Thank you for your enthusiasm following my article on the advantages of second-hand and my favorite second-hand shops . I’m glad to see that I’m not the only second-hand buyer ? As promised, here is an article on my tips for finding second-hand nuggets, in which you will also see some of my recent purchases in second hand on my photos!
How to make good second-hand purchases?
1. Make a list of what you want to buy
There are more and more offers on second-hand sites: it’s great when you’re looking for a particular part, but it can also be confusing (“where to start?”) and you can quickly feel lost! In my opinion, the best thing is to have a fairly precise idea of what you want to search for by keyword : camel knit dress , checkered blazer , Sézane blouse , etc. You can then use the many search filters available (size, price, colors, etc.) and save precious time!
The other advantage is that with a precise list, we are less tempted by superfluous purchases, since we are looking for something that corresponds to a wish or a need!
Personally, I also define a budget for each piece: it ‘s an additional filter that prevents me from seeing pieces that are out of budget.
2. Take the time to research
Once I have my list in mind, I launch into targeted research, but without being too restrictive because some sellers misrepresent their products. So, if I’m looking for a lilac vest, I also look at pink, purple and blue colors for example. Same for brands with complicated spellings, consider trying different combinations!
Even better: if you know the name of the exact model you are looking for (Bastille jeans from Rouje, number seven bag from Polène, etc.), do not hesitate to use it in your research!
I try to privilege, if possible, the advertisements where the garment is worn. Even if each morphology is different, it gives a more precise idea of its cut and its fall and it avoids disappointment. Also take a look at the seller’s profile: sometimes, some people provide their height and measurements in their description, which is an additional indicator!
Be patient ! It sometimes takes weeks or even months to find THE piece (it took me nearly a year to find the jacket to complete this trouser suit that I love) and that’s also the pleasure of the second hand : we are all the more satisfied when we find what we were looking for!
3. Ensure the correct size of the piece you are buying
Once we have found a piece that we like, the challenge is to know if it will suit us, because few platforms and/or sellers accept exchanges and returns. Of course, we always have the possibility of reselling it in turn (it’s already happened to me), but we might as well save ourselves this inconvenience ?
If you buy online, knowing your size and measurements beyond the standard sizes you already know (XS, S, M, L; 34, 36, 38, etc.) is important. Very few sellers specify them in the description of their products, but do not hesitate to ask them before buying if you have any doubts. You will be able to compare these measurements with clothes that you already have for example .
A little tip if you don’t know your measurements or the seller doesn’t give you any details about the item of clothing: if you know the brand of the piece you’re planning to buy, go to the e-shop of the brand to look for a size guide (often available on each product sheet) which could give you an idea of whether the brand runs small/large.
Finally, if you’re unsure about the size, but really love it, consider having your garment altered afterwards . Sometimes, we find pieces at such low prices that a touch-up by a professional can really be worth it. Personally, I never hesitate to have a piece that I love retouched so that it fits me like a glove afterwards!
4. Check the condition of the part you are buying
It is important to know the condition of the garment you intend to buy, to avoid any regrets! Obviously, that’s easier to do when you buy second-hand in real life and not on the internet.
Here are all my tips for checking the quality and care of a garment :
- Check for yellow streaks under the armpits or around the collar of light-colored T-shirts, blouses, dresses or shirts.
- Check that there are no holes or tears in the seams .
- Check for excessive pilling on the stitches . If a few pillings in reasonable quantity are present, you can very easily remove them with a pill remover : I ‘ve been using mine for years and it’s a revelation for the maintenance of clothes!
5. Evaluate the price of the item you are buying / the seriousness of the person selling it
If you’re buying online, compare the ad you’ve spotted with similar ones: is there a better deal somewhere? What are the prices charged? You can also watch on multiple platforms.
On platforms such as Vinted , you have the option of making a proposal to the seller . It’s up to him/her to accept it or not, but it may be worth a try. Accompany your proposal with a short note explaining why you want to propose a new price: is it because this price does not reflect the condition of the garment? because you found cheaper elsewhere? Put yourself in the seller’s shoes and submit a reasonable offer ?
Attention, it is not because it is not expensive that it is necessarily a good deal (especially for high-end or luxury items): be vigilant about counterfeiting!
If you buy online, remember to look carefully at the reviews of the person you are buying from , it is very important!
My look with 2 second hand pieces
I am wearing in these photos 2 of my recent second-hand purchases: a coat found for 15 euros at Emmaüs (in very good condition and super warm) and a Claudie Pierlot dress bought on Vinted for 12 euros . I associated them with the basics of my wardrobe: an Eric Bompard turtleneck that I wear all the sauces and my pair of Rivecour boots that have followed me for several winters. A pair of sunglasses (Jimmy Fairly) and a shoulder bag (a Mulberry that I bought myself in 2017) and presto a very cozy winter look!