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When you are on a budget, shopping for clothes is typically the last thing on your mind.
I consider the money I spend on clothes as a special allowance I allow myself every few months.
And this is only after all mandatory bills have been paid.
It’s also smart to pare down your debt first before you allow yourself any kind of clothing allowance.
But after you take care of all of that, it would be nice to pick up a few items without drastically going over budget.
Bargain shopping is the perfect way to get great items at a good price.
I’m never one to miss a good discount, especially if it is a high end brand selling at a low price.
Whenever I find myself needing to buy a new piece of clothing or a pair of shoes, I almost always use an app specifically targeted for bargain shopping.
The ten apps I mention below are some of the best apps to use to score great items at a fair price.
All of the apps are free to download, so check out as many as you like.
I mention eBay first because it is one of the first apps I downloaded on my phone. I use eBay to hunt for high end items in good used condition.
Using eBay, you can pretty much find anything you need. You can shop for shoes, roller skates, clothes, outerwear, hats, and so much more.
I use eBay mainly for clothes shopping, but have bought household items as well.
The process is really easy. Items on eBay can be sold as an auction or you can buy the piece out right.
When an item is being auctioned, the price is generally pretty low and you have to bid in order to win your purchase.
If you are bidding on something, make sure you set up alerts on your phone so that you can up your bid when needed (i.e. someone else outbids you).
Try not to let the bidding war get out of hand. You don’t want to end up paying more for something unnecessarily.
If bidding isn’t your thing, you should look for items that let you offer a price. Sometimes you may be able to talk a seller down to a cheaper amount.
Like eBay, ThredUp is a perfect source for high end (or low end) items at a great deal. You can find brands like Coach, Kate Spade and Michael Kors at a fraction of their retail price.
All the items on ThredUp are used, though the condition can vary from “ like new” to “good used condition”. Sometimes there are price tags still on an item, meaning it was likely never worn.
ThredUp functions like any online store. You browse the selections and just add what you want to your cart. You can check out and use a credit card, PayPal and they even offer After Pay now (for orders over $50).
When you sign up for ThredUp for the first time, you will be given a 40% off code that you can use on your first purchase. In addition to this, ThredUp regularly offers deals giving you extra discounts.
Something new that ThredUp started is the chance to bid on new arrivals. These items have a 12 hour bidding window before they can be added to your cart.
After eBay and ThredUp, PoshMark is quickly becoming my third favorite. You can find so many great articles of clothing and shoes on there!
I like to peruse through PoshMark for some hard to find pieces or brands that may be a bit more expensive in store. When eBay fails in this area, PoshMark usually works to help me find what I need.
Everything listed on Poshmark is priced at the seller’s discretion. Sometimes a seller can be pretty firm on their price.
But, there is an option to make an offer so you can always throw something out there and hope the seller accepts.
The only additional cost you need to factor in with your purchase is the shipping price. The standard shipping cost is $6.99 on PoshMark.
If a seller decides to offer a “flash sale” then sometimes this shipping fee can be reduced to $4.99 or even free.
Whenever you find something on PoshMark, just remember to hit the heart symbol so a seller knows you like their stuff. This way, you’ll get an alert directly in your email if they lower the price or offer a temporary discount.
I’m fairly new to the Depop scene, but so far I like what I’m seeing. Like many of the apps I’ve mentioned, Depop functions as a global marketplace where users can not only buy things, but sell them as well.
Depop is a bit more social than the other apps I’ve talked about so far. Depop lets you follow other users and you can see what they are liking, buying and selling.
If you are in need of some fashion inspiration, then Depop is the app for you. With Depop you will have access to over 10 million stylists, designers, collectors, vintage enthusiasts and more.
Once you become familiar with the app, you can check out the explore page to see potential sellers that could interest you.
Of all the apps I’ll talk about, I find Depop to be the most useful if you are really looking for something unique and trendy.
Mercari functions a bit like eBay, except not as well established. Like eBay, users can sell or buy items on Mercari.
You can find clothing and shoes, housewares, electronics, gaming consoles and pretty much anything. Items are listed daily and sell pretty quickly.
Unlike eBay, you aren’t bidding on pieces. Sellers will list their piece, snap a few photos and set a price. You do have the option to offer a lower price, but in general prices are reasonable.
If you find high end items, they are typically 50% or more cheaper than purchasing directly from a store. Plus, Mercari will throw out additional discounts on already low prices.
One thing I love about Mercari is their moneyback guarantee. After you make a purchase, Mercari doesn’t release the money to the seller until you confirm the item is as advertised.
If things aren’t legit, you have three days to request a full refund.
My only real complaint about Mecari is that I find sellers to be really slow to respond if you have a question.
OfferUp is like a slightly better version of Craigslist. Craigslist doesn’t really have an app available for use, but OfferUp does.
The app is really easy to use and navigate, and finding good deals is pretty much guaranteed. What I love most is that everything is local.
You don’t have to deal with shipping fees, but you do need to factor in the cost of travel to pick up items.
I’ve found clothing and shoes sold on OfferUp to be in a more “used” condition. But you can still find unique pieces, especially classic sneakers and vintage jeans.
You can use the app to directly communicate with the seller (no need to share your number or email) and can even offer a lower price.
When you download the Romwe app and sign up, you will receive 10% off your first order. And if you’re a student on a real campus, you can get 10% off with any purchase.
The app also features random lucky draws where you can win surprise gifts. Plus there are also daily deals for items as low as a $1 and sometimes sales that are up to 90% off.
Romwe is a great app for those who want to stay on trend with the lastest fashions without breaking the bank.
In addition to snagging awesome deals, you can use the app to find style inspiration.
All Romwe orders ship for free with a purchase of $39 or more. And if you end up not loving something, they have a 60 day return policy.
LetGo is very similar to OfferUp. It’s an app that lets you buy items on a local level, from fashion to kitchen appliances.
I enjoy using LetGo just as much as OfferUp. Sometimes you can just find better items at better prices. LetGo tends to feature more high end brands than what you may find on OfferUp.
My favorite tab on the LetGo app is the one marked “free stuff”. Here you will find the items people are so desperate to get rid of they aren’t even asking that you pay for them.
Don’t skip out on browsing through this section. You can find some really cool items that you didn’t even know you needed.
Or you can look through this section and turn a free table into profit for you by sanding it down, restaining and selling.
If you do decide to buy something, one helpful tip is to check out the seller’s profile. If they have a lot of positive feedback and a high rating, chances are they are a good person to work with.
Vinted allows users to sell, swap, and buy each other’s clothing. The app design is almost reminiscent of Instagram.
You can custom build your own feed by narrowing down your size and favorite brands. That way when new items are listed, you’ll be one of the first to know.
You can use the app to chat directly with seller’s to get all the details before you finalize your purchase. You can even see if they are willing to shave off a few dollars.
One complaint I have about Vinted is that not every seller lists the details up front. You often have to click an image to see things like size, style, and condition.
This isn’t too much of a big deal since most of the time I am going to click the picture of the item.
One thing I do love about Vinted is that it is more than just a buy/sell app. They are really trying to build a community.
You can chat with other users for style tips or even ask questions about your DIY projects (i.e. sewing something yourself).
It’s rare that you’ll find a budget app targeted specifically for men, but if you were looking for one than Grailed is the one to use. Grailed features luxury and high end menswear via a peer-to-peer marketplace.
Unlike the other apps I’ve mentioned, Grailed would be best for people who love luxury brands but can’t always afford luxury prices.
Grailed gives you the opportunity to snag those expensive pieces at a price that is a bit more reasonable.
While it isn’t the most budget friendly app, it still counts as a bargain shopping app since you are saving money by using it.
I just wanted to put it out there for the guys that love their Prada, Gucci, and Dior.
All of these FREE apps are totally worth checking out if you feel the need for some bargain shopping. And most of them work for clothing items from kids to adults.
While I did focus on fashion with these apps, for most of them you can actually use them to buy pretty much anything.
If you don’t want clothes or shoes but are in the market for something like a dining table or computer desk, several of these apps can help you find what you need.
Most of them let you use PayPal, Venmo or credit card as a form of payment. And all of them also function as apps you can use if you want to sell stuff too (with the exception of Romwe).
This makes them perfect for the bargain hunters and those looking to make some extra cash.
It is a wonder that with such awesome apps available for use that malls are even still in business. Shopping via apps is definitely the way of the future.
Let me know in the comments below if you use any of these apps or if you plan on checking some out. Happy bargain hunting!