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Vinted: first-rate second-hand shopping from Europe sets up shop Stateside

Can you believe that it’s been a decade since Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s hit ‘Thrift Shop’ entertained people while elevating second-hand shopping to a new level of cool? Not that second-hand shopping is a new phenomenon. Vintage has been a thing since the ’80s (remember Molly Ringwald’s statement-making Pretty in Pink wardrobe?). LA stores such as the Paperbag Princess and Decades in the ’90s became an A-list source for celebrities looking for that knockout red-carpet dress.
       Of course, a lot has happened since those days. In fact, the World Economic Forum found in 2019 that the pre-loved fashion market had expanded 21 times faster than that of conventional apparel commerce. With recycling, landfills, and rising prices becoming worrisome side effects of the fashion industry, second-hand shops are now the first choice among increasing numbers of those looking to shop more smartly.

       Time-honoured philanthropic thrift stores like Goodwill, for example, enjoy a strong following, while international thrift chains like Japan’s Second Street are setting up shop in the US. A variety of resale sites have added to the fun and complement what’s available to shoppers locally. All of these allow sellers to divest their former treasures, make a little extra money, and, most importantly, avoid waste and landfills. Vinted, one of Europe’s hottest new imports, now makes things even more interesting through opening its doors (via its upgraded mobile app and online presence) to American buyers and sellers alike.
       ‘The fashion industry has a major impact on the climate and we believe that promoting more second-hand is one part of the solution to tackling that impact,’ said Vinted’s CEO Thomas Plantenga, who operates the company which was founded in 2008 in Lithuania by Milda Mitkute and Justas Janauskas, and joined by first investor and COO Mantas Mikuckas in 2011. Today, Vinted boasts over 45 million members that spans France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and the UK, before hitting US shores.
       ‘After great success in Europe, we’re committed to empowering more people to shift their habits towards circular fashion. Releasing this new updated version of the app is another step forward in our mission to make second hand the first choice worldwide.’
       As sellers, Vinted members can easily upload their pre-loved fashion items, define the price of their pre-loved clothes and keep what they earn from it, with zero selling fees (a definitive edge over many of its online competitors). The new version of the app rolled out with the US launch also introduces a new category (home décor), as well as a ‘bump’ feature, which gives sellers the option, for a small fee, to increase temporarily the visibility of their items, hence the chance to sell them faster.
       Shoppers, meanwhile, are provided with a buyer protection service for a fixed fee of US$0·70 plus 5 per cent of the item’s price. They can then benefit from Vinted’s refund policy, customer support, along with an integrated encrypted payment system with secured payment methods and transactions.

       Vinted is available on www.vinted.com, and for download on IOS and Android devices.


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