New bargain in old clothes: Top-name retailers begin selling used apparel

Major retailers such as Walmart offer slightly used clothing on their websites. Instead of visiting your neighborhood thrift store, you can now look for bargains online – from the convenience of your home.

Online shoppers, bargain shoppers, collective shoppers - there are many kinds of shopaholics. While shopping has become increasingly comfortable with trends going online, you still had to visit your neighborhood thrift store to find a good bargain.

But things are about to change. Besides regular retail, major store chains including Nordstrom, Macy’s and Walmart make it now easier to find bargains at great prices – and all that from the convenience of your home.

All of them either recently started or are planning on selling lightly used clothing on their websites.

The reason behind the trend is a shift in consumer sentiment. According to a poll from the online retailer ThredUp, 70% of women said they have bought or are open to buying used clothing. Four years ago, the number of women interested in secondhand items was at 45%.

According to the poll, the number one reason to consider used apparel is value. There is no better way to get top labels and brand-name designs at bargain prices.

While the online resale clothing market with apps and websites such as Poshmark, ThredUp and Tradesy was already trending before Covid-19, the pandemic shut down many brick-and-mortar stores. This led to more buying opportunities online.

Bargain shoppers might have their designated shops and websites. Still, many don’t know about the opportunity that major retailers are offering.

Killeen-resident Alicia Fink, mother of three, loves looking for bargains.

“You can find lots of great things in thrift stores and yard sales for a great price,” she said.

But she didn’t know about the option to shop secondhand items on known retailers’ websites.

“I had no idea,” she said.

While she was excited about the new opportunity, she still prefers the hands-on approach when shopping for slightly used apparel.

“I do like shopping in stores better so I can try it on and make sure it fits just right,” she said.

Since many online retail stores don’t offer refunds or exchanges for their items, this is an important aspect to consider. Don’t forget to research the return policies for each online store before placing an order.

Paying close attention to merchandise descriptions, and notes about items’ conditions and measurements also helps make the right choice.

If you are interested in checking out what retailers such as Walmart have to offer, you can simply take a look at their secondhand items on their website.

Walmart offers their bargain items at Walmart.com. Select Clothing, Shoes & Accessories from the Departments listing, then Pre-owned: ThredUp.

You can also find bargains at retailers’ websites such as rei.com/used, eileenfisherrenew.com, wornwear.patagonia.com and urbanoutfitters.com/curated-vintage-clothing.

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