Vintage clothing has never been more popular than it is today, and a huge part of this popularity is quite simply down to the fact that it is immensely affordable – and let’s face it, current times do not encourage the lifestyle of a spendthrift! The surge in online vintage clothing websites, as witnessed over the past few years, coupled with the ever trusty physical stalwarts selling affordable second-hand winter coats, sweatshirts and jeans, to name but a few, has led to vintage clothing becoming a veritable obsession. And a highly affordable one to boot!
Affordable Vintage Clothing Is a Thing
People of all ages love the unique style and ‘one-of-a-kind’ nature that vintage clothing provides, but the high price tag offered by niche outlets used to be a deterrent. However, vintage clothing has now come of age, as we all increasingly turn to technology alongside our forays into old-school ‘real’ shopping. Fact is, we are all on the search for affordable clothing AND the bonus here, is that vintage also offers a unique dress style. We say, hoorah for modern hybrid shopping which has facilitated the re-discovery of awesome vintage pieces, to be purchased without losing a load of dosh.
Domno’s Look at Affordable Vintage Clothing
As we have been working in the vintage clothing sector for some years now, we have gathered sneaky tips and tricks along our journey to make vintage clothing affordable for all – we are keen to share these with you now. Read on, as we show you how best to grab yourself a steal as we direct you to key marketplaces and websites which can unlock the secret to discovering that vintage gem … and all for a fraction of the price you might have anticipated.
If you are just venturing into vintage clothing and testing the waters, then make sure to check out our guide on what constitutes vintage clothing in the first place and learn how to rep a vintage oversized t-shirt or find out the best places to buy 90s fashion.
Our Top 5 Places To Find Affordable Vintage Clothing
1. Fleamarkets/Car Boot Sales
Fleamarkets, car boot, yard and rummage sales are all hotspots for affordable vintage clothing. Armed with a little patience and some bargaining skills, it is possible to score some amazing vintage bangers for a fraction of the price offered elsewhere. Bad news, though this might be, we do strongly recommend getting to the venue early, well, tbh, as soon as the doors/gates open, if you really are serious about grabbing yourself a bargain. And even if you come away empty-handed on a first visit, it’s always fun to browse and see the full range of available items. Then, give it a second go, next time the sale spot is in town!
By searching for ‘vintage clothing’ on eBay, you will automatically find a wide variety of affordable vintage clothes being sold at a much lower price than you would pay at a store. And, since eBay offers an auction-style listing facility, you really can find an economic treat … or three. We recommend searching for the specific item you’re after e.g. ‘vintage Nike sweatshirt’ and then filtering your search by ‘ending soonest’ and ‘auction-style’ listing.
You then wait until the veeeeeeery last second before you … pounce and slam your bid in! This tactic can be either thrilling (a winning bid) or frustrating (pipped by a rival), so make sure to buckle up before venturing into the world of eBay auctions.
3. Kilo Sales
If you are looking for more bang for your buck vis-à-vis vintage clothes, Kilo Sales will not disappoint. This style of sale offers vintage clothing by the kilogram, meaning that you can purchase a lot of clothes at a low and beautifully affordable price. Usually the outlay is around £15/£20 per kilogram of stock, which works out at around only £8 per sweatshirt and just a snip of £4 per t-shirt!
Check out our blog on kilo sales: Everything You Need To Know About Vintage Kilo Sales to find out more about these sales, now they are defo doing the rounds again. You can also check out how to find details of where to find an affordable kilo vintage clothing sale near you.
Depop and Vinted are two top go-to apps to start your hunt for affordable vintage clothing. Here, individuals sell their used clothes, and a lot of the time, you can find vintage items which are way cheaper than those at a vintage store. Here, the key to snapping yourself really affordable vintage clothes, is to haggle. Don’t be too timid to message the seller and ask for a lower price. Often, sellers are willing to negotiate on price, especially if they are hoping to offload their item(s) quickly.
Also, by filtering to ‘newest’ you can see the items that have just been uploaded by thousands of sellers, and that is where the steals can be found. So, if you can be patient and are prepared to do a little bit of digging, you can definitely find some amazingly affordable vintage clothes on both Depop and Vinted.
5. Charity Shops
Charity shops are often overlooked as a source of affordable vintage clothing and in recent times the prices have undeniably gone up. Having said that, it is still possible to find some real nuggets tucked away in your local shop. The best way to find reasonably priced vintage clothing here, is to visit the charity shop on a regular basis and get to know the staff. They will be able to let you know when they receive new stock and put it out on the rails. Also, make sure to head to charity shops in affluent areas, as these are likely to stock high-quality vintage clothing. With a bit of effort, it is possible to find some truly unique and affordable vintage clothing in charity shops.
Tips to Make Online Vintage Clothing More Affordable
Online vintage clothing stores undeniably offer a huge selection of affordable pieces, across the board. You can readily track down items, such as jackets, tracksuit tops and shorts, all in excellent condition, and the prices are much lower than those found at a physical store. Plus, shopping online is convenient and not governed by opening and closing hours. We’ve been in the online vintage clothing store business for some years now, so take a gander at some of our top tips for finding yourself an online steal.
Check The Sale Sections
Online vintage stores typically offer lower prices than their bricks-and-mortar equivalents, and they also carry a wider selection, with brands from Adidas to Levi’s and Carhartt all the way through to Moschino in their collections. Many online vintage stores also run seasonal sales, so it is worth checking frequently or following them on social media to receive notifications of a sale event in-coming. During the summer season, in particular, stores will have site-wide discounts of 20–50%, so with a little patience and effort, you can be confident to find some great vintage clothing at an affordable price.
Use Those Discount Codes
Discount codes are another great way to reduce the cost of vintage clothing on online stores and thus making your cart even more affordable. First, we recommend looking around your target website for any newsletters you can sign up to and instantly receive a discount code. And if there is none on offer, try a discount code website, such as honey.com or couponbirds.com which will surely have a nice 10–15% discount code for you. Combine this tactic with the sale section of the vintage site and you’ll be laughing!
Here’s a starter list of online stores where you can start applying these tactics:
Join Loyalty Programs
Here’s a secret weapon to help you save money on vintage clothing without sacrificing style: loyalty programs! Many vintage clothing stores offer these programs, which provide loyal customers with discounts on their purchases. These programs can be a great way to save money on that rare hoodie you’ve had your eye on for some time and make it even more affordable. So, another tip for saving money when shopping vintage online is to sign up to the store’s loyalty program and watch your rewards grow.
Upcycling Purchases Yourself
Warning – effort required for this one! Probably the best way to buy really affordable vintage clothing is to source items which are sold at a reduced price to reflect their flaws, stains, rips and minor damage, then upcycle, mend and clean them yourself to add instant value. See our blog: How to Clean Second Hand Clothes for some inspo as to how to carry out some loving DIY on quality vintage threads to make your wardrobe fully affordable … and utterly unique.
Use Cheap Vintage Clothing Stores
Saving the most obvious solution till last, use vintage clothing stores that specialise in cheap and affordable vintage clothing! These stores are becoming fewer and fewer in number, due to inflation and the increasing rarity of high-end vintage items, but we’ve managed to pull a few together for you in this short list.
With vintage clothing having so many cost and ecological benefits, it seems a shame that some people still do not view this way of dressing as the fully affordable option it truly has now become. We hope this blog has given you the confidence to go and search out that statement vintage piece which will stand you in good stead as you stand out from the crowd … while certainly not breaking the bank. A little more effort is perhaps required to cop that absolute bargain from a physical marketplace, but you can certainly find a steal in among the virtual marketplaces, simply by sitting on the sofa. Vintage bargain-hunters’ choice!
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