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Online Thrifting Limits the Whole Experience

Samuel Sharpe | Writer

Person placing their hand on a set of hangers.

Buying secondhand no longer has the same connotation it’s had in the past.

“Buying used goods, especially clothes, doesn't necessarily mean you cannot afford something new,” said Jennifer Okafor, a thrifting expert. “It could be that the items in secondhand shops may be rare vintage, limited in stock, or something of significant value that you may never have the opportunity to buy again if you miss out on it.”

Thrifting continues to evolve due to the internet. Sites like Depop make it easier for people to browse for specific pieces of clothing second hand.

When it comes to online buying, there is only so much you can see from pictures and descriptions.

“I don’t buy pants online because I have a weird sizing, I need to try on pants before purchasing,” said one thrifter.

The inability to try on, feel, and see clothing before purchasing will always limit online thrifting. Certain articles of clothing vary from brand to brand and item to item. Some sellers don’t specify dimensions, others might have taken bad photos, making it even harder to know what you’re truly buying. Thrifting in person allows for a different perspective as you can see what exactly you’re buying.

“There’s a certain level of comparing and holding items; a coordinated way of holding all items together allows for a more immersive and creative experience,” said one thrifter.

Online thrifting allows for more options, compared to a thrift or vintage store. There is still a distance between the item and the purchaser. Seeing clothes in person will give you the confidence to buy clothes you were on the fence about, and it might give you inspiration to buy something you would have otherwise ignored.


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