My Second Hand Clothing Secret

Twice in the last two weeks I have somehow ended up in conversations with Uber drivers about how I buy all my clothes second hand. Sometimes new with tags, but at steeply discounted prices. This has been a huge cost savings to me while permitting me to have seriously one of the largest personal wardrobes you can imagine (I could wear a different outfit everyday for a year...at least!).

I buy almost all of my clothes on eBay. Anything that is "safe" to buy and wash second hand I try to find used rather than pay retail price. My favorite eBay buy are sheath dresses for work. I have tons of them (no less than 40) and I paid a fraction of retail.

Almost all of my workout clothes, brand names like Under Armour leggings and Victoria's Secret sports bras, many in absolutely brand new condition, bought second hand and for much less the cost.

Jeans - every single pair of jeans I own I bought second hand. I am hard on jeans (on the rare occasion that I wear them), and I hate spending money on them. I pay $10-$15 per pair of jeans on eBay and when they wear out I throw them away and replace them with more second hand jeans!

One might read all of this and think, "well yes, it is a cost savings but it isn't very fashionable." The truth is, I get compliments on my clothes all the time, especially my dresses for work and my gym clothes. My dresses are cute, well cared for and fit well - it isn't like finding them in a box at a yard sale, covered in dust and a few holes. Often times, people buy clothes they realize don't fit them or they receive clothes as a gift and it's not their taste so they try to sell them. Or, they buy an outfit and wear it once and no longer need it so they sell it.

In the literal hundreds of eBay transactions I have had buying clothes this way, I've never received an item that was not as described. I have also never paid for an item and not received it. The one and only issue I have had with eBay was years ago regarding a text book (and eBay and PayPal protected me and refunded me).

Another thing I love about buying my clothes second hand - and perhaps it speaks to the repressed hippie in me - is reusing an item. I like taking something and using it until it is truly worn out. I like not contributing to the retail/commercialization of every need and whim we have. There is a part of me that wishes we could just barter for everything. Buying clothes second hand satisfies something in me...I am getting a deal, and I am giving an item a chance to be fully used up before it is discarded.

I think it is definitely something worth trying, maybe starting off with just one or two things. With my dresses, I always buy the same one or two brands and the sizes are true, and same with the gym clothes. It does take a minute to figure out the sizing but over the long run, the cost savings is totally worth the time investment!

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