Second hand clothes hanging on hangers.

Everything you need to know about buying second-hand

Shopping second-hand is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and snag one-of-a-kind finds. Read on to learn everything you need to know about buying second-hand.

5 min read

Buying second-hand is more than just a way to save money—lots of other factors are inspiring people to head to the “second-life” racks. These include using natural resources more efficiently and reducing waste, as well as adhering to the 7 Rs of the circular economy.

A recent study by Wallapop in collaboration with Ipsos reveals how we’re all changing our shopping habits and increasingly making the shift to more responsible consumption. The report claims that within the next five years, one in five Spaniards intend to spend more on second-hand goods than on new products. 

The coronavirus pandemic has also changed consumer habits. The survey showed a clear increase in purchases of second-hand items compared to 2020. One in three people said they bought more second-hand goods than they did before the pandemic. So if you’re looking to jump on the bandwagon and learn all about the pros and cons of buying second-hand, as well as the best online platforms for finding second-hand clothing—then read on!

The advantages and disadvantages of buying second-hand

The top advantages of buying second-hand

  • Save money: In general, used items cost less than brand new items. 
  • Make better use of resources: Every time you purchase new items, it’s good to remember that a ton of resources were used to get that final product. By opting for items that other consumers have used before, you can extend their useful life and reduce resource consumption. 
  • Reduce pollution and waste: Second-hand products don’t usually come packaged with unnecessary plastic or cardboard. What’s more, giving items a second chance means they don’t have to be thrown away—reducing your waste overall. 
  • Find unique items: Another big perk of buying second-hand is the chance to uncover one-of-a-kind treasures. Maybe it’s an item that’s no longer in production, a vintage classic, a hand-made textile, or a product that hails from another country. Why not try standing out from the crowd for a change? 

Disadvantages of buying second-hand items

  • You can’t always return stuff: Second-hand products might have defects or not work properly, and you can’t always expect the manufacturer to fix them. Before buying, make sure the item you’ve purchased works as expected, and find out when and where the seller bought it or if they’ve had any problems with it in the past.
  • Useful life may be shorter: Second-hand items will likely have been used previously, so they might not last as long as new items. In this case, the best thing to do is carefully choose the second-hand goods you buy. Buying a used t-shirt isn’t the same as buying a 10-year-old washing machine. With some practice, you’ll get the hang of it.
  • More time and effort may be needed to find what you’re looking for: If you’re searching for something specific—like a particular brand or model—the convenience of finding it in a department store might seem to outweigh the effort required to find it on a second-hand website or in a store. That being said, there are lots of apps and websites for buying and selling second-hand items that allow you to personalize your searches according to brand, size, color, and price.
  • Limited range of used products: Second-hand products aren’t sold in bulk, so quantities are limited. Even so, more and more people are joining the movement and trading their items in the second-hand marketplace, meaning the range of options is growing constantly. 

Second-hand stores—the best online platforms

How to buy or sell second-hand items online

It’s pretty common for people to not know where to buy or sell second-hand items. If that’s you, fear not—we’ve put together a list of the top online platforms, so you can find the one that’s best suited to you.

  • Wallapop: The leading platform for trading second-hand goods in Spain. On Wallapop you’ll find a wide range of products, from high-tech gadgets to sporting goods, to furniture—even vehicles! What’s more, the mobile app is very intuitive and easy to use. 
  • Vinted: This is your best option if you’re looking to refresh your wardrobe or get rid of those dresses you no longer wear. You’ll find a huge range of brands here—and best of all, since Vinted is an international company, you can buy and sell items with users from other countries such as France, Portugal, and Germany. 
  • Milanuncios: One of the best-known platforms for trading second-hand goods. You can post adverts here to sell virtually any product or service. You’ll find everything from second-hand cars and motorcycles, to job offers, rental properties, even pets and livestock. The variety is endless!
  • Facebook Marketplace: This is a very convenient option if you don’t want to sign up for an account on another platform. You can upload photos of your items, set a price and connect with interested buyers—all from the Facebook app. It’s useful for trading second-hand products with other users right in your own neighborhood.
  • Micolet: A platform for selling clothes, similar to Vinted. The difference with this platform is that clothing items are sold in groups rather than individually. Simply send your clothes off to the company—they’ll then check their quality, set a price, sell, and ship them to the customer. In return, you’ll receive a percentage of the profit they make from your clothes, all while avoiding the fuss of photographing and communicating with buyers.

Buy and sell second-hand items on Wallapop with N26

Now that you know the pros and cons of the second-hand market and where to shop without leaving home, there’s no excuse—buying second-hand is better for the environment, and for your wallet. What more could you ask for?

If you’re ready to start shopping for deals, you’re in luck! At N26 we’ve teamed up with Wallapop to give you a very special offer—three deliveries of up to 5kg for free when you pay using your N26 card! If you’re already an N26 user, simply open the Wallapop app and add your N26 card as a payment method. The delivery costs will be automatically deducted when you use your N26 debit Mastercard to pay for your next orders.

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