A few months back I spilled all my secrets on how to search and find designer and luxury items online and how to buy them for a fraction of the retail cost. I’ve been a thrifter since I was in college so I’m thrilled that shopping secondhand has never been so approachable and widespread than it is today. It’s a win/win shopping opportunity to invest in quality, well-made and classic pieces AND an environmentally-friendly shopping decision.
Buying one used item reduces its carbon footprint by 82%.ThredUp 2019 Resale Report
When it comes to online resale options, popular sites include ThredUp, TheRealReal and Poshmark, and for those willing to do a little more research and searching, ShopGoodwill.com (my personal fave).
You can get all my tips and tricks for using ShopGoodwill.com to find your own designer finds in my earlier post “Thrifting Tips to Score Designer Treasures” including a designer search term cheat sheet!
In today’s post, I wanted to share a few helpful hints to give your previously owned items a little TLC. Knowing where to turn and how to spruce something up may help you “win” an online bid at an even lower price point because you’ll be able to see beyond the tarnish, broken lock or leather tear that may otherwise scare off other buyers.
Here are THREE things to have in your backpacket as you start or continue your secondhand and thrifting journey:
- A trusted local shoe, luggage and leather repair shop. Don’t shy away from a handbag or belt requiring a little love. I recently found a flawless Ferragamo leather cross body handbag with a push lock closure. Only problem: the bag was missing a key and was sold “as is” in the locked position. My local leather repair shop (Kenilworth Shoe Services for those of you up in the North Shore) opened the lock (for less than $10) and I walked away with a pristine designer bag for less than $100.
- A little elbow grease and household items. Tarnished silver jewelry or antique finds like silver flatware may appear dirty or old, but with a little simple polishing can look like a million bucks. I spruced up these vintage Givenchy heart puff earrings with some sensitive toothpaste, cotton swabs and a damp soft cloth. All you have to do is gently rub the toothpaste on the surface – perhaps test this out on the back of the item first – and use cotton swabs to clean in the small crevices and to wipe the toothpaste (and grime) away. Use a damp soft cloth to completely remove the toothpaste. When I’m not using items in my medicine cabinet, Wright’s Silver Cream is a favorite.
- A tailor. Someone to help replace missing buttons, fix a hemline, take in a dress or remove shoulder pads (hello, 80s vintage!). Kudos to you if you are skilled enough to handle this yourself!
Do you currently shop secondhand? If so, do you have any thrift shopping tips?