Having enjoyed a wild three and a half months without in-the-flesh shops open, our love affair with searching out second-hand beauties online and via apps has been well and truly re-ignited. From budget baby buys to dresses we thought we’d lost out on, we’ve rounded up which digital shopping destinations are best for buying specific pieces.
Not only are Depop, eBay and Facebook Marketplace wildly addictive places to lose an entire evening to (sorry Netflix, we got a new hot crush these days), they’re great for saving money and being a bit more conscious towards the planet by not always buying new.
Here’s what we’ve been buying from each one…
What is it? Depop is an app (you can also search for items via their website) which calls itself a “fashion marketplace where the next generation come to discover unique items. With a global community buying, selling and connecting to make fashion more inclusive, diverse and less wasteful. This is what transforming fashion looks like.”
What are the best bits to buy from Depop? For me, it’s all about the high street items I thought I loved but panicked and closed the tab and have been living in a deep sea of shopper’s regret ever since. It’s a great haunt to find items from places like Topshop, Zara, H&M and ASOS from past seasons which someone else might have only worn once or twice and have listed for sale. You tend to pay slightly more than eBay or FB Marketplace because there’s no bidding, everything has a set price (although you can often negotiate). It’s also handy if there are certain brands you know you love but would rather buy second-hand from, as you can just search the brand and your size and see what’s been listed. It would be a great place to find something like a wedding guest dress as higher end brands like Rixo and Ghost are fairly common on there too.
What we’ve bought from there:
Hannah: “My most recent buy was a £15 leopard print midi skirt from H&M. I’d ummed and ahhed about it at the start of 2020 but never invested, so when an almost-new one cropped up in my size I knew I had to jump! I’m excited to wear with t-shirts and trainers once the weather warms up.”
Gemma: “Clearly, Hannah is my Depop twinas my last purchase was also an H&M midi skirt. Covered in matt pink sequins, I’d lusted after it in store a few seasons ago but filed it away under ‘things I didn’t really need’. Then the Frugality’s Insta feed showed me how it looked good with everything from chunky knits to a white tee and trainers and I knew I had to track it down.”
What is it? Most of us are long-familiar with eBay these days – it’s been around since 1995 after all. But it’s essentially an auction site for everything and anything. Some things are up for bid and other items have set prices.
What are the best bits to buy from eBay? In a nutshell? Pretty much anything. It’s great for vintage clothing, or at least clothing that’s sold by users who wouldn’t use Depop (which is quite millennial and gen Z focused). It’s also home to a lot of small businesses, who sell everything from candles and cushion covers, to baby sensory kits and personalised t-shirts. Most things are posted (although you can search for larger pieces of furniture – some are pick-up only and you can set a search radius for, and others you can arrange freight shipping for). It’s also great for kids clothing bundles, and finding designer dupes.
What we’ve bought from there:
Hannah: “My last few purchases were a Habitat rug (new and unused), a second hand wool coat which I wear religiously (I’ve no idea about the brand but it’s an absolute gem for classic-style coats) and a rare board game I was desperate to play for Christmas. My heart-shaped sunglasses are also a £1 eBay buy – I have them in two colours and still love them two years on.”
Gemma: “My eBay purchase history is nothing if not eclectic. Recent buys include, but are not limited to, Philippe Starck ‘Masters’ stool dupes (because £296 per stool was not in my kitchen budget), Hey Duggee Christmas pyjamas (I can’t bear buying seasonal kids stuff brand new), Gap maternity denim dungarees (lived in ’em) and a suspension trainer to add to my home gym kit (God bless people and their lockdown impulse buys).”
What is it? In my humble opinion, I’ve saved the best for last, because this is where you find the best bargains. Pretty much everything is pick-up-only, so you’re searching for things in your local area (you can set your search radius), and everything has a set price (although again, you can negotiate). You’ll find it via your Facebook account.
What are the best bits to buy from Facebook Marketplace? It’s a treasure trove for furniture and pieces that are too big to easily send and a lot seems to get listed from things like house clearances too. Expect everything from IKEA Kallax to vintage rattan chairs (top tip: search for ‘cane’ and ‘wicker’ if you’re on the rattan hunt). You can also pick up plants, planters and other garden bits and bobs. But our fave? All the baby and kids stuff – from bouncers and play mats, to train tables and car garages, FB has it all. For me it’s great because it means you don’t need to committ to pricey items that promise to help your baby sleep/smile/become a member of MENSA – you can buy and then sell on again if it doesn’t serve you.
What we’ve bought from there:
Hannah: “Too much to fully list, but I’ll give you a short rundown: a Hot Wheels City garage (£35), a Jumperoo (£10), a swinging Joie baby chair (£30), a new baby mat (£10), and a rattan chest of drawers (£90) – and the diamond to my FB Marketplace crown, a mid-century wooden sideboard which was completely free. I love it.”
Gemma: “FB Marketplace is all about the baby buys for me. I just got a Lascal Buggy Board for £15, a gorgeous hand-knitted lilac cardigan for £8 and a Tu at Sainsbury’s cord leopard print pinafore, vest and tights set for £3. It’s completely addictive.”