Published Jun 4, 2022 9:00 AM
Online thrift stores provide a much-needed respite from the crowded, cluttered reality of second-hand shops. My anxiety is building just thinking about it. Shopping on the web, you can find incredible quality items at great discounts, sell your long-ignored clothes, and even shop for amazing second-hand home furniture that looks brand new.
The second-hand online market has come a long way from eBay (still an excellent choice, though). And with search tools and filters to help you pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for, thrifting has never been easier.
Thrifting isn’t just good for your wallet. It’s a sustainable option that reduces waste and gives new life to perfectly good garments and products. Plus, with all the supply chain issues from the pandemic, you don’t have to wait months for quality furniture to arrive. To help you find your treasures, here are the best online thrift stores to buy and sell just about anything.
How we chose the best online thrift stores
In order to select the best online thrift stores, we wanted to offer a variety of specialties to reflect the expansive marketplace and to help you narrow down what you might be looking for. For those reasons, we divided our “best of’s” to include furniture and home decor, menswear, budget, vintage, and best place to sell your clothes.
We evaluated our picks based on the variety offered: Does this thrift store offer an impressive and wide selection to suit different styles, tastes, price points, and preferences? We also looked at the website or app’s accessibility and ease of use. Is it clear how to sell and market your own clothes? Does the website have filters that make searching easier? Lastly, we determined customer satisfaction via reviews, monthly users, and other data to ensure that we’re only recommending sites that left customers happy.
Know your sizes
Since most online thrift stores don’t offer returns, you’ll need to be more cognizant of sizing when buying clothes. Use size guides if provided, ask the seller how the item runs (true to size, large, etc.), and even try items in store from the brand to see how you tend to fit into their products. For example, if you’re looking at a secondhand dress from Vince, go to a store that sells Vince Brand and see how you typically fit in their garments. That way, when you go to buy online, you’ll be more informed. It’s a time investment up front, but it will pay off in the long run.
Pay attention to damage
Sellers should usually list whether the item has stains, rips, dents, scuffs, or any other damage. Be mindful when purchasing – look through photos, read the description thoroughly, and double-check with the seller before buying.
Luxury goods are often authenticated to ensure they are not duplicates or knock-offs. Some online thrift stores, like TheRealReal or Poshmark, for example, offer authentication for items at certain price points. Always make sure your item is the real deal so you don’t get scammed!
Ask for measurements
Photos can sometimes be misleading. If you’re buying furniture or even clothing, ask for measurements to ensure a good fit before you’re stuck with a sofa that’s way too big for your living room.
With so much inventory, it can be super overwhelming. Always use the site’s filters to customize to your size, color preferences, brand preferences, and budget to wade through the noise.
Some sites are fixed pricing, but some allow you to haggle with the seller. Don’t be shy! Hit them with an offer and go from there—you never know how much you might save. Just make sure to be respectful of people’s time. Don’t chuck out a ton of lowball offers they shouldn’t accept.
Before you let go of your treasured belongings, make sure you fully understand how much the privilege of listing online is going to cost you. Some shops charge you an up-front listing cost as well as a percentage of the total sale. Others just take the percentage so you don’t have to pay until it actually sells. The site should clearly indicate its rates, so be sure to understand them before you start listing.
Best online thrift stores: Reviews & Recommendations
With these terms out of the way, it’s time to get to our specific picks for the best online thrift stores. While we make specific category suggestions, specific needs can vary and overlap so be sure to check out the whole list before you decide where to shop or promote your listings.
Best vintage: Vestiaire Collective Vintage
Why it made the cut: Nearly 3,000 new products are added daily and an incredible inventory of rare and hard-to-find vintage goods from all around the world makes Vestiaire Collective a truly unique thrift shopping experience.
- Selling: Luxury Goods
- Gender: All
- Authenticated: Yes
- More than 3,000 new products added daily
- Resell within 72 hours and keep 100% of earnings
- Global marketplace
- Features rare, hard to get items
- Returns are only accepted to Professional Sellers
With more than 3,000 new products added daily, Vestiaire Collective is a luxury consignment marketplace offering unique pieces and authenticated luxury goods. As a buyer, you’re safeguarded against counterfeit products thanks to their highly educated in-house experts who run the item through a rigorous authentication process. Their Vintage section features rare, super-hard-to-find luxury pieces like vintage Chanel bags, classic jackets, fine jewelry, and more.
Selling is also super convenient with Vestiaire—you simply list your item, wait for it to sell, ship it to their team of experts for authentication for free, then collect up to 80% of the sale once it’s delivered to the buyer.
Unfortunately, you can only return to Professional Sellers and not to Individual Sellers. However, if you aren’t happy with your purchase, they’ll allow you to resell the item within 72 hours of receiving it and keep 100% of your earnings. That’s an awesome and unique offering.
Best for furniture: Chairish
Why it made the cut: There’s a reason millions of users come back each month to check out Chairish’s hand-picked selection of beautiful and high-quality second-hand furniture. Plus, 2,000 items are added daily.
- Selling: Vintage and Used Furniture, Home Goods, Art
- Price Point: $$$-$$$$
- Returns: Responsibility of Buyer (if approved)
- A loyal customer base of 3 million monthly users
- 85% of their inventory is vintage
- 2,000 items added daily
- A commitment to sustainability
- Beloved by designers
- Shipping can be super expensive
- Not cheap, fixed pricing
With almost 3 million monthly users, Chairish is an award-winning marketplace offering an eclectic mix of unique vintage and used furniture and art. It’s not the cheapest option by any stretch, but for people who are wary of the quality of online thrifting for home decor and furniture, Chairish is your most reliable source for high-quality, durable, and long-lasting pieces.
Chairish boasts more than 2,000 expertly picked items added daily, so you can be sure you’ll never grow bored of their selection. Their platform connects 12,000 small businesses, artists, and designers with customers globally.
Return policy: You have 48 hours to request a return, and, if it’s approved, you’re responsible for the full cost of return packing and shipping. For Made-to-Order items, all sales are final. If you happen to be local and want to pick the item up yourself, your item will be final sale once you’ve inspected and taken possession of the piece. Shipping can be expensive, so note that when shopping.
Best to sell clothes: Poshmark
Why it made the cut: Poshmark is one of the most convenient places to sell clothes given its easy-to-use app, prepaid shipping labels, and millions of users.
- Selling: Clothing, Electronics, Accessories
- Price Point: $$-$$$$
- Fixed pricing: No
- Easy to use app
- Lots of eyeballs on items, quick selling
- Prepaid shipping labels
- Available in US, Canada, Australia
- Not recommended for selling cheap clothing
- Limited to three countries (not global)
With more than 80 million registered users across the U.S., Canada, and Australia on the app and 1 sale per second in the U.S., Poshmark is an ideal place to sell clothes at medium to high price points.
Poshmark isn’t just for selling clothes: you can sell electronics, pet items, jewelry, home goods, accessories, kid and baby items, and more!
If you have items to sell from popular brands such as Nike, Lululemon, Chanel, Coach, and Reformation, you’ll be selling in no time. Note that Poshmark takes 20% of the sale, and buyers are free to haggle. A tip: start your sale price a bit higher knowing it’s within the Posh culture to haggle.
Best for men: Menswear Market
Why it made the cut: Menswear Market only accepts items that are in excellent condition with no major blemishes or alterations, so men can be sure they’re getting almost-new quality luxury goods.
- Selling: Clothing, Shoes, Accessories
- Price Point: $$$-$$$$
- Fixed pricing: Yes
- Free shipping on orders $50+
- Personalized approach
- Great customer service
- Meant for luxury goods & designer items
- All items must be in excellent condition
- Not great for high-street or low-budget clothing
- Sellers: you only have 120 days to make the sale
Menswear Market is an online consignment shop for men with refined and high-quality taste. The online thrift store partners with suppliers around the United States in order to offer a wide variety of pre-owned luxury clothing, shoes, and accessories. This site is ideal for business attire, professional looks, and elegant menswear.
Menswear Market takes a more personal and customizable approach to men’s consignment, with excellent customer service. Free shipping is offered on orders of $50 or more, and you can even purchase in three different ways: via their online store, eBay, or retail.
We love that they only take items in excellent conditions with no alterations or major blemishes, so you can be positive the items will look fresh and new. They also represent a variety of styles and looks, so there’s something for everyone looking for this style of clothing.
If you’re looking to sell your luxury items, note that your consignment will last up to 120 days. Unsold items are either returned to you or donated to charity, so be mindful of this detail!
Best budget: Goodwill Online Thrift Store
Why it made the cut: Goodwill is your mecca for budget clothing, electronics, games, books, home goods, and more.
- Selling: Clothing, Electronics, Accessories, Games, Books, Home Goods, Etc.
- Price Point: $
- Fixed pricing: No, you can bid or buy full price
- Committed to community impact
- Some items are only $0.01 for shipping
- Nonprofit organization
- Unbeatable low prices
- No real quality control
- Some customers note prices have gone up
ShopGoodwill.com is the first e-commerce site by a nonprofit organization, and they have more than 130 Goodwill organizations participating in the United States and Canada. You can find budget items like art, antiques, books, collectibles, clothing, jewelry, electronics, and more—all at super-low price points.
Prices are unbeatable; there’s even a section for 1-cent shipping. You can choose to bid on an item or quickly buy for full price. Prices on some categories have risen in recent years, so it’s a lot less likely than it used to be that you’ll find a treasure for extremely cheap. It has taken on more of a typical online thrift store role.
What we love most about this company is that proceeds from these items go towards helping over 24 million people overcome challenges to build skills, learn English, enhance their education, find jobs, and support individuals with disabilities to help them grow and thrive.
Q: Is online thrifting a thing?
As you can see from this article, online thrifting is certainly a thing. And not only is it available, but it’s also awesome. It saves you money, helps reduce waste, and helps you curate a more unique wardrobe or style.
Q: What is considered a thrift store?
A thrift store is a marketplace that sells second-hand goods like clothing, home decor, furniture, accessories, and other previously owned items.
Q: Are online thrift stores sustainable?
Absolutely, online thrift stores are definitely sustainable. Studies show the fashion industry is one of the biggest causes of global pollution. By shopping secondhand, you reduce energy consumption and pollution, help to recycle plastics, tame our growing landfills, and more.
Final thoughts about the best online thrift stores
With so many products available at online thrift stores, buying new can be a thing of the past. There are plenty of well-made, durable, gorgeous, and desirable goods looking for new homes—so head to our recommendations for the best online thrift stores to find the items you need. Help save the planet and your wallet by thrifting!