Choosing to Reuse – Preloved Fashion
There are so many things I love about preloved fashion. I enjoy finding a bargain. Something that somebody once paid decent money for that they no longer want. If it’s high quality then it’ll last the length of time and will be loved once more.
The other reason for choosing second hand is that it’s a step towards doing something good for the environment. It’s a serious issue that not all of us want to think about, but there are many ways in which producing textiles can cause damage to our planet.
The highest type of textile produced in the EU is cotton. Cotton uses vast amounts of water to grow, which has lead to drying out the Aral sea in Kazakhstan, Asia. It can take 10,000 litres of water to produce just 1 kilo of cotton which is terrifying.
Clothing landfills are another issue, which is why it’s important to reuse. Throwing away items cause high levels of waste building up in landfill which could be reduced by reusing and recycling materials.
There are of course a lot of other environmental issues when it comes to the production of ‘fast fashion’, such as the chemicals used in the dyes polluting our oceans. Other problems are the micro plastics that enter the waters when we wash our garments. Shockingly, I have only recently been exposed to some of these facts.
I’m not going to lie and say I never go out and buy new clothes. Because I do. However, I don’t shop all that regularly. In fact, if you look at my fashion posts and my Instagram profile you’ll see that I have a lot of outfits on repeat.
I don’t always buy high end garments, and that’s purely down to budget. Otherwise most of us would be walking around in designer fashion wouldn’t we? So the ‘cheaper’ bits I buy are essential things like base layers. But if you check out my wardrobe, a lot of stuff in there has been sitting there for a long time. I either don’t want to part with it, or it’s useful to me. Because I try to be practical in what I purchase.
When I haven’t been practical, I sell it. It makes sense to me – I spent money on it, so I want some of my money back. I could pass it onto someone, which is fine or chuck it all in a charity shop bag. That could also be fine, but not everything that goes to charity gets used so therefore ends up in landfill anyway. So I do try my best to minimise my silly spending.
Related Post: How to Wear Your Outfits More Than Once
eBay all the Way…
Now, like most, I lead a busy life. I don’t always have time to search through charity shops on the hunt for that bargain Gucci bag tucked away on a shelf, mistakenly priced at £2.50. But it can be great fun to actually look out for something special.
But usually if I want or need something, I’ll have something specific in my mind. So that’s where eBay can be a great tool to find preloved fashion. Not only can I sell off my unwanted bits on there but I can search for stuff too. You can get just about anything on eBay (I even buy cat food on there!), so I will use that search bar and get what I’m after.
In the past, by selecting ‘Auction’ (you can ‘Buy it Now’ for preloved and also new items) and ‘watching’ items that have a few days or hours left on the auction we have had:
- A gorgeous solid oak coffee table
- A tall lamp for the front room
- An oak wood TV cabinet
- An antique tub chair
- A Mothercare cot bed
- A fireguard
Just to name a few things for the home. All have been in fantastic condition and we still have.
When it comes to preloved fashion and beauty, here are just a few things I have purchased.
Then I’ll tell you my tricks for winning that bid at auction! (Because nine times out of ten, I win)
My Red Doc Martens
I lived in DM’s for years when I was a teen. Then when I was all grown up, they were given to a charity shop as to me they were no longer in fashion and I just wanted to put my ‘goth’ days behind me.
Oh, what I mistake I made! These are going for big bucks, even second hand on the Bay! So I spent time searching for a half decent looking pair in my size. I looked at how many days were left on them and the price they were sitting at (plus how many bids were already on). Basically, if there’s still four days to go before the auction ends and there’s already six bids, then they will get sold for a relatively high amount.
The Secret to the Winning Bid
I had a budget in mind of around £40 – £50. I am slightly impatient so pretty useless at waiting for four days for an auction to end. These boots had a day left when I was searching and were at around the £20 mark. I watched them and set a reminder on my phone when they had ten minutes left.
Of course, if I really wanted to hang around all week to see where they were up to, I could click ‘watch’. I don’t find eBay notifications very useful to me, as they email you a day before to tell you the auction is almost up. Then they email you when you’ve missed out and someone else has won. If you put on an early bid (I do not do this) then if someone outbids you, you’ll know. But I need to be online at the last few seconds. Yes – seconds!
Why I Don’t Bid Early
This is just my experience. If I bid early and other people are watching the same item, then they might also bid. That pushes the price up. You will see what the price has gone up to, but that doesn’t mean that’s what they bid.
The price for example might be at 27.50. When the next person bids, it might go up and you’ll see the next price. But if it’s saying it’s £27.50 and you bid £28.50, even at the very last second as you see the count down, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win. Why? Because they (like me) might put a higher amount on. They might have bid more than a pound more, which will push the bid up further.
So to win? Make sure you have your budget in mind – vital. Consider the cost of postage and packaging if it’s included. Then stick to it.
My Doc Martens at the last second were at around £43.00. So with £50.00 being my limit, I put in an odd amount. So something like £49.77.
If there are still seconds left, someone might see it go up slightly, meaning they could possibly bid £44.00 or £45.00 for example. But they wouldn’t win at that because I had put in a much higher amount so I had outbid them anyway.
Even if they bid at £49.00, I had already put in an obscure amount with that extra 77p. So I won.
My boots cost me a total of £46.00, including postage.
I am brave though. I make sure I’m logged into eBay, have a good internet connection and will bid at ten seconds to go if I feel confident. Doing that also stops me from playing bidding wars if I’m outbid. The adrenaline can kick in and you get that buzz. I have to take a step back and think, if I win, I win. If I lose, it wasn’t to be.
What Else Have I Got From Ebay?
Some bits I’ve bought that didn’t really look the same as the photo, I’ve re-sold. I’ve sold a Radley handbag I didn’t like in the flesh and a pair of Irregular Choice shoes that were too small. I’ve also sold a Ted Baker baby faux fur snow suit that I got from the Bay (I saw it in Debenhams for £40.00 and went hunting online for a bargain), and sold it back on there once my daughter had grown out of it.
These are my most recent purchase. A pair of New Look dungarees. I was after a pair, and managed to get these at the last second for £17.00, including postage. Whether I am comfortable with the ripped knees or not is another thing! Worst case scenario is they’ll get handed to a friend who has a teenage daughter.
Bundles are great on eBay if you want a few bits. Tops to wear to the gym are essential, especially as you do have to wash them after one wear. I got this bundle on ebay for £10.90 altogether over a year ago and they are still going strong.
I buy stuff for the family on the Bay if I’m after something in particular. I got this cute maxi dress a couple of years ago, and it still fits my four year old daughter! These Next cowboy boots are also pretty roomy and still fit Eva. They were a bargain at £5.15. They were bought for a Cowboy fancy dress party, but they are cute to wear anytime.
These high top retro genuine Nike trainers were needed for (another) fancy dress party. This was an 80’s themed party so they fit the bill, along with leggings and a ra-ra skirt (all from eBay!). I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to keep them or sell them again. But I won them at auction for £11.00. Not bad.
Sometimes I just can’t find what I need in the shops, so I check out what’s being auctioned on eBay. I’ve bought a lot of Preloved work clothes in the past. This River Island ruffle blouse is in really good condition and great for work. How much did this cost? £1.99! You can get some serious bargains.
Back to that 80’s fancy dress party – a lot was purchased! Including this crimper. I had no idea crimping was still a thing, and they are pretty sought after. It took me a while to find a crimper that was within the price bracket I was prepared to pay, but I found this Babyliss crimper for £9.99. I was tempted to sell it, but I have a daughter so this might be useful in the future.
Clarks Long Boots
I’m so proud of this purchase – however, because I got these about seven years ago, I can’t remember what I paid for them! But they were definitely a bargain and I’ve worn them for multiple occasions. From the workplace to walking in the woods, they’ve been everywhere with me. It’s safe to say I love my preloved boots!
There are risks to buying things online, but I find sellers want good feedback, as negative feedback will bring down their score. The feedback score is something I also check out to see if other buyers have had good experience from them. So sellers are pretty good as disclosing things such as damage or wear and tear.