While I love the idea of second-hand, I am not one to visit charity shops. I don’t know why – I always had a preference for buying directly from the person getting rid of the items. And while I have had a lot of experience with eBay through both buying and selling used items, it’s time to spotlight Vinted.
Let’s divide this article into two sections: a buyers and a sellers perspective.
Being a buyer on Vinted
The platform is distinctly easy to use to search and filter ads through. As a buyer you are also able to make offers on garments instead of paying a listing price. There is a limit on how many offers you can make per day, so if like me you’re working on a a large wardrobe refresh, pace yourself friend. If you happen to like more than one item on the seller’s profile, most offer ‘bundles’ – multipurchase options which come with a small total discount and which again, you can make offers below the listing price on.
If you are undecided about an item, you can also mark the item as your favourite – this allows you to go back to it easily and also notifies the seller that you are interested, enabling them to make you an offer on said item directly.
Purchase process is generally an easy one too – you pick one of the delivery options listed on the seller’s profile, make a payment and expect to see your purchase dispatched within 5 working days. Most postage options come with tracking which will become more relevant when we talk about the seller side of things.
If things don’t go to plan, Vinted enforces a ‘buyer protection’ on every transaction and this is manifested with a small fee you have to pay – in case you face issues with your purchase the platform support service are reasonably quick to answer questions. However, if the purchase is lost or not dispatched within 5 days from the purchase, they will ask you to wait additional 13 days before handling your case – this I personally find frustrating BUT I have only had one problematic purchase so far and it was likely down to the seller facing communication issues because her grasp lack of language skills.
If things do go to plan, be the courteous buyer and mark your item as received and leave positive feedback to your seller. Not only this will help them boost their profile, but they will only get paid after you confirm that you’ve received your item and everything is well with it.
Now let’s talk about the things which I dislike about Vinted as a buyer, but there is nothing much that can be done about them without unpicking the whole system:
- If you purchase an item which doesn’t fit, your return and refund options are not regulated by the platform
- If the item is arrives dirty because it was not properly cleaned before being sent to you, you are generally unable to claim refund and the return will largely be based on agreeing resolution with the seller directly
- The buyer protection fee is a % of the garment’s cost, meaning that it goes up proportionally to the value of your purchase
- The level of protection and governance enforced by Vinted is at best vague
I honestly think that the concept is great, but the level of governance would truly do with improving. Saying that, I have managed to refresh my wardrobe with some lovely like-new items at a fraction of the cost it wold normally take.
Being a seller on Vinted
Vinted is not just for buying second hand clothing and apparel – it’s also a selling platform. The big advantage of it is that it’s free to join and free to list items, and there is no commission on sales payable. Here is a handful of things to watch out for if you are hoping to sell. Please remember that Vinted is more of a wardrobe clearance than resale platform – the vibe is different than for example eBay.
The platform is crowded and therefore it might take a while for your items to be noticed or to sell, unless you’re a great photographer and an SEO-minded copywriter.
Because of the platform’s design, photos will be more important than description – make sure that they are good. In my experience postings attracting most interest will include a mix od photos of the garment from the actual brand’s website alongside photos taken by the seller of the actual garment, followed by photos of the garment being worn or on a form. Flatlays or ‘on hanger’ photos of course sell garments too, but they appear to attract less interest simply as they don’t show off the garment as well as actual person wearing it, unless of course it’s children’s clothing.
Although the photos will take the lead, be clear on item descriptions – wrong size information or hidden garment faults could result in both an issue with the sale and, even worse, a bad feedback which could ruin your profile easily on such a crowded platform.
Enabling bundles is helpful in getting users to your less exciting listings and somewhat increases chances of having more items noticed.
Pricing and postage will also be of importance, obviously. It’s worth researching the prices similar items sell for, before listing your sale items. And even if you are confident in pricing, do not get offended by users making lowball offers on your listings. The messaging function allows you to both counter offer and negotiate or simply discuss why you can’t sell something for less etc.
Hand in hand with the pricing, double-check the postage options and pack sizes per item listed – Vinted has a helpful option where they recommend package size, but sometimes you might want to use different delivery methods to those they propose. Importantly, to save yourself the stress, use tracked services over standard/non-tracked delivery. This is because Vinted will hold your incoming payment until the buyer confirms the receipt of an item. If the buyer is taking their time or suddenly stops engaging, the tracking details is what you’ll use to resolve this potential issue.
I’ve told you what I do not like as a buyer, now let me tell you what I do not like as a seller:
- Vinted charges for additional sale tools such as ‘bump’ and ‘wardrobe spotlight’, but does not disclose any stats which could help decide if these are worth paying for
- selling anything takes a while and you have no choice but to be patient
- postage fee recommendations are often based on standard size and don’t actually match the size of the item you are selling, meaning you have to check them every time before listing items
- there is a dependency on the buyer to confirm they are happy with the item received before you get paid, meaning that you have to foot the postage costs before you receive the funds from the sale to cover them