How to Thrift Online Like A Pro

As more consumers move toward a more eco-friendly wardrobe, we’ve seen thrift platforms emerge online for every style, genre, and niche. Online thrift shopping is great for both new and avid secondhand shoppers. While seasoned thrifters can still enjoy the thrill of the hunt online, newbie thrifters can get their feet wet without having to dig the traditional way. Want to learn how to thrift online? We’ve got some tips to help you thrift online like a pro: 

Create an account 

Start by creating an account on the website that you plan to browse. This will allow you to bookmark things for later, set up alerts, save keywords, sizing, and more. All of these features will help make your online thrifting experience a little easier. 

Be Prepared to Spend a Little Extra Online

There are many additional costs involved for online thrift retailers, including photographing, listing, and shipping the item so set a budget and be prepared to spend a little more than you would in a traditional thrift store. 

Use the Keywords and Search Filters

Searching a huge selection like ThredUp can be overwhelming, so it helps to apply the same approach to online thrifting as in-person thrifting: narrow it down! You can narrow it down by size, category or price. 

Mirror your traditional thrifting strategies

Use the same skill set you use when you’re thrifting in-person and apply them online. For example, browse several departments, look for deals, and “window shop.”

Get to know the “Culture” of Each Platform

Not all online thrift stores are created equal. The more you browse, the more you will begin to understand how each website functions. For example, items sell very quickly on platforms like ThredUp so you will have to act fast. Negotiating with buyers is part of the Poshmark “culture,” and Shop Goodwill is an auction-based site. Learning these tricks will help you become a more savvy online thrifter. 

Look for things you can’t find in a typical thrift setting

Online thrift stores can be great for vintage, retro, collectibles, special sizing and more. 

Shop for gifts 

Set a spending budget and narrow items down by New with Tags to search for one of a kind gifts for less. 

Take advantage of discount codes and referral programs

Be sure to sign up for email lists and texts to receive notifications for free shipping or sales. If a store offers a referral program like ThredUp, share your referral code with friends and family to and you both earn credits. If a store has a high free shipping minimum, shop online with a friend and split the shipping cost.

Stick to brands you already love

If you’re hesitant to buy something because you can’t return it or try it on, use the search filters to browse brands and styles you know well. Already being familiar with a brand’s quality and sizing will reduce the element of surprise when you receive your item in the mail.

Read each store’s policy

You’d be surprised to find that some stores actually accept returns. Take a moment to read the store policy before you make a purchase.

Know your measurements

Whether you’re shopping for clothing or furniture online, knowing the necessary measurements will ensure that your next favorite coat or dresser will fit nicely. If the item does not list the measurements, contact the store or seller and request that information before making your purchase.

Best Online Thrift Stores

Thanks, it’s Thrifted is a podcast about secondhand style and sustainable living hosted by two treasure-hunting friends, Dina & Shannon. Follow on Instagram @dinasdays and @thanksitsthrifted.pod. For more about the podcast visit

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