“Buying second-hand clothes and accessories is one of the great opportunities of this period as well as a good way to save money and it is also good for the planet!”
If during the lockdown you still don’t want to miss the possibility of thrift shopping, here is a small guide on how to safely buy second-hand items online.
1. What are the trusted websites? 🛒
There are many websites for buying used items. The most famous is obviously eBay, a pioneer of the private auction sector. There are still many advertisements from individuals and it is always very convenient as a system to understand at what price we can find what we are looking for, but there are various other websites.
For example, there is Shpock: a mobile marketplace that brings millions of private buyers and sellers as well as local businesses together, you can find electronics, fashion and furniture and much more; I like it because there are many utents in Salzburg and it is very easy to use.
Facebook is also growing very rapidly as a second-hand market. There is a special section where to leave the announcements, but it is still a bit chaotic. Among the big names, also remember to check out Amazon. Next to the price of the new one, there are usually also references to sellers who offer the same item as used.
2. Which payment system should you choose? 💳
Once you find the object, you come to the question: how to be sure that our money is not lost? First of all, it is wise to take some precautions already from the payment system.
Making agreements exclusively by word of mouth can make it difficult to assert our rights in the event of a dispute. Paypal and bank transfer are two very reliable systems because they guarantee that the money will arrive on verified accounts. The exchange of cash “by hand” would be safe, but for now, you should stay home (plus with cash is difficult to prove the payment).
3. The scams are hidden in the description ⚠️
There are many people who profit from ambiguous descriptions, hoping that the possible customer will not notice a word placed in the place where it is less noticeable. We should always read everything well and always ask the seller some questions, especially if the description is very short or incomplete.
Always ask for photos of a detail that is usually poorly photographed: if the seller is actually a scammer who does not have the object, he cannot send it to you.
4. Check the seller 🕵️
When we talk about buying something used, the question must necessarily be “which site can I trust” or “which person can I trust”? The only way we can minimize the possibility of being scammed is by turning ourselves into investigators and looking for information online. On sites that allow user feedback (such as on eBay), we read carefully what users have complained that have left any negative feedback. Then, after having asked for telephone contact and an e-mail address by message, try entering them on a search engine. A lot of interesting information will come up. Even looking for the seller’s first and last name on Facebook and Linkedin will give you a fairly reliable picture.