Kickstart your thrifting journey with Kavita Donkersley’s expert hacks

PayPal’s Resale Renaissance Report1 revealed that reselling has gone mainstream in the UK. A quarter (25%) of Brits say they regularly purchase pre-loved goods and a third (32%) saying they do this more than once a month. The average Brit has also generated £126.24 in the last 12 months from a reselling side hustle.  

Thrifting expert, Kavita Donkersley

The data shows a shift towards digital thrifting – with almost half of UK thrift shoppers (44%) saying they have purchased items from an online marketplace in the last year.

We asked thrifting and reselling expert Kavita Donkersley for her top tips for those looking to kickstart their reselling and second-hand shopping journey…

1. Check out a number of online platforms before you make a pre-loved purchase

If you’re thrifting online, you’re spoilt for choice. There are so many platforms that sell pre-loved items, and each has its own benefits and features dependent on what items you are after. One of my biggest tips would be to do your research before making a purchase – look into which reselling platforms are best placed for you.

Some platforms offer a huge range of goods, so if you're looking for variety, then seek out those. Other platforms specialise in vintage and designer items, so if you’re looking for something specific, they may be a better starting point. Secure payment methods and seller authentication are also features to look out for when choosing where to shop based on your needs and requirements.

And if you’re also selling items, this is an equally important piece of advice – look out for seller fees, as well as the item price for on the platform you choose, to ensure you find the right buyer for your item at the right price.

2. Look out for online platform features specific to the items you’re buying

Online thrifting platforms often have filters and features you can turn on that can help you to narrow down your search. For example, if you’re shopping for pre-owned furniture, look out for distance filters – this allows you to narrow down the location radius of items coming up in your search, which means you can ensure the item is near enough to you to collect.

This is a great hack to help save you additional fees, such as delivery and courier costs.

3. When selling items, check out how much similar items have sold for to make sure you’re pricing your item right

Understandably, many second-hand items lose their RRP value over time, so it's important to ensure you’re not over or under pricing your items when selling via online platforms.

Luckily, many resale platforms have handy features to help you with this – for example, some online platforms offer tools where you can search for historic inventory and check what individual items sold for, giving you a good comparison when listing your own items.

Also look out for other tools – some resale platforms can scan a photo of your item and find a best match of other similar pieces for sale, so you can compare what they are being sold for, and ensure you are pricing yours as accurately as possible to its resale value.

Brits have an estimated £341 worth of unwanted items in their homes, ripe for resale, and over half of Brits (56%) agree their homes are full of unused belongings1 – so definitely check out resale prices and don’t underestimate how much some of your clothes, furniture, or other items could be worth!

Kavita Donkersley in a pre-loved outfit

4. Items with wear and tear can usually be fixed or upcycled

From my experience, many sellers will undervalue pre-loved clothing because it has a button missing, a stitch loose, or general wear marks on it.

When hunting for thrifted clothing specifically, it's worth assessing whether you think the wear and tear can be easily fixed – if so, then this is a great way to up-cycle and bring new life to a piece for a fraction of the price.

In PayPal’s Resale Renaissance Report, the data revealed over half (51%) of Brits are choosing to shop pre-loved items in search of a bargain - and nothing is better than a bargain bought at a great price that you can put your own spin on it through upcycling!

5. Direct via social media can be a simple way to buy and sell pre-owned

Whilst online reselling platforms are a great way to seek out thrifted goods, more and more people are buying and selling directly from others via social media. In fact, PayPal’s report revealed that a fifth (18%) of Brits have made pre-loved purchases via social media – testament to its growing popularity.

This may be owing to the ease of transaction direct between buyer and seller – and with secure payment options like PayPal, you can send money and receive money safely, whether you’re the buyer or seller.


1 PayPal’s 2023 Resale Renaissance Report, an online poll of 2,000 UK adults (nationally representative) conducted by OnePoll in May 2023.

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