Second Hand Shopping – Second hand shopping applies to buying anything that has been pre-owned by a private individual and is being sold “again”. You can buy second hand clothing and accessories at thrift or charity shops, flea markets, consignment shops, auction sites like Ebay, Craig’s List and other listings services, and many other ways.
Thrift Stores – Thrift Stores, also known as Charity Shops, are run by non-profit charities and collect donations of clothing, accessories, housewares, furniture and almost anything you could imagine from the public and sell them to raise money for their charitable work. I worked in a local thrift store for two years, and will be sharing some of my insider information.
Consignment shops – These stores, whether brick and mortar or online, accept items on consignment and pay the previous owner an agreed upon percentage of the sales price if and when it sells. These are generally private, for-profit businesses.
Auction sites – Ebay is the uncontested champion here. Not everything on Ebay or other auction sites is pre-owned but much of what is sold here is. Ebay and similar sites are peer to peer allow non-professional sellers to sell their unwanted items in an auction format. The prices on Ebay are very sensitive to market forces and supply and demand rules here.
Online Flea Markets – There are online equivalents to flea markets that host the booths of independent, small sellers in one place. Etsy is an example of a well established site that allows individuals or small business sellers to use their website as a platform for selling. Think of these as the online equivalent of a flea market or fair where different sellers set up their own stands. The second hand online flea market model is currently going through rapid growth. The Vestaire Collective and Depop are two more recent examples of the online flea market model.
Instagram shops – Another fairly recent addition to the second hand market, some second hand sellers, particularly of vintage and rare items, are selling directly on Instagram. This is the most personal and spontaneous form of second hand shopping as it depends on the buyer following the Instagram of the account of the owner and responding quickly to posted pictures.