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How to Buy Designer Clothes on the Cheap

Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support.

I have an interesting problem. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Ok, so, I love fancy clothes. But, I’m kind of cheap. Like way too cheap to be paying designer prices for designer clothes.

That definitely doesn’t mean I don’t buy designer labels. Most of my closet is full of brand name items. What it does mean is I try to shop smart (and mostly secondhand) for these items.

And the internet makes finding a good deal oh so easy! Here’s a list of my five favorite secondhand fashion websites and apps:

1) Poshmark - All things apparel, Poshmark is a great place to start on your hunt for designer items. I’ve had a ton of luck with Poshmark finding designer items at low prices. Occasionally, you’ll luck out and find wholesale (Poshmark labels wholesale items as boutique) or new with tag items if secondhand isn’t your thing.

Posh Authenticate is a service offered by Poshmark on designer items over $500 to guarantee that the item is authentic. I've never bought anything anywhere near this expensive on Posh so I can't vouch for their services but I'm sure it does exactly what it's supposed to do. So good news if you’re looking to splurge on some secondhand awesomeness, you don’t have to worry if your new bag is really just a good knockoff.

Get $5 by using my referral link.

2) Mercari - Mercari is the online marketplace where you can buy anything from furniture to electronics to, you guessed it, clothes. It's no secret, I'm a huge fan of Mercari and frequently sell my own preloved stuff on there.

Mercari has a lower sales commission than Poshmark (10% compared to 20%) and sellers who sell on Poshmark in my experience generally tend to use Mercari as well. Since the fees are lower, the item is usually posted at a lower price on Mercari so if you find something you love on Poshmark it’s worth a shot to check to see if it’s listed on Mercari as well.

Use my referral link to earn $10 just for signing up.

3) thredUP - Like an upscale consignment store, thredUP delivers with a beautiful site and a dedicated designer section. I love the site’s ability to remember size information to weed out any items that won’t fit. Another bonus - order something from thredUP and your package will come in a funky teal polka dot box with matching tissue paper. I know the packaging shouldn’t matter but it makes opening your mail a little more fun!

Besides how much I just love their presentation, items are more than reasonable price wise and if you don’t order something for a while thredUP sends you a coupon code to bring you back to their site. I currently have a 35% off coupon sitting in my inbox. I’ll take 35% off my order any day.

Unfortunately thredUP has disappointed me in the past and I can’t not mention it. A year or so ago I ordered a pair of neon yellowish green Kate Spade heels that I fell in love with. Judging from the pictures they were in like new condition. Unfortunately when they arrived they had several dark scuff marks. The condition was listed so I could have maybe surmised that they weren’t perfect based off of that alone but I do think the scuffs should have been shown in the picture.

Even I can photograph those scuff marks :(

thredUP will honor returns but I decided I could live with the scuffs - I told you, I loved the shoes! And they were a great price. Will this experience stop me from ordering from them again? No. Will I pay more attention to the item condition next time? Yes.

4) Swap.com - Think one big online thrift store. I’d say Swap.com is the bargain hunter’s version of thredUP - you’ll have to search more but if you find what you’re looking for it’s so worth it! Swap.com isn’t exactly designer focused but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great deal on designer items! Swap.com has a huge selection of clothing and shoes for women, men, kids and even infants. Their search functions are super helpful and their prices are phenomenal.

Add in the fact they’re usually running some sort of promotion and you can usually find a coupon code via a quick google search and I’m sold on this nifty online consignment store.

5) The Real-Real - The Real-Real specializes in luxury items. Of the five, I would say the Real-Real is the most expensive offering more brands like Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. But don’t worry, they also have more affordable brands mixed in. Similar to Posh Authenticate without the spending limit, the Real-Real authenticates 100% of their items.

There you have it! Five great ways to find quality clothes for way less. Do you have any other websites or apps you love that are missing from my list? I'd love to check them out!

What's the best deal you've found? Have you had any similar experiences to my scuffed up Kate Spades or have all your experiences with online secondhand marketplaces been hiccup free? Tell me all about your experiences in the comments.
Broke Dolly
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