approx. 2 euros per purchase for buyers)
  • You need to include the shipping costs into the price & you need to arrange the shipping
  • It’s quite difficult to sell out everything

 

Marktplaats

If United Wardrobe is a fashion oriented marketplace, Marktplaats (“marketplace” from Dutch) name says for itself – it’s an online platform where you can sell essentially anything – from clothes to cars & puppies. Apart from that, one of the biggest differences from United Wardrobe is that you can see other online retailers advertise there, so you can get both brand new and second hand stuff.

How it works:

Again, here you can use a website or a mobile app – matter of preference really. You do not need to provide that much personal info when creating your account, which can be more attractive for some people (privacy & all). After that, you can start adding products you’d like to sell – an here it can be anything, not only fashion items, just don’t forget to put everything in the right category 🙂 When you’re filling in the product info, Marktplaats will also give you a hint on average pricing for this specific category. You can also decide to have open bidding, but then it’s always a good idea to put a starting price.

Buyers can contact you via messages to show their interest, or make an offer, but that’s about how much facilitation you get here. It’s up to you to discuss whether the buyer want to have their purchase delivered or if they’re going to pick it up. It’s also up to you to arrange the payment – you can decide whether you want to do it via Marktplaats “Betalverzoek” or just exchange your details with the buyer. 

Keep in mind that free postings can stay on Marktplaats for something like 5 weeks (this is a recent change) and after that it is possible extend them for a small fee.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Payment facilitation available with a small fee
  • You can buy literally anything there
  • Diversity – you can buy & sell anything
  • Essentially no fees are involved unless you use payment functionality, or extend your ad

Cons:

  • It’s only relevant for NL based individuals
  • Even though you can sell clothes here, it’s less targeted, so it can take longer
  • You need to understand Dutch (no English version available)
  • You can get scammed, though Marktplaats closely watches all suspicious activity
  • Bidding/ buying are not really seamless, so it involves some manual work
  • A bit less secure – you deal with buyers directly, so it’s a matter of trust with payments & delivery

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook is constantly changing and extending its application, going far beyond being just a social network. Noticing that some people were using Facebook to resell things (e.g. student marketplace groups), Facebook went ahead and created a separate Marketplace section which made resale much easier. 

How it works:

If you have a Facebook account, which I assume, you do, all you need to do is to click Marketplace icon & off you go. Hit sell, upload product photos, description & price – et voila! – your item is on this social market. Potential buyers can contact you via PMs, and that’s where you can discuss the price and answer questions about whatever you’re selling. This is where you also discuss the delivery/ pick-up and payment method.

Pros:

  • You don’t need to create a separate account
  • Very easy to use
  • Can be used anywhere in the world
  • You can easily reach a lot of people
  • You can sell anything there 
  • It’s free

Cons:

  • Not very secure – there’s no payment protection and no delivery guarantees
  • You can get scammed & get some dodgy messages (personal experience :/)
  • Bidding/ buying are not really seamless, so it involves some manual work
  • It’s not very targeted

Other platforms & final thoughts

I’m well aware of other reselling platforms like The Next Closet, Vestiaire Collective, Vinted, Depop… but I haven’t really tried them (yet). Some of them are too specialised, and some seems to be used more in other countries. For the moment, United Wardrobe is really my favourite online reselling platform for fashion items which I use the most, but when I feel like trying something new I will definitely give it a shot. 

By the way, what platform do you think I should try next?

how to be a fashion declutter guru & sell, donate & recycle like a boss

how to be a fashion declutter guru & sell, donate & recycle like a boss

Hi everyone,

The holiday season is over, and I am now fully back – it is not easy to blog frequently when you have a full time job, but I will do my best to improve this 😉

A while ago I mentioned on my Instagram that I often buy second hand clothes and also sell, donate, & recycle my own. It is kind of inevitable if you are into fashion and want to follow (some) trends – and with those trends changing all the time, fast fashion brands having 6-12 collections per year, it all becomes way too easy to just keep on buying. It is also inevitable that some clothes get worn out, don’t fit you like they should, or you just fall out of love with them.

Whatever the reason is – you don’t want to hoard all the clothing you accumulate over years, because – why would you clutter your personal space (unless you live in a huge house and you don’t care about it 😉)? But what do you do with all those unloved treasures (or call it junk if you like)? And how do you make sure you keep a “healthy” balance of old and new in your closet?

One might say: “Just stop buying so much!” And it is true in a way, but this is a topic for another post. Here I want to focus on what you do when you have already accumulated lots of clothes.

I usually do a closet clear out twice a year – when I switch from Fall/ Winter to Spring/ Summer, and vice versa. This way it helps you to rethink your old clothes, think of what you would like to add to the wardrobe for a new season, and it is frequent enough to keep your closet in order. I do get rid of some more things occasionally throughout a season, e.g. when I try something on and realise that this is not quite me anymore, something is wrong with the fit (I shouldn’t have washed that handwash only viscose dress in a washing machine, I know), or it is just worn out. These are general rules I follow when going through my wardrobe in one of the big clear outs as well. Probably one more rule to add to it though – if you haven’t worn something in the last 6 months to a year, even if it’s a new item with tags – have another critical look at it and get rid of it – it must have been not your thing, even though it might have looked good on a hanger.

So, once you have a pile of things that you don’t need in your wardrobe in your life… what do you actually do with them? Putting them in a rubbish been doesn’t count – it’s not very sustainable and can be mentally difficult, especially if you’re getting rid of a brand new item… As an (almost) a pro in this, I’m happy to share some ideas & pointers  to make your life easier. Disclaimer: as I live in Amsterdam, some apps & places are location specific, but you can definitely get the general idea and add your local spin on it.

In short, you can do three things: sell, donate, recycle. But how do you decide what to do with what?

 

Selling

What: This is a category of things that is actually worth reselling, i.e. new/ good-as-new clothing, shoes & accessories that didn’t get enough love in your closet. These are also usually the most pricey items.

Where:

Online: United Wardrobe app, Marktplaats, Facebook marketplace, Facebook groups (Buy & Sell Amsterdam, ISN Amsterdam Online Market, Amsterdam Expats Online Market)

Offline: King’s Day in Amsterdam, NDSM flea market, Secondhand stores (De Ruilhoek,  Mooizo), garage sales

What do you need: good quality photos, energy to take those photos, some time/ money reserved for posting items or meeting up with buyers, patience to wait till someone buys whatever you’re selling

 

Donating & Recycling 

What: These are items that you were not able to sell, you don’t think they are worth the effort to try to sell, or you just want to do the right thing and instead of reselling donate them to those who need clothes more than you do.

Where: your friends & family who you think might like your stuff, Zara, H&M*, &other stories* (these stores pick re-usable items and donate to different charities, or recycle), various charities directly (some examples here), containers around the city that say “Kleding/ Schoenen”, or just check here.

What do you need: time to go to drop off the bags** with your old clothing at one of the stores or charities

 

*By donating your clothes there, you get a 10-15% discount voucher for your next purchase.

**Actually, if you order something at Zara & indicate that you want to donate some clothes as well, you can have a courier who delivers your purchase also pick up your bag with donations.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of options out there to keep your fashion adventures under control, and you can choose whatever suits your preferences and moral standards (except for throwing clothing away – please opt for recycling instead). My personal scheme here would be: declutter -> let my niece choose whatever she likes -> sort into sell, donate & recycle piles -> post things from the sell pile online & give away the donate & recycle pile -> if cannot sell everything online, try to sell the remaining stuff offline -> if that doesn’t work either, donate!

 

P.S. if you want to know more pros, cons, and tips on selling your clothing & accessories on different platforms, be on the look out for my next post!

 

how to dress for a fancy soiree and not to go bankrupt – men’s edition

how to dress for a fancy soiree and not to go bankrupt – men’s edition

This blog post was inspired by a comment of Olivia to my previous post which reminded me of a story that happened a couple of months back – et voila! – a new post idea was born. 

Have you ever been invited to a work party or wedding or any other kind of gathering that required dressing up? If yes – you know the struggle. But imagine if you found out about the dress code element last minute?..

…I knew that my boyfriend was going to have a work party and all the employees got to take their +1’s. No reason to stress – just a work party, right?* 

*I guess here I need to explain that we live in the Netherlands and generally it is okay to not overly dress up for a work function – it may not be applicable to everyone, but this is what my experience has been so far.

This time it wasn’t all that simple. He came from work one evening and announced: “Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you – remember that work function I mentioned to you? It’s a fancy dress event – all guys at work are going to wear suits. Any idea what I could wear?” And this news was coming from a suitless guy next to me within a week before that party… 

This right here – quite a puzzle to solve, huh? Here are some solutions I could think of:

Option 1 Buy a suit

This is probably the most obvious one. If you don’t own a suit and you have an occasion coming up that would require one, this is probably a moment when you might consider buying a suit – just because there will be more events when you would need it.

Pros: 

  • Suit is quite a classic element of men’s wardrobe, there will be days when you will definitely need it
  • Well-fitted suit can give you a sleek & expensive look and boost your confidence

Cons:

  • Suits can be incredibly expensive
  • We are all different and it will take time to find a perfect fitting suit – it may even require some tailoring services
  • Depending on your lifestyle, you may use it so rarely that it would be difficult to justify time & money investment

Option 2 Rent a suit

What if you really need/ want to wear a suit for an event, but you don’t own one and you are not sure how often you would need it in future? Then you may consider renting a suit.

Pros:

  • This is your life saviour when you need to have a suit for one time
  • It is much cheaper than buying a suit (even the least expensive one)
  • It would be higher quality than the cheapest suit that you would buy in mass-market

Cons:

  • It wouldn’t be tailored to you and might potentially look like a suit off someone else’s back
  • It wouldn’t be an investment into something that you could use in future which is a reason to think of whether it would be money well spent

Option 3 Get creative

This is my favourite option! Essentially you try to create an outfit from your existing wardrobe and buy 1-2 additional pieces to dress it up and use afterwards. Don’t get me wrong – this will probably not replace an actual suit, but if the dress code allows to get away with it, it’s definitely worth trying.

Pros:

  • It saves you money & time
  • You invest into pieces of clothing or accessories that you would be able to wear afterwards
  • It challenges your imagination

Cons:

  • You would need some styling experience and you would need to think out of the box
  • It won’t work if you have no items that would be more dressy/ semi-formal

In our case, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money and renting a suit felt like unworthy expense. As you can guess by now, I decided to get creative instead.

I broke down my approach to achieve this into steps on how to dress for a fancy soiree and not to go bankrupt: 

  1. Select your potential outfit base from existing wardrobe. For starters – majority of guys have at least one or several dress shirts, chino’s or other kind of pants other than jeans, and semi-formal shoes. The key here is to select items that would suit a formal happening.
  1. Analyse your selected items, try to put together an outfit & identify missing elements. Try to ask yourself: Do these clothes go together? Is it possible to combine some of them into an outfit? What would I need to add to complete the look?
  1. Make a shopping list of the missing elements & do a quick check online. The Internet makes shopping so much easier, especially if you need to find something specific: do a quick online research to find the items that would complete your outfit. Ideally, I would try to find the  missing elements that would be possible to dress up and down in future. 
  1. Pack your outfit and go to the store that you pre-selected from your online research OR simply order the missing pieces online. This one really depends on how much time you have. If you have some serious time constraints I would opt for going to a physical store and trying on a complete outfit together. This would save you from the risk of ordering something that would look nice & suitable for your idea online, but looking not so great or simply not working in your outfit in reality. 

In the end of my story, we picked a black shirt, beige chino’s, brown suede shoes from my boyfriend’s wardrobe, and finished off the look with a newly bought camel blazer & a bow tie. And you know what? This look totally worked!

evening outfit, going out, night out, couple dress upevening outfit, going out, night out, couple dress up

(c) Photo credit goes to the photographer at the Rosefield party

So, tell me now – would you rather break the bank or get creative?

how to master thrift shopping & stay cool

how to master thrift shopping & stay cool

I always think of vintage and secondhand shopping as treasure hunting: it takes time and energy, it can get overwhelming, you can end up digging out some garbage or leave with nothing because you were looking in the wrong place, but if you do find your treasure you will be generously rewarded. This definitely brings new shopping excitement that is gradually getting replaced by efficiency and easiness of shopping online which allows you to search items by size, trend, colour, style and whatever other parameter is necessary. And don’t get me wrong – online shopping can be also pretty challenging and overwhelming with the amount of choices we get, but it certainly lacks the charm of vintage shopping. 

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Whenever I stop by a store with pre-loved items, I can totally get lost and disappear there for hours – and sometimes the result is oh so worth it!

vintage, shopping, store, thrift shopping, accessories

So, why do I love so much about vintage and secondhand when there are so many other alternatives for shopping? Let’s dig into it:

Quality & price: if you look hard enough you can find some really nice natural materials like linen, silk, real leather, suede – and for a fraction of the price at a regular store or online.

It’s unique: Even though the pieces from a vintage shop are not unique by their nature – you can obviously find similar items and maybe even same items – the chances are you will not be twinning with a colleague/ friend/ random stranger on the street.

Fashion with history: Another fun part of buying pre-loved clothes is that they have their own history. I like imagining who could have owned a certain item before and how it ended up in a store – makes it quite special to become a new owner 🙂

Brands: You may get lucky and get some branded clothes in those shops as well. If you are extremely lucky, you can get some real gems: Burberry trench coat is one of those.

It challenges your imagination and creativity: It requires some creativity to style pre-loved items  in modern looks (if that’s what you’re after). And it’s super rewarding.

Trends: Fashion repeats itself. It won’t be a surprise for you if I say that many new things are well forgotten old ones. Use this knowledge & abuse it! Vintage shops will help you find not only timeless classics but also modern trends’ predecessors.

Sustainability: By buying secondhand you can make your small contribution to the environment. I know it’s baby steps, but eventually they will have impact.

Fun: I just love the atmosphere in the thrift shops and take every secondhand shopping as a fashion adventure.  

vintage, shopping, retro, store, thrift shopping, Amsterdam, high heels, hats, colours

“So, what is the trick?” – you may ask. If vintage stores are so so amazing why doesn’t everyone just shop there? As everywhere else there are downsides: it takes energy and time, you may end up buying a lot of unnecessary junk that seemed like a good idea at the time, there’s a risk to get a too old-fashioned (not a bad thing, but not for everyone as well)… Or some people just don’t like the idea of wearing clothes that were worn by someone else before. Moral of the story: thrift shopping is not for all – and really nothing personal here! 

If you do want to give it a crack, I’m happy to share some of my tips and tricks.

Not all vintage & secondhand shops are equally good. This is something that you’ll have to find out through trial and error (or skipping trial and error by reading online reviews). 

Pre-visualise what you would like to find there. This is a rule applicable to any type of shopping: decide what you actually need/ want to buy. This will always help you to not get too overwhelmed by the amount of clothes and not to get completely lost. Think of: type of clothing, style, colour, material.

Think of current trends. This will guide you through the shelves and railings of things and allow you to pick the items that are fashionable today. Think of: floral wrap dresses, sailor caps, boucle blazers, polka dot anything, kimonos, and many many more.

Forget about trends – look for classics. It’s always a good idea to check out if the shop has some of timeless classics: LBD, trench coat, structured bags, vintage Levi’s, etc. You may be pleasantly surprised what you are able to find.

Choose natural materials over synthetics. This is one of must-do’s while secondhand shopping. That floral shirt may be super cute, but if it’s full on polyester – you take your own risk here.

Check the stitching and overall quality. A no-brainer: you don’t want to buy something that has holes or will fall apart after one day. End of story.

Take a friend with you. Treat vintage shopping as an adventure and take your friend on it. If neither of you buys anything in the end, you can always go for a coffee & a cake afterwards. 

vintage, shopping, retro, store, thrift shopping, Amsterdam, sailor hats

All the photos are taken at Penny Lane Vintage in Amsterdam – if you happen to be here, I highly recommend to check it out! This place is definitely one of my personal favourites with an amazing clothes selection, cool interior and great atmosphere. 

Address: 11C Eerste van der Helststraat, Amsterdam

vintage, shopping, retro, store, thrift shopping, Amsterdam

do you need to be on trend to look good?

do you need to be on trend to look good?

Welcome back,

Thanks everyone for reading my very first post & staying tuned, or if you just stumbled upon my blog – great to see you here, hope you’ll enjoy your time!

Today I would like to talk about being trendy and my personal experience with it. I must confess that I used to really fall for this fashion marketing trick – and probably still do it now from time to time, but hey, no one is perfect, right? 

Remember those transparent boots that make your toes look all squashed and exposed to the world? And what about those unwearable high heeled sandals with the straps so thin that they would allow you to only beautifully stand or sit somewhere, or else you would be too afraid to move in them to not rip them (or break your ankle)? Please disregard this if you’ve mastered how to wear those without failing.

Regardless of some of the (fashion) mistakes that we all make, the best thing we can do is to learn from them. Here are my top five personal learnings.

1. Answer the question: do you actually like this particular trend?

This should be always your starting point. I truly believe that fashion is there to let us express ourselves rather than to create an army of clones – it is a unfortunate side effect when this does happen. Therefore, whenever you see or read about a new trend or a trendy item and something in your head gets tingly and tells you “It is ON TREND, you HAVE TO buy it”, first ask yourself: Do I even like this trend? Does this contribute to who I am? Does this fit my personal style? Can it be incorporated into my existing wardrobe?

2. Get the right basics in place and blend in one trendy element

With the fashion world moving fast (fast fashion brands put new items on the shelves something like every two weeks), it is really difficult to avoid FOMO and simultaneously not to go bankrupt. The key here, and I am far from being the first person to say that, is to get your own basics right and incorporate a few trendy items each season. I would like to emphasise your own here because even though there are some really timeless items that stylists and fashion bloggers swear by (read: a white T-shirt, a pair of dark blue jeans, a black blazer, a trench coat, a pair of black stilettos, and a few more), it is crucial to find what really works for you and suits you & your lifestyle. You can find a list of timeless classics/ basics online and use it as a starting point for creating your own personalised basics. Because this is what will show who you are and what message you want to convey with the way you dress. 

3. Make trends work for you, not against you

My approach is to always interpret fashion trends in a way that works for me and my lifestyle. For example, if my typical day includes a lot of walking and moving around, I would probably opt for a more wearable kitten heel or some more stable high heels rather than stilettos. Those could be either a classic/ basic colour (i.e. beige, black, or whatever works with your outfit), or, alternatively in a trendy colour – e.g. this season it’s pastels and saturated colours. Trust me, it is better to choose comfort over being oh so on trend.

4. Do not invest in trends – better treat yourself with a piece of cake, a spa day, or an unplanned trip

This point goes together with the point number two. We’ve all seen trends come and go, sometimes faster than we could ever imagine. Some trends do stay for longer, but it happens on a more rare occasion. The main point here is that you might want to spare your hard earned monthly salary from spending it on a luxe bum bag and get a 30 times cheaper alternative, and travel somewhere instead. This will save you some nerves when in three months some fashion authority announces that the mentioned item is a total mauvais ton and a big fashion don’t. 

I have to note here, however, that if you a. do not care about what is on fashion and what is not and b. absolutely love this item and you think it would become your feature element – forget about what I just said and go for it.

5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

As I said in the beginning, we are all humans and we all make mistakes. So, you shouldn’t feel pressured to get it right all the time. Sometimes you realise that something doesn’t suit you, doesn’t work for you, looks ridiculous, or is horribly uncomfortable only when you already bought it and actually tried to wear it – remember those ankle-breaking sandals?..

So, do you think you need to be on trend to look good? 🙂

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What I’m wearing in this post:

T-shirt Asos

Jeans Zara 

Red flats H&M Premium

Sunnies Givenchy

Bag Zara

Lobster earrings Asos

Watch Rosefield