eBay: the *hardest* resale platform in town

Depop, Poshmark… been there, done that! Time for a challenge

It’s not a secret that I love to thrift. I will make it a point to tell everyone I come across that my “entire fit is thrifted.” In March 2020, when the pandemic hit and thrift stores closed (hold for dramatic pause), I, like everyone else, went online and tried to fill the void in my heart with second-hand clothes.

First was thredUp — I spent the first lockdown scrolling through endless pages of some housewife’s old clothes. Then, like everyone, I turned to Depop. Hot take: I hate Depop. It is, in my opinion, a platform that seems filled with posers and people who overcharge every time a certain item becomes a “hot trend.”

Now that thrift stores are open, shopping online seems like an expensive alternative to my neighbourhood thrift. But the pandemic also exacerbated the amount of people looking for vintage, thifted, unique pieces which will fit their aesthetic. Sometimes, that means thrifting in stores is a little harder, since you can’t “filter” like online, or maybe don’t have five hours to go through all the racks of your local Value Village.

Well I have a solution for you — if you’re brave enough to try! As a commerce platform, eBay has always overwhelmed me. The bidding, making offers, receiving offers, not to mention the expensive shipping costs. However, the advantage with eBay is the abundance of vintage stock, which will often end up cheaper than if you bought it in a consignment store.

So here are my tips for navigating eBay. They may seem standard to some, but I’m going to assume everyone is as intimidated by the outdated website as I was when I first ventured into that dusty corner of the internet.

Know what you want

This isn’t the place to browse for clothes — there needs to be a specific brand or item you are looking for. I recommend looking through Pinterest and finding vintage brands you like, or even looking in your closet to see what brands you gravitate to when thrifting. I asked my mom where she shopped in the ‘90s to help narrow down some options.

You can look through the standard eBay categories for jewelry or home decor, but clothes need to be found manually.

In terms of items, sometimes you can start broad — “vintage womens pants” is a good start. If I find a pair of pants I like, but they are too expensive or not the right size, I add a specific keyword from that description, and add it to my search bar.

In time, you will have 14 tabs open with different searches — in sizing, colour, style, fit, or even decade. After all, there’s no one way to categorize a listing on eBay, so it’s important to adapt with the platform. It’s not an exact science; there’s no one keyword or brand that unlocks all the great treasures.

The watchlist

Unlike other online retailers, eBay adopts a “watchlist” versus the overdone “wishlist.” Here, you can watch items that interest you, but the best part about the tool is that sellers can offer you discounts based on the items in your watchlist. Typically, you’ll get 48 hours to respond to an offer.

For example, I had my eye on a vintage white ‘90s crewneck cute baby lions sweater that was way out of my price range — by which I mean the shipping was way too expensive (which is probably the platform’s only downfall). Out of nowhere, a notification appeared up at the top right corner of my screen — suddenly, the sweater was affordable!

You bet your booty I’ve been wearing it every day since it arrived.

It’s important to check your emails or the notifications on your eBay account to keep track of offers, but this is easy once you get addicted to going down the eBay rabbit hole.

Now you have the tools to navigate the treacherous eBay landscape… let the bidding battles begin!


Feature graphic by James Fay and Catherine Reynolds

Student Life

Fast fashion is slowing down

We’ve all been there: your favourite celebrity wears a designer item worth more than your rent. You fawn over it and think “why aren’t I rich?” Then, as if meant to be, you see it at Zara. It’s there, it’s beautiful, it’s… $19.99? But what’s the true cost?

Fast fashion giant Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 30. At its peak, the company had USD$5.8 billion in revenue, according to Business Insider. What does this mean for the future of the retail industry? Does the end of Forever 21’s reign signify a new beginning?

But first, what is fast fashion, why is it problematic and why is it increasingly becoming the topic of conversation?

Fast fashion is cheap and trendy clothing produced in as quickly as two weeks – think H&M, Zara and Urban Outfitters. While they make it easy to be fashionable, fast fashion suppliers come with their own set of problems. After oil, fashion is the second most polluting industry. According to online resale marketplace thredUP’s 2019 Resale Report, 108 million tons of non-renewable resources are used every year to produce clothing.

Consumers no longer buy with the intent to keep; an increasing desire to be constantly seen in new styles is shortening the garment life cycle. Because of this, the equivalent of one garbage truck is landfilled every second.

With the ridiculously low prices comes an ethical dilemma. As per Fashion Revolution, Human rights abuse is a prominent issue: unsafe working conditions, child labour, and exploitation contribute to why garments can be purchased at such low costs. According to thredUP, 59 per cent of consumers expect retailers to create products ethically and sustainably.  

Fashion Revolution is a global movement aiming to unite people and organizations to change how clothes are consumed and produced. Their goal is to achieve an environmentally conscious and ethical industry. Through their #whomademyclothes movement, they strive to encourage brands to disclose where their garments are produced and who exactly is making them. The point is to show that most fast fashion brands cannot name where their products are being made because they don’t know. Fashion Revolution hopes to push brands to be more transparent, accountable and honest about their practices.

Fashion Revolution releases a yearly Fashion Transparency Index listing data from the top 200 global fashion brands regarding how much they disclose about their business. A higher score means a more transparent brand in regards to where their garments are made, their ecological footprint, social responsibility, gender equality and payment of living wages.

Working in the fashion industry, I think about this often, and it’s something I’ve struggled with. Keeping up with trends is part of my job and marketing those trends is my job. Balancing this alongside my desire to be as sustainable, eco-conscious and ethical as possible has proven to be a dilemma. Or rather, it was a dilemma. 

Finding sustainable alternatives is no longer a concern. There is an abundance of secondhand shops – curated and thrift – in Montreal. There’s a Salvation Army on Notre-Dame St. W., in downtown Montreal, with over seven racks of exclusively denim items. For a more curated selection, there are three Empire Exchange locations in Mile End, where I’ve found my fair share of designer items (Yves Saint Laurent denim shorts, anyone?).

When following trends, I felt blocked. My closet was full, yet I always seemed to have nothing to wear. I easily got bored and resorted to buying more and more. Not to mention, there was the constant guilt of not knowing who was making my clothes, but knowing they couldn’t afford decent living conditions. Having studied the supply chain in fashion school, I felt in part responsible; I had all this knowledge about fast fashion’s ramifications and wasn’t doing anything about it.

I have not stepped foot in a fast fashion retail store in over a year, and it feels like a step in the right direction. Shopping exclusively vintage, thrifting, buying goods made in Canada and supporting local designers feels incredibly rewarding. My closet may not be overflowing, but I’ve developed a distinct personal style. Adopting a sustainable lifestyle forces you to get creative, upcycle, and do-it-yourself. Not to mention, it significantly reduces your carbon footprint. 

So, where is fashion headed? Forever 21’s bankruptcy wasn’t a fluke. It’s the result of changing consumer tastes and a growing resale industry. According to thredUP’s 2019 Resale Report, resale has grown 21 times faster than the retail market in the past three years. The secondhand market is expected to reach USD$68 billion by 2024, and to grow 1.5 times the size of the fast fashion industry by 2028.

“The fashion of the future is not about the pretty little things, the shoes and the handbag and new party dress,” wrote Carry Somers, founder of Fashion Revolution, in the 2019 Transparency Index. “It is about weaving truth and value into our clothing. We love fashion. We love beautiful clothes. But there is no beauty without truth and there is no truth without transparency.”

You can read Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index and find out more about the #whomademyclothes campaign at https://www.fashionrevolution.org/.


Photo by Brittany Clarke / Graphic by @sundaeghost

Student Life

Slice of life: Out with the old, in with the new-to-you

Trade used clothes for new (ish) ones at ConU’s Queer Clothing Swap

If you’re anything like me when it comes to clothes—meaning your closet is overflowing with unused items, yet you still find yourself sifting through thrift store racks on a weekly basis—then pay close attention. On Nov. 7, the Concordia Student Union (CSU) is hosting its annual Queer Clothing Swap on the seventh floor of the Hall building from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All items are free, as long as you bring your own articles of clothing to replace what you take.

Camille Thompson-Marchand, the CSU’s external affairs and mobilization coordinator, is the project’s current manager. Although the Queer Clothing Swap started prior to Thompson’s involvement with the CSU, she has continued it every year since. “Last year’s clothing swap got very good feedback,” said Thompson. “People seem excited with the idea of having it again.” The swap aims to provide trans, non-binary and genderqueer folk with a safe space where they can explore an array of clothing that reflects their identity. The event lets them find stylish clothing while also meeting people from the queer community at Concordia.

Designated donation bins popped up on campus on Oct. 22, and will remain open until just before the clothing swap. Clean clothing, accessories and shoes can be left in blue donation bins in the lobbies of the EV, VA, MB, H and LB buildings downtown, and in the lobby of the SP building at the Loyola campus. This year, the CSU received a heaping supply of donations from the broader Concordia student body. “Piles and piles of them,” said Thompson. “And it takes days to sort it all out.”

In lieu of having received so many donations, Thompson highlighted that some donations were also left in the Art Nook and at reception desks, as opposed to in designated bins. “We don’t have the space to keep the clothes outside the donation period,” said Thompson. If you’re planning to donate clothes (which you should), please make sure they are clean, in relatively good condition, and placed in the appropriate donation bins.

All of the donated clothes that aren’t included in the swap are sent off to Fripe-Prix Renaissance, a non-profit organization whose mission is to facilitate the reintegration of people experiencing difficulty entering the workforce. “This event is also a great way to address overconsumption, a fun way to recycle clothes, and [a way to acquire] new outfits without having to buy them,” said Thompson. “It gives the opportunity for people to explore and define their identity without having to spend an excessive amount of money.”

Feature graphic by @spooky_soda

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