Shopping Secondhand on eBay

Many of us are working to create a fully ethical wardrobe but a lot of the sustainable labels can be quite pricey, which puts a lot of people off. As it is simply out of their budget, it’s understandable that they can’t really see an alternative to fast fashion.

This is where secondhand shopping comes in – it’s ethical, good for the environment and great for your pocket! eBay is a great place to find those beautiful pieces from the ethical brands you trust, for a fraction of the price. Once you’ve learnt how to search and shop on eBay, you’ll find that it’s really a blessing to have so many options to pieces you really love, for a great price, without costing the planet.

Here are some outfits I’ve put together with all of my recent Pre-Owned eBay finds.

I talk a lot about “timeless” and “investment” pieces, ask you to forget about trends and go on about how buying less is best way to be more sustainable. Still, it’s ok to want beautiful and trendy pieces, just try to make it a conscious decision.

If you love something try to find it pre-loved on eBay first… I can almost guarantee that you’ll find something similar and what’s best, for a better price. Hence this gorgeous Sézane blouse I’ve been wanting for ages, but it was a little out of my budget and I found for a very reasonable price. Combined with the classic Levi’s 501 jeans and these gorgeous, never worn boots from Office. The Levi’s seller specialises in 501s, they have all sizes and colours, the pieces are all original and in great condition (grade A vintage)! I’ve bought 3 pairs from them over the years.

Black band t-shirts were ALL I wore from when I turned fifteen up until my early twenties, after that I couldn’t bare the sight of one… Now I’ve come full circle and have spent hours scrolling through eBay to score some perfectly pre-owned numbers. From incredible collectors items, like this original Led Zeppelin 1977 tour t-shirt, to more common and recent ones, there’s truly a vast number of awesome vintage tees to choose from.

Nothing beats the feeling of a snuggling into a great cashmere jumper on a cold day. Both super-snug and soft on the skin, the cashmere feels more like a beauty treatment (or a hug) than just a piece of clothing. A good cashmere jumper is a winter essential – the ultra-soft yarn is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, and more lightweight too. It’s such a versatile and long lasting pieces that I know, can cost quite a bit. I scored this Everlane jumper, 100% cashmere for £30.

A tip to help you start wearing vintage and pre-loved clothing is to choose timeless pieces that you’re familiar with and that will become a wardrobe staple – something that you can wear season after season. The trench coat is the epitome of cool when it comes to autumnal dressing and a classic that everyone should own. Thanks to their unrivalled versatility, trench coats are one of those key style pieces suitable for both formal and casual occasions.

I won an auction for this beautiful, barely worn Whistles trench for a fraction of the retail price. Great quality pieces should last for a very long time, especially if well taken care of. I’m happy to give this guy a new home, he will get a lot of wear in the next few months!


  • Be very specific with your search. Include at least brand, size, colour and style. Many brands name their designs so it helps if you know the name of the piece you’re looking for – see below.
  • If you find something you like, put it in your watch list then have a look at the seller’s other items. They probably have a similar style and size to yours, so chances are they’re selling some other clothes that you also like! This can also help you save on the shipping fee, as it’s often a lot cheaper to package several items together, so a lot of sellers will offer a postage discount for multiple items. If it’s not specified, email the seller to ask.
  • Often sellers start auctions at 99p or less, hoping a bidding war will erupt. Many items go unspotted, staying at this super-low price. Always keep a close eye at your watch list!
  • If you’re like me and love Charity Shops, it’s worth checking eBay for Charity. Integrated into eBay’s regular buying and selling platform, eBay for Charity makes it easy for people to support important causes, both in the U.S. and U.K. It enables sellers to donate a portion of their sales and buyers to shop while supporting their favourite charities — all the while giving nonprofits an opportunity to engage new supporters. Clink the link to find out more.
  • Bid in the last few seconds of the auction – that way you won’t push the price up unnecessarily. The good old “sniping”.  I tend to bid in the last six seconds of the auction ending.  I type in the absolute maximum amount I’m willing to pay and hope for the best!  This way there is also less chance that you’ll get carried away and bid higher than your budget.  Seven times out of ten I win the item for much less than my top budget. Of course sometimes I’ve lost the auction, but such is life. I knew my budget and didn’t go over it, so in the end I’m a winner even if I didn’t get the item I wanted.
  • To make sure you’re paying a fair price, fill in the search box and tick ‘sold listings’ on the left-hand grey bar. It’ll come up with a list of prices similar auctions have fetched. Sort by “Lowest price” and don’t pay more than the average.
  • If you want something very specific or hard to track down, you can ‘follow’ the search, so eBay sends an email each time a seller lists your desired item. This is brilliant if you like buying on eBay, but don’t want to spend your life hunched over the site. Be as specific as possible for the most accurate results. Then, when someone clears out the loft and lists one, an email pops into your inbox.

Do you shop for pre-loved on eBay? If not, what’s holding you back?

This post was sponsored by eBay, but all opinions are my own.

0 comments so far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome! I’m Beatrice and I created The Fair Edit from a mutual love of lifestyle, and of life. Combining my devotion to ethical and sustainable practices with fashion and style.

Seeking out fashion that supports sustainability and fair trade, philanthropy, green travel and cruelty free beauty, The Fair Edit is a paragon of meaningful lifestyle tips.