Buy second-hand – flea market, shop, app: where it’s worth it – and where it’s not! | life & knowledge

Pandemic, inflation, war. Wallets are empty, the cost of living is skyrocketing. More and more consumers are discovering a way out: second-hand products.

Shopping is getting more expensive every day. Inflation is at 7.4%, its highest level in 40 years, and due to supply shortages, the prices of some products are also rising until they are no longer available.

The imminent loss of value of money scares many people: according to a survey by the Institute for Retail Research (IFH), more than half of consumers fear that they will no longer be able to maintain their standard of living in the near future. About two-thirds of respondents said they wanted to reduce their spending as a result.

“Buying second-hand textiles or electronics is a relatively easy way to keep the money together,” says IFH chief executive Kai Hudetz.

Whether flea market, second-hand shop or app: there are no delivery bottlenecks and daily new prices when buying second-hand goods. Instead, there are other trapdoors that can be circumvented – unlike inflation.

Online apps and portals

Used clothes are just as easy to buy online as new items. The list of flea market apps and buying and selling portals is getting longer and longer.

  • Momox fashion: The second-hand giant is both a buyer and a department store for second-hand clothes, shoes and accessories.
  • rebel specializes in the sale of second-hand design objects.
  • Sellpy: An offer from the H&M group, which also includes the Monki, Cos, Weekday and Arket chains. Supplier with a 30 day return option!
  • Shock: The flea market app is a competitor to the eBay classifieds.
  • to Communal changing room there are also second-hand clothes from designers and luxury brands, sold by individuals all over the world.
  • Vinted is the largest provider of second-hand goods in Germany with a total of 8.5 million users.
  • circle is Zalando’s second-hand range.

A distinction is made between two business models: At Vinted and Shpock, for example, individuals buy from individuals. On the other hand, the transaction between businesses and consumers is done through buying and selling portals such as Momox Fashion or Sellpy.

If you want to sell clothes at Sellpy, you can order a mailbag for free and send your goods there. Sellpy takes care of the photography, description and placement of the advertisement in the shop – and collects a commission. Up to a value of 50 euros, the seller receives 40% of the product, with everything above 90%.

▶︎ Benefits:

  • Shopping at any time of the day or night – the Internet is always open.
  • Search masks and filters make navigation easier.
  • On reputable sales portals, you can be sure that the clothes are clean, undamaged and authentic. Plagiarism is sorted here.
  • Authenticity is also guaranteed for transactions between two individuals: most providers block users who sell counterfeits and are therefore rated negatively. As long as you shop with a portal-verified seller, not much can go wrong.

▶︎ Cons:

  • Clothing cannot be tried on. Returns are usually not possible either. Sellpy is an exception here. Otherwise, bad buys must either be resold – or disappear into the depths of the closet.
  • Of course, the companies behind the flea market apps also make money. Both buyers and sellers suffer. The buyer pays more than he would at a flea market, while the seller has to give up some of the profit.

► Pitfalls:

  • Don’t expect anything new! The condition of the item is described on many platforms or by sellers with terms such as “like new” or “very good”. Nevertheless, no clothes are to be expected that could also be hung in a store.
  • Buyers should always pay attention to seals of approval such as “Trusted Shops” and respective seller ratings.

thrift stores

The idea of ​​strictly smelly thrift stores is long outdated. People’s need to live more sustainably continues to grow. Fast fashion, i.e. the continuation of current trends in the form of cheap and unfairly produced new products, is becoming less and less popular.

In this context, more and more second-hand shops are opening in German cities. Designer items, vintage clothing, ready-to-wear items – you’ll find it all here!

▶︎ Benefits:

  • The buyer can touch and try on the clothes before making a purchase. A haptic shopping experience should not be underestimated: according to scientific findings, more happiness hormones are released than with an online purchase.
  • Returns possible in some stores.
  • Advice from a seller.
  • You have enough time to think about the purchase without having to worry that someone else will be quicker.

▶︎ Cons:

  • Unlike the Internet, you are subject to opening hours.
  • If you want to get rid of old clothes in a thrift store, you usually conclude a commission contract: you only receive money when the goods have actually been sold.

▶︎ Pitfalls:

  • Vintage treasures are also hung in the flea market, which are significantly more expensive than new products. So never forget to check the price to make sure you’re really getting a good deal.

flea markets

Walk around, shop, find and haggle – THIS is a flea market. Aside from the possibility of buying cheap second-hand, junking is a great Sunday outing for the whole family.

▶︎ Benefits:

  • Shoppers can expect really low prices: t-shirts for 50 cents, jeans for 1 euro and a set of suitcases for five, everything is possible at flea markets.
  • Freedom of action is a big advantage compared to apps and shops. Unspoken rule of the bazaar: cheaper is always possible!
  • It is only in a flea market that one can discover treasures and acquire them irresistibly at a low price, the real value of which the seller does not know.

► Disadvantages:

  • Anyone looking for something special is looking for a needle in a haystack. Flea market lovers unite patience.
  • Payment is only possible in cash.

► Pitfalls:

  • Counterfeiting is difficult to detect.
  • If the goods are dirty or have holes, you have to live with them.
  • A lot can go wrong in the social interaction between buyer and seller. If you want to shop, you have to be friendly!
  • When you’re in an undesirable mood, you buy more than you really need.

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