New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

From jewelry to jackets: The ultimate guide to online thrifting

There’s plenty of places online to shop for vintage staples, but every site has its own niche. Here’s how to get the most of each.
Kennon Cummings
(Illustration by Kennon Cummings)

In New York City, there is no shortage of thrift stores for the fashionable NYU student. But, the rise in online shopping in recent years has, in many ways, turned thrifting digital. From Etsy to Depop, online secondhand stores provide a more convenient and calm shopping experience than in-person thrifting. These sites, however, are not made equal. If you are looking to find stylish secondhand pieces from the comfort of your home, here’s where to start the search.



Goodwill is perhaps one of the most popular thrift stores — and maybe even your favorite — but did you know it recently created an online resale site? The organization established GoodwillFinds less than two years ago, and simplifies the overwhelming experience of flicking through aisles of clothing racks. Unlike its brick-and-mortar counterpart, the website has a much more curated selection of donated items, making it easier to find good quality pieces from specific styles and brands. If you are searching for a steal, it may be better to rummage in person, as the online store can get expensive. But for anyone short on time or searching for more rare or archival pieces, opting for online is the way to go.



While Etsy is known as a marketplace for small businesses to sell handcrafted items, it can also be a useful site to look for secondhand staples, specifically vintage pieces. It maybe shouldn’t be the first place you go, but there are a fair amount of sellers who specialize in timeless items, perfect for finding that antique necklace you’ve been searching for. Do be wary, though, as it can be expensive, but it might be worth the price. 



The site might be notorious for resellers who list overpriced thrift finds, but there are plenty of Depop shops with newer, trendy secondhand items for fair prices. You can also usually find shops to follow on the app that carry specific styles or aesthetics, so that your feed is catered to the clothes you are searching for to fill gaps in your wardrobe. Many fashion influencers also list their secondhand clothes on the site, which can help if you want to mimic a certain style. Since many shops are run by individual sellers, it is also pretty common to negotiate prices to score the deal you’re looking for.



When it comes to online thrifting, Poshmark is a safe bet for securing secondhand staples or vintage gems. Much like on Depop and Etsy, you communicate with shops and sellers to purchase items and you can often bargain for better prices. The site is also known for having fast turnarounds for shipping, but this unfortunately comes with a fixed shipping price of $7.97 on all orders. As a result, buying multiple items at once could get you more for your money than on other sites. Poshmark also has a large focus on brand-named goods, so if you’ve been eyeing vintage Coach purses or lightly-worn Lululemon leggings, this may be the place.



Out of all the online thrifting websites, ThreadUp is the most eco-friendly and budget-friendly, making it a great first place to look for any thrifting mission. There are almost always discounts — sometimes as high as 60% off — on top of already low prices, meaning you may be able to get quality pieces as low as $4. The site also makes shipping a large order affordable with bundled shipping, allowing you to pay once for shipping and then place as many orders as you want over the next seven days. Once your week is up, your orders will be combined, packaged and shipped off together, reducing excess packaging material and making your retail therapy slightly more sustainable. There is also a rewards system that offers perks like free shipping and monetary credit, encouraging users to regularly shop secondhand.

Contact Pritheva Zakaria at [email protected]

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