Sustainable Fashion 5 ebay Tips for Buying Used Clothes

Published on August 25th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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5 eBay Tips for Buying Used Clothes

5 ebay Tips for Buying Used Clothes

EBay can be a great resource for second hand clothes, if you know how to make it work for you. Try these eBay tips to narrow down your searches and find what you’re looking for faster and more easily.

I live on a pretty tight budget, which means that buying new sustainable fashion is often out of my league. When I can’t afford to pony up for an organic cotton piece from one of my favorite sustainable brands, I buy second hand. Lately I’ve been using eBay a bit and have scooped up some great finds! I thought I’d share some eBay tips I’ve learned with you guys.

I love thrift store shopping, but since having my kid hitting the thrift is not the leisurely good time it once was. He does not care for sitting in the cart or stroller while I dig through the racks. And by the time he goes to bed, the thrift stores here are closed. I needed some new-to-me clothes for fall, and I decided to try my luck on eBay. After some good luck and some bad, I’ve learned a few eBay tips and tricks that make it easier to find what you’re looking for quickly.

1. Not everything on eBay is second hand.

Lots of sellers list brand new items on eBay, using the service as an online storefront. If you want to only show used clothing, though, eBay has a filter for that! If you’re using the website, that option is in the left sidebar of your search results. Under “Condition” tick the box for “Used.” See the screenshot above!

5 eBay Tips for Buying Used Clothes

2. Filter, Filter, Filter

Those filters on your search results can save so much time sifting through crappy listings or ones that just don’t apply to you. You can filter by size, brand, price, location, and a ton of other options. If you’re on a budget like me, setting a high price in your search can help filter out things that you can’t afford. No sense getting your hopes up!

3. Save Your Searches

I don’t see a way to do this online, but if you use the iPhone or iPad app, you can save past searches. For example, I have a saved search for boots where I narrowed it down to only include my shoes in my size, made from vegan materials, and falling within the price range that I can afford.

You won’t always find what you’re looking for right away, but you can quickly load a saved search to check up on what’s new.

5 eBay Tips for Buying Used Clothes

4. Be Choosy

I was on the hunt for a second hand maxi skirt for a long time, and finally I saw what appeared to be – by the blurry, dark photo – the perfect one. I won the skirt, but when it arrived on my doorstep I discovered that it wasn’t made from thick, cozy jersey fabric. It was polyester and maybe the dowdiest garment I’d ever seen. If a photo isn’t nice and clear, proceed with caution. You might just be seeing what you want to see.

5 eBay Tips for Buying Used Clothes

5. Use the Watch Function to Sort

When you’re browsing dozens of listings, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or bid on more clothes than you need. One eBay tip I’ve found helpful is to watch items that look good rather than bidding on them right out of the gate. Then, you can browse through the list of clothes that you’re watching to narrow it down. After you step away. I can’t emphasize stepping away enough.

Do you guys shop for used clothes on eBay? Now that I have a toddler, hitting the thrift store isn’t as easy as it used to be. What eBay tips can you share to make shopping for used clothes easier?

Image Credit: Laptop photo via Shutterstock


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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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