Shopping for vintage and premium second hand online can be a challenge. Especially when the amount of items are staggering to sort through. Unless you have a very clear and specific item in mind, finding that dream fashion item when you are just starting to get into the vintage and pre-loved market can be a daunting task.
And it's not supposed to be. Shopping for vintage and second hand clothing should be a fun and inspiring way to curating your personal style and a timeless wardrobe.
Vestiaire Collective is one of the leading luxury and premium second hand online marketplaces, with a unique offering in that they can include authenticity and quality control in all purchases on their site. With some items you get the option to do the authentication yourself to save yourself shipping time and the authentication fee. In these cases the seller ships the item straight to you, without first passing Vestiaire Collectives control center.
Look for investment pieces and future heirlooms
Use the filter function to find specific brands, items and models of the item you are interested in. If you're looking to invest in a classic item to treasure for many years to come, have a look at Cartier or Rolex vintage watches. The Oyster and Tank models are fairly priced and holds their value well. Either one is a safe investment, as they are the most desirable classic watches that never loses their appeal.
Spot pieces before they go live on the site
Keep an eye on Vestiaire Collectives Instagram account, and their stories in particular. They tend to post exciting pieces right before they go live on the site to give loyal followers a chance to get first dibs. Also, look out for key pieces highlighted through their #bestofvest hashtag.
Set up alerts
Both the app and the site have an alert function that's helpful if you're looking for something specific that might not currently be available. I always set up alerts for grail items I'm looking to add to my collection to get notified as soon as items matching my criteria are available on the site. Highly sought after items from popular brands sell mega fast so this tool is a great way to be one of the first to know when they drop.
Pay attention to measurements rather than sizes
Vestiaire Collectives vintage edit is expertly curated and features loads of timeless pieces. You will find everything from great '80s Alaia leather, '90s Maison Martin Margiela, to Chanel and Hermès at competitive prices.
Do your research before purchasing
Read the descriptions carefully
Take the time to go through each picture and pay attention to any defects.
Look at the measurements. With vintage especially, you need to pay extra attention to measurement details as older sizes quite often don't correspond to the ones we are used to today.
Ask the seller questions and request additional pictures to get a good understanding of the item and condition before buying.
Take your time and enjoy the hunt
Make yourself a snack and head out on an online treasure hunt. View the site like you're hunting for treasure. The best pieces are often found through searching Vestiaire's enormous catalogue high and low to not risk missing out on a piece because it was listed incorrectly.
Follow price reductions
Most times, the longer an item have been on the site, the more of a steal it will be. My best score so far is a beautiful cashmere coat/jacket by Rick Owens for €200 (including international shipping). Add items you love to your wishlist and follow price reductions to get notified when the seller drops the price.
Use the "Make an offer" function
When you find an item you love but think the price is a little steep, you can offer the price that you're willing to pay giving the seller the option to accept or decline. I always use this function to negotiate, and most times I manage to get the price down.
The Restory have posted a great guide to both selling and buying pre-loved with Vestiaire Collective, check it out here.