Buying Preloved Online vs In-Store

Buying Preloved Online vs In-Store

What is really our expectation in terms of price and condition when it comes to buying PRELOVED?

In recent years, buying and selling preloved or secondhand items online has become more mainstream than ever before.

Buying preloved is:

  • Better for our planet - as no resources were consumed to make new
  • Prevents used items from reaching landfill
  • Great for our wallet as they come with a preloved price tag (mostly)

Online platforms such as eBay, Vinted and Facebook Marketplace have emerged and evolved over the years making buying and selling preloved items online a lot easier (in principle) for the seller to advertise to a wider audience and the buyer to find a specific item that they are looking for. The perfect model of a circular economy where we REDUCE the amount we buy new, we REUSE what we already have and RECYCLE/REPURPOSE the rest. Of course there is a downside of selling online with fees associated with each sale, postage and packaging and general time…time to take photos, time to list each item, time to answer questions and time to post a sold item.

When it comes to a brick & mortar store, however, we are more reluctant to buy second hand clothing, shoes or toys as it is somehow perceived that a physical store automatically equates to a charity shop (or a bargain store) and therefore the items are of poor quality, poor condition and therefore low price.

Perhaps it is part of our culture to look for bargains whether at a car boot or yard sale or at a charity shop where every penny spend helps an important cause. How is it that our perception and approach to shopping PRELOVED is so different when buying online to when shopping at a brick & mortar shop?

There have been occasions that our physical shop has been referred to or compared to a charity shop just because there are second hand children’s clothes for sale and second hand maternity clothing, even though we are by no means a charity.

So, how is it that we find Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Vinted perfectly acceptable to shop secondhand items with buyers happily paying the market value of a preloved item (that may or may not be in the condition that the respective seller has described) but when that same preloved item is up for sale in a physical shop, it is expected to be way below its actual market value?

All our preloved items are priced individually based on their brand and condition and no two items are priced the same, just because they are the same brand or same type. Is the market really so different when shopping online to when walking into a brick & mortar shop where you can see the quality and condition of an item before you purchase it?

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