Buying and Selling Online: How to Make (Most) of Your Money Back

Zoe Waite

Nowadays, most people are familiar with online resale platforms such as Vinted, but how do people use these platforms successfully? Selling items for the best prices and finding bargains? Welcome to Zoe Waite’s how-to guide for shopping and selling online. From eBay to DEPOP this is all you need to know to get a good deal when purchasing new items and make (most) of your money back when clearing out your wardrobe.

Which platform should you use?

DEPOP is arguably the most well-known resale app. It houses a blend of resale and independent creators creating a vibrant mix of items available ranging in cost and style. However, over its lifetime DEPOP has become saturated with trending items and aesthetics that can cause unregulated spikes in pricing.

[eBay] has so many hidden gems and unique pieces

Vinted has a very similar layout and feel to DEPOP but appears to be more focused on resale over independent creators. You can shop most styles of clothing for a decent price with ease on the platform. Vinted also has a great buyer protection service, so rest assured you and your items are in safe hands. For instance, Vinted provides shipping labels via the app for easy tracking and withholds any money from sellers until the buyer confirms they are happy with the purchase.

eBay is the place for a bargain. You will have to look past questionable photography and engage in the odd bidding war, but the site has so many hidden gems and unique pieces. The demographic of eBay’s users means less competition when it comes to buying certain desirable items.

Though Facebook Marketplace is associated with household goods it is also used to sell clothing. On Facebook, you can find purchase items locally reducing wait times. Facebook is often the place to purchase cheaper items are sellers are often looking to get rid of items quickly and free up wardrobe space rather than making money.


  1. Quality images and detailed descriptions

It is said that the first bite is with the eye, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to purchasing online. Buyers often use initial impressions to decide whether they are interested in an item. To capture the best photo of your item, take the images in bright natural lighting against plain backgrounds. This allows the clothing to be the focus of your images. Having a uniform appearance to the images across your profile also gives a professional look and encourages engagement.

Feedback (bad and good) is then shown on your profile for buyers to see

Accompanying your quality image with a detailed description includes your post in more searches and increases the likelihood that the item sells.

  1. Reviews

When starting on a resale site think of selling lower ticket items initially to establish yourself as a trustworthy, quality seller. Posting items swiftly, communicating with the buyer and being true to your descriptions guarantees positive reviews. This feedback (bad and good) is then shown on your profile for buyers to see and use to decide whether they want to purchase from you.

  1. Reach out

Engage with your audience, if someone engages with your post send them an offer or ask if they wanted any more information regarding the item. Not only does this make you more approachable but also reminds the buyer of your item increasing the likelihood of them buying.


  1. Look at the reviews

Desirable pieces […] are often sold by people who may not be aware of terms like Y2K or cottage-core

Reviews allow you to establish if this seller is someone you want to buy from. Are they honest in their descriptions, what is their posting time like, and how responsive are they? These are all important things to consider when buying online. If an account has no reviews, be cautious when purchasing more expensive items. These items could be fakes, or even not exist. Though the chances of scams like this happening are greatly reduced by buyer protection services, they are not unheard of.

  1. Search

Search by brands you like and with broad terms. Desirable pieces with the best prices are often sold by people who may not be aware of terms like Y2K or cottage-core etc. Searching by these terms exclusively you may miss out! Searches including the desired material, colour and style will give you a few more items to sift through but the payoff is worth it.

Purchase the item through the site or through ‘Goods and Services’ on PayPal

  1. Communication

If you want more pictures or to know how tall the model is… just ask. Sellers are usually very accommodating and will answer any questions you have regarding the item to the best of their ability. This makes sure you are certain you want to purchase the item in question.

  1. If something feels off, it probably is

Pages like @depopdrama showcase some resale horror stories. From receiving items in crisp packets to being scammed and sent fake items that look nothing like the original. Though platforms have services to help when something goes wrong here are a few tips you can use to avoid these situations entirely:

  • Don’t buy expensive items from accounts with ambiguous usernames and no reviews or profile photos
  • Purchase the item through the site or through ‘Goods and Services’ on PayPal (if using Facebook Marketplace). Refrain from purchasing items through bank transfer and friends and family on PayPal as if anything goes wrong the site cannot help.
  • If you are scammed, report the account to prevent this from happening to someone else.

Zoe Waite

Featured image courtesy of Sarah Brown via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In article image courtesy of @depopdrama via No changes were made to this image.

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