How much do you/are you willing to pay for used clothes, compared to retail price?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  ChuushaHime 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #20819

    Nana
    Member

    With all this talk about prices and sustainable, “slow” fashion and how much should clothes cost, I’ve been wondering about second hand clothing. It’s often presented as an alternative to fast fashion, but I ask you: how much do you pay or are you willing to pay for used clothing?

    I’m on Depop and I find myself scoffing a lot at people who charge close to retail price. Personally, if I’m going to buy something used, it has to be at least half price, but preferably less, depending on the original price, the condition the garment is in, and how much I want it.

    How much are you willing to concede for buying used? Is any money saved a good deal, because you’re buying used, instead of new? Do you put a price limit on thrifting?

    #20820

    ChuushaHime

    It depends on a lot of different factors.

    * If the secondhand price were the retail price, would I pay it? A lot of times, unless I saw something in the stores the first time around and passed it up because of price, I don’t feel like I’m saving. So in my mind, even if a piece may have retailed at $120, I first saw it at $50 so in my mind I only have to weigh if it is worth $50. If I buy things because of some preconceived notion of “saving” then I’d dig myself a spending hole.

    * Is it still accessible to me pricewise? A D&G dress that retailed for $3k may be an outstanding deal at $600, but at the end of the day I cannot afford to spend $600 on a dress. On the flipside, if the original price of something was $20, and I wanted it at $20, then I’d pay $16 for it even if it isn’t the best “deal” because it went from “accessible” to “even more accessible.”

    * Is it new with tags? I will pay more than half of original price for these items, but would not for items that had been pre-worn and washed.

    * Is it worth the money saved? I see the advice “don’t buy anything on sale that you wouldn’t buy full price” thrown around and I vehemently disagree–some of my favorite pieces are ones that I never would have *tried* had they been retail price. Buying secondhand is a great way to experiment with trends, or to experiment with colors and cuts that are new to you but you don’t want to invest in up front.

    * How much is shipping and customs? Often times I’ll see pieces online and put them in my cart, saying “oh wow, it’s only $30!” and it’s totally worth $30, but after shipping and customs fees it may be $50 and it may not be *worth* $50 regardless of how much I’m saving off of original price.

    edit:

    * Want vs. need. If I’m buying an item that I *need* but don’t *want* (a stuffy blazer for a formal work event, some hiking boots, basics) then I’ll probably try to cheap out as much as possible without getting into terrible quality territory. But if I’m buying an item because it will be fun to wear and fits my style preferences (a swingy skirt, a novelty print dress, flashy pumps) I feel mentally better paying more because I’ll get more joy out of the item.

    #20821

    idislikekittens

    I expect at least 50% off retail aside from three conditions:

    * Hard to find on the secondhand market – Sézane, All Saints leather jackets, Canada Goose, etc.

    * Takes forever to get/hard to buy – Elizabeth Suzann, Hermes Kelly & Birkin, etc.

    * New item has a ton of price increases – Chanel flaps, LV

    I don’t have a price limit on thrifting but I’m generally super picky with brands when buying online. If it doesn’t work for me, I expect to be able to re-sell it at a similar price, since there are no returns. While I’m happy to try on and buy a Forever 21 dress at a thrift store, I’d never buy one online, because I know I don’t have a good shot on reselling it on Poshmark.

    #20822

    misseff

    I need it to be like 70% off unless it’s a high end item that’s going to last a really long time. I’m not paying $20 for a used top from the Gap. Even for high end items it needs to be something I really want and needs to be in good condition.

    When I did RTR Unlimited, their “keep it” prices were nuts. They were trying to charge $150+(which was 50%) for used tops that looked worn when I got them. Never gonna happen.

    #20823

    Iris_Mobile

    Ugh, I hear you with the scoffing at some of the prices people have on their stuff on depop/poshmark. Like no, your old, beat up bag that you’ve clearly been using regularly for the past few years is not worth $100 anymore, even if it is Kate Spade and originally retailed for $200. I agree with the half orig. price at the very least, especially when the brand is one that has regular sales, and depending on the condition of the item. When you’ve thrifted most of your life, you kind of accumulate an internal database of the going rate for certain brands/items that you use to determine how good a deal something really is.

    I have a local consignment store that I love and often get amazing deals at, but they price their Kate Spade sometimes “only” at 40-50% off and I’ve had a few instances where I literally looked up the exact same bag and it was marked down for less on the Kate Spade website. Brand new. I always pass, but I can’t really blame them because clearly other people are buying at those prices.

    I guess personally, I only consider it a truly good deal if the used price is one I couldn’t buy the item for brand new from the original manufacturer. But if it’s a rare or truly unique item that I really, really love, then I can make an exception and perhaps pay a little more, just because I likely won’t ever run into that item/something similar again. So it depends on the situation, but in general I’m pretty stingy with used clothing just because there’s a never-ending supply of it. There’s good deals out there all the time, you can’t buy all of them. So I just tend to go for the really great deals. I think if I really get down to it, if it’s making something that I really like/want, that would otherwise be totally unaffordable to me, actually affordable, then I consider that a great deal.

    #20824

    stringbean1

    Unless its a designer investment piece that doesn’t go on sale ever, I expect the used item I want it to be at or below the last sale price it was at. So if it’s something from Express or those other constantly on-sale mall brands, I want at least 50% off retail price, if not 70%. If it’s at a more expensive retailer that doesn’t go on sale often, then I look for 20-30% off retail price. This is all based on if the item is NWT, NWOT, or like new. If it’s in used condition I 100% want it below that price, pretty much as cheap as possible depending on how used. If it’s something one of a kind or vintage, I might throw out all of these ‘rules’ if the piece is really that special.

    #20825

    cinnamonteacake

    It depends – my clothing budget is still the same, but what I would’ve spent for new clothes at M&S, Zara etc, I now try to look for slightly higher-end clothes that are going for around that much secondhand.

    Obviously I don’t want to pay too much or take much of a risk, but in my reasoning, clothes are going to get worn anyway so it doesn’t really bother me that they’re used if I’m getting them for a fraction of retail and in somewhat decent condition.

    #20826

    [deleted]

    Generally speaking, even if something is brand new with tags, I expect a discount – at least 15-20% off of MSRP – if I can’t return the item (e.g. Poshmark purchases). I’ll make exceptions if if I’ve tried the exact item in store, but that’s not super common.

    Has it be worn before? Probably at least half off. Any flaws? Unless the item is truly special, I will not pay much for it. Sure, it’s only $5 to repair a hole at the tailor, but that hole tells me that either the garment is well worn or it wasn’t made well to begin with.

    #20827

    tyrannosaurusregina

    I agree with ChuusaHime that my bottom line is “what is this worth to me?”

    However, I don’t even consider items that are more than 50% of retail price, except for exceptional vintage pieces. Not paying 60% of retail for even a new-with-tags Gap sweater; I’d rather just wait for a Gap sale.

    #20828

    666sona

    If we’re talking thrift store I’m not willing to pay >$10 an article of clothing,

    if it’s on depop so something relatively current or just someones clothing they haven’t worn that much then very very discounted like 70%+off rtp because it makes no sense to charge that much. I really would like to buy used but it’s just more of a hassle especially because of depop resellers.

    Thredup prices are also ridic. They should cut them by like 30% then it would be fair.

    #20829

    robotgwen

    For mid-tier brands like Madewell, I won’t pay more than half-price for jeans, and less for tops. Generally it has to be a pretty good deal, otherwise there’s not much benefit from just buying it new.

    For higher-end brands, the percentage off retail price is generally a lot higher, but the amount I’m willing to pay goes up a lot as well. Ex. I bought a sweater for $100 that was originally $600.

    #20830

    epipin

    I’ve only been buying second hand lately at Eileen Fisher Renew. I’ve no idea how much the items originally retailed for – a lot. Plus, the items might be 10+ years old so there’s no way to directly compare. I do like that they professionally clean and inspect each item. So far I’ve spent up to $45 for a top, which is more than I often used to spend for new things!

    #20831

    TranquiliTea

    Depends on the specific piece. I have a price in mind that I will not go over and I alwayssss stick to that, whether buying secondhand or brand new. I won’t even pay close to retail, tags or not, unless it’s super rare/special or vintage, since you’re giving up customer service, return/exchange privileges, store guarantees, etc. when you buy secondhand.

    #20832

    [deleted]

    Like new but worn before, I would pay maybe 20-25% of retail (75-80% off). This is just because I can often get retail at 50% or more off new either at sales or through discount sites after the season is over

    #20833

    PartyPorpoise

    It depends on the quality of the item, how much it costs new, and of course just how much I like it! I do thrift shopping to save money so I do have a low limit of what I’m willing to spend. I’m not likely to go over $20 for an item unless it’s high quality and good condition. Like, it has to be real leather, not fake. I really like alternative styles but they tend to be expensive brand new and difficult to find in thrift stores, so I’m willing to spend more on those styles. I’m also more likely to buy with any sort of item that’s crazy enough that I’m not likely to find it in a store.

    Regarding original prices, I’m also not big on paying more than half the original price, (or what I assume the original price is, lol) unless the item is in really good condition. (preferably with tags) But, quality plays in too. If a store sells low quality dresses for $100, I’m not gonna be willing to pay $50 for it thrifting just because the original price was much higher. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even pay $20 if the quality sucked enough. There’s no shortage of clothing in thrift stores, I have options, dammit!

    #20834

    SnyperBunny

    I won’t pay more than thrift store prices for used clothes: at most $25 for shoes, $15 for pants, $12 for a really NICE shirt – “average” shirts I’ll max out at more like $8.

    For a cashmere sweater I’ll go up to $15, up to $20 if its a pale colour I can dye or a colour I really like and a Men’s XXXXL (because then I get LOTS of yarn when I pull it apart 😉 )

    I tend to weigh things against other things I want. For example, do I want the $80 ____ or do I want the new Switch game? Do I want the $15 used sweater or do I want to pick up some extra plants on clearance to boost my garden next year?

    #20835

    sexyvegtabl

    I definitely like to look for the savings on depop. 50-70% off is my range- which is what I try to keep in mind when I post my clothes for sale there. I remember seeing some girl post her VERY USED (which she called ‘generously pre-loved’ or some BS) AA Sophia bralette for $18…..when it retails for $22! I almost laughed out loud.

    #20836

    jsmnsux

    My first question while thrifting is: IS IT PILLING? Haha

    #20837

    Malaise_Falcon

    it really depends on the item. i’m thrift a lot, between in store (buffalo, crossroads) and online (poshmark) – ive bought one new dress in the last 8 months, and a couple of pairs of leggings, but dropping 60lbs from a 14 to a 4 meant i’ve had to redo my entire wardrobe.

    i get lucky a lot – i found a leather madewell skater skirt that i’ll tailor down as i lose these last 8-15lbs for $20 (seeing it on poshmark for $100). i found a never worn $700 all saints lambskin body con dress that i’ll wear a lot to events for $89. A pair of leather boots that are the style i’ve been wanting for $60 (original somewhere north of $500). some cashmere sweaters for $15-20, some silk tops for $10-20.

    i’ll usually pay $10-20 for tops – a bit more for a cashmere or silk piece, but not much. but a simple shirt from Eileen Fisher or Madewell i aim to keep it sub $20 and make sure it’s an ideal cut / neckline for me.

    i’ll pay up to $100 for an amazing dress or skirt, that will have heavy rotation in my wardrobe, or is appropriate for more fancy events, but usually aim for $15-$50. ive found as i’ve lost weight i wear more skirts than dresses, so this influences my tops / skirts budget a bit.

    shoes, i try not to buy too many, but i’ll spend up to $100 for a really amazing pair – ive only thrifted 3 pairs of shoes lately, a pair of all saints leather boots for $60, a pair of alexander wang flat booties for $60, and a pair of simple booties for $15.

    i look a lot at how something will fit into my wardrobe, and how much i’ll wear it.

    #20838

    100garbage

    If it’s an item in new or like new condition that I would have reasonably bought at full price I’m willing to pay up to 80% (for example, last winter I was looking to buy a pair of Dr Martens that retailed for $120, I managed to find an almost new pair for$50, but I probably would have paid as much as $90 or so since it’s something that’s in high demand and I was specifically in the market for that shoe)

    For something truly vintage or otherwise impossible for me to find I generally think only of whether i can afford it or not, unless i know the price asked is above the original asking price. If it’s been worn, I expect it to retail for less than the original price, regardless of its rarity.

    For all other items I expect to pay no more than 40%, and that’s for high quality, gently used items (shoes, bags, denim, etc). For a top or casual dress or a midrange item it should be even less.

    If I’m actually thrifting then unless I find a true gem $10 is my absolute top end for any one item

    #20839

    aconsideredlife

    I don’t care if it’s new with tags; if I’m not buying from an official retailer, I want at least a little discount on that item. Something like 20% off retail price, minimum. If it’s been worn, I want at least 50% off.

    If I’m purchasing from a thrift/charity shop, I expect heavy discounts. Far too many shops mark highstreet clothing like H&M and Primark at almost the same price to buy the clothes new. I won’t buy these brands anyway because they are terrible quality but I won’t pay any more than £5 for secondhand items. The only exception is exceptionally good brands in excellent quality, even then I’ll still hesitate to pay more than £10 for an item.

    I don’t buy much anyway so I’m quite happy to walk away from things if it’s not the right price; I know there’s a great bargain right around the corner. I’d rather wait or just purchase exactly what I want brand new.

    #20840

    Mafmi

    I’m super cheap. I don’t like paying more than $3 for tops/bottoms and $5 for dresses and shoes. Bonus points if I can get it on a half off day or 99¢ day. You definitely can’t find these prices online, or at “nicer” consignment stores, so I stick to the basic thrift stores.

    #20841

    theuglybaldwins

    If it’s in good condition, the fact that it’s used doesn’t really change how much I value it, as I’ll get the same amount of wear out of it as I would if I bought it new. I’m also usually buying things used that I couldn’t afford to buy new. So in my mind, I’m not really comparing the cost of a used silk blouse to a new one, I’m comparing it to the cost of a new blouse from a lower quality brand/fabric. That makes a $50 silk blouse a pretty good deal, as any $50 blouse I buy new will probably not be of the same quality, while a $20 thrifted plain cotton t-shirt isn’t a good deal because if I wanted a cotton tee I could buy one for $10.

    For vintage, I’m sometimes willing to pay more than I would pay for a new item. Vintage pieces can be really special, and if they’re from more than a couple decades ago, they’re generally really high quality. Think about it – a dress from the 60’s that’s still in good condition now is probably going to be in good condition ten years from now if you take care of it. It’s lasted this long.

    #20842

    DConstructed

    It depends on the piece.

    I’d rather buy something that’s used but beautifully made and in a great fabric than some cheap model or poly thing brand new.

    #20843

    ALT_enveetee

    I liiiiive for secondhand shops (both app/ecom and brick and mortar). In my city, we have a chain called Crossroads Trading Post, which is quite picky about what it accepts and has a very, very fast turnover. There is also a way pricier one that specializes in designer clothing that I visit but not as frequently. My usual caps: no more than $15 for a t-shirt, $25 for a sweater, $200 for a jacket (and only then if it was originally $500+), $40 for shoes, $25 for jeans, $80 for dresses. There can be no stains, rips, or loose threads.

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