Five Fabulous Online Thrift Stores for Plus Size Women

Plus Size Woman in a White Shirt and Black Pants with a Chunky Brightly Colored Necklace. Text Reads "Five Fabulous Online Thrift Stores for Plus Size Women"

Who doesn’t love the thrill of the find? Where are my fellow retail therapy ladies? There are moments when I just love shopping—somewhere between being emptied handed at the start and emptying out my bank account at the end.  But I don’t always find shopping thrilling or fun.  Sometimes finding clothes is hard, especially when it comes to finding online thrift stores for plus size women. Even worse, sometimes this shopping thing that is supposed to give me a boost feels less like therapy and more like torture. 

Brown Box Package with shipping label and tape sitting on a wood floor with a box opener beside it.

A side view of a brown-skinned girl with dark brown hair with her hand on her cheek looking disappointed

The Downside of Plus Size Thrifting

Do you know when I really associate these negative feelings to shopping?

I find myself totally bummed when I am needing to find something that is economical, environmental, and made to fit me.  Finding larger and plus size clothes can be really challenging—especially when you’re aiming to buy secondhand clothes online. I am not talking about the trending, thrift store magic where you take a thrifted men’s shirt and somehow fashion a dress.  While I appreciate that craftiness, but I am not there just yet.  No, instead, I am talking about the type of thrifting that still looks modern and trendy—or at least doesn’t make me stand out. I’m not that cool when it comes to fashion. 

What I like about thrifting is that secondhand clothing is much more economical and environmental than most fast fashion, but just like shopping in the real world thrift stores, finding the right thing sized for a plus-sized bombshell can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.  If you are interested in exploring some of the (frustrating!) reasons that it can be so hard to find plus size clothing at a thrift store, check out this awesome article from Dina’s Days called “The Problem with Thrift Stores and Plus-Size Clothing.”


“What I like about thrifting is that secondhand clothing is much more economical and environmental than most fast fashion…”

Tips for Success with Online Thrift Stores for Plus Size Women

But it’s not all doom and gloom!  There are some tips that can help out the curvy sisters on their thrifting adventures in real world that work for the online realm, too! You can apply those tips to our list of the five best online thrift stores provided below!

01

Look for stores that are specific to plus size women.

02

Look for stores that specialize in the type of clothes you are looking for; there are designer thrift stores, daily wear thrift stores, business wear thrift stores, etc.

03

If you are thrifting last minute, don’t wait on items. They may not be there long and you risk losing out.

04

Give yourself as much time as you can for your thrifting before an event; this allows you to keep your eye out on all the stores—including the small ones—to see if something amazing turns up.

05

Know your measurements. This is helpful for any online ordering, but especially helpful when you’re ordering thrifted items that typically cannot be exchanged for another size (D., n.d.)

06

Consider using a tailor for fitting and alterations. If you are able to modify your clothing with your tailor and a bit of creativity, you don’t need to be quite so specific about finding your exact size (D., n.d.)

07

Check out the men’s clothing. Their sizing tends to be a little bigger and you can pair a larger button-down shirt, blazer, or jacket with more form-fitting clothing for a trendy look (Tiana, n.d.).

The 5 Best Online Thrift Stores For Plus Size Women

Ecommerce, Selling Online, Online Sales, E-CommerceNow that you’re armed with some quality tips to thrift plus size clothing for your wardrobe, it’s time to see what plus size thrift stores online made our list of top five based on inventory, price, and ease of shopping.  We also share some information about consigning, in case you have items to share.

ThredUp:

This is probably one of the more popular options for a second hand clothing website. While it is not specific to plus size clothing, their popularity has led them to acquire a decent amount of inventory in the plus sizes. 

So let’s look at how this popular store stacks up.

Ease of Use:

  • I found it super frustrating that I couldn’t browse their inventory without logging in. They do offer the convenience of using your Facebook or Amazon log ins, if you have either of those. However, I prefer to browse before sharing information or logging in.
  • I was able to filter by the type of apparel, size, color, brand, price point, and other factors when applicable. I found this helpful in narrowing my search.
  • You are able to favorite items to keep track of the pieces you like. You can also see how many people have already favorited that item—which may indicate how quickly you should buy it.
  • They offer standard sizes as well as measurements of in-seam, waist, and bust on their products, which can be super helpful when ordering clothing online.

Price:

  • Prices are certainly lower than buying the same jeans at retail prices at the original store. In fact, they give you an estimated percentage off of retail price so you can see how much you’re saving.
  • However, they are also higher than what I typically see at a larger in-person thrift store, such as Good Will or Salvation Army.
  • You can get slightly better pricing by ordering from the closest warehouse to you, as the product doesn’t need to be shipped as far. You can do this in your settings by choosing “My Home Warehouse.”

Inventory:

  • Their plus size apparel ranges from XL-5XL or size 14-32.
  • While not all sizes and clothing types have the same variety and offerings, they did have more options than many smaller online thrift stores.
  • If you don’t mind paying a little surcharge for further shipping, you can choose to shop from all of the warehouses to increase your selection of clothing.

Consignment & Donations:

  • The options for consignment are spelled out pretty clearly and thoroughly on their website without much digging around.
  • Designer and higher end brands are eligible for a payout for varying percentages of the listing price. I wouldn’t call their payout schedule intuitive, but it is pretty clear.
  • However, many every day brands are not eligible for a payout, which is a total bummer for those of us on a tighter budget.
  • Even if you aren’t eligible for a payout, they will still take your clothing for resale. This offers you the chance to keep your clothing in rotation to minimize fast fashion and reduce waste. 

ResellXL

I hadn’t heard of this site until I was on the hunt for plus size clothing specifically, but this is exactly the type of website you want to visit to buy secondhand clothes online because they specialize plus size clothing.   They describe themselves as designer consignment.

Ease of Use:

  • There are visual buttons with clear text descriptions for different types of apparel.
  • Once you have selected a general type, you can further refine your search by category, brand, size and color.

Price:

  • Prices are definitely higher on this site for used items. They are, however, designer brands, so this is to be expected.
  • What I really like is that they have a “make an offer” button so you can see if they will accept a different price. Just remember that someone could come in with a higher offer or pay full price.

Inventory:

  • Sizes run from L-5XL or 8-34.
  • They have some really cool pieces and really seem to have a good bit to offer in the various sizes that I tested from 14 to 32. I may have eyed up a few for myself while I was testing. The only size I tried that didn’t have a lot of options was XL. 
  • They also have fancy shoes and designer purses.

Consignment & Donations:

  • While they don’t send you a special bag to put your consignment items in, they will send you a label for you to ship your items.
  • Their directions are pretty clear about how to get your items to them, what is accepted, and what they will do with items they cannot use or cannot sell.
  • They do accept formal wear, which is a plus. They do not accept any average brands, so unless you’re buying designer, you may not be able to consign with them.

Swap:

Ease of Use:

  • This site is a dream to use and navigate. You can easily sort and filter to find what you are looking for.
  • It also looks really nice. That doesn’t hurt the shopping experience.

Price:

  • Prices are affordable and seem reasonable for an online thrift store. You are definitely going to save over buying new clothes at a retail store.  But I am noticing a pattern that thrift shops online are a little more costly than digging through the racks at the local thrift shop.
  • Love that they very clearly offer a return policy with free return shipping.

Inventory:

  • I was actually pretty impressed by their inventory for daily wear with varying degrees of formality from Tshirts to dresses to shoes.

Consignment & Donations:

  • Clear instructions (and options) for sending in items.
  • Very explicit details about how payment works and what your options are.

Cake Plus Size Resale:

Ease of Use:

  • You can filter by size or type of apparel.
  • This site has one of my favorite features—clothes being modeled by a real human. I love that you get to see how it might fit on a person instead of a skinny mannequin or lying flat.
  • In addition to the online shop, you can also check out Cake Plus Size Resale on Instagram.

Prices:

  • The prices are very reasonable.
  • In addition to individual pieces, you can purchase entire collections which are even more affordable.

Inventory:

  • The inventory is not extensive, but there are nice options.

Consignment & Donations:

  • They only accept local deliveries (contactless drop off during covid) right now so you cannot mail in your items.
  • They accept all kinds of clothing, but not formal wear.

Full Figure Resale:

Ease of Use:

  • This site is a little clunkier than the others.
  • Once you select the broad category of apparel, there is a single drop down where you can filter by size or style or name brand. However, you can’t filter by all of them at once.

Price:

  • Prices are on par with other online thrift stores. In keeping with the trend, they are cheaper than new versions, but more expensive than your average Good Will.

Inventory:

  • They carry sizes from XL-5XL or 14-34.
  • The collection of clothing was surprising to me. I think I anticipated less stock because of the clunky design. However, there is a decent amount of inventory for the various sizes I sampled. Though it is a modest collection in comparison to ThredUp and Swap.

Consignment & Donations:

  • The site outlines the payout for consignment well.
  • Additionally, they let you know what months they accept each season of clothing.
  • They are only accepting drop off items at this time. You cannot mail in your consignment items.

 

 

ThredUp ResellXL Swap Cake Full Figure
Sizes? 00-34 Aug-34 00-32 14-32 14-32
Filter? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple Filters? Yes Yes Yes No No
Sort? Yes No Yes No Yes
Model? No No No Yes No
Mannequin? No Yes No No
Save Items? Yes No Yes No Yes
Price? $-$$ $$ $-$$ $ $
Make Offer No Yes No No No
Consign? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Buys Outright No No No Yes No
Mail-In? Yes Yes Yes No No
Donate/Recycle? Yes Yes Yes No No
Daily Wear? Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Designer Brands Yes Yes Yes No Unknown
Formal Wear? No Yes No No Yes
Accessories? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Duration? Unknown 180 Days Unknown Unknown Varies
View Payouts? Yes Yes Yes No No
Optional Return? $10.99 $45.00 $9.90 No Pick Up

This list is not an exhaustive one, but it is the list of the best online thrift stores for plus size women based on my criterion: affordability, quality, and availability of contemporary, daily wear.  I placed an order myself just the other day from one of these sites.  Anyone have a guess on which one?  Post your guess in the comments.

 

There are certainly additional websites where plus size women can buy second hand clothes online if there is a desire  for something vintage.  I saw some fantastic vintage thrift stores online.  I also found some really helpful blog lists that will help you incorporate your vintage style as a plus size woman with vintage secondhand clothing ecommerce stores. These just didn’t quite fit my vision for thrifting for economical & environmental reasons with a modern style.

 You can find some real gems by looking on ebay and Facebook Marketplace. Those areas are so well populated that you will likely find something if you’re willing to pay the price of shipping and put in the time to sift through all of the results. 

Another thing that can be helpful is to connect with others on Facebook groups related to plus size clothing. It’s a little more cumbersome than an ecommerce shop or using Marketplace that is specifically set up for that purpose.  But for those who have some time and enjoy the experience as much as the find, this can be a great way to go! 

If you are down for secondhand shopping, please hop on over to our post “Combat Consumer Culture With Second-Hand Shopping.” You can see what other items are great choices for thrift shopping and learn about the negative effects of our consumer culture.

If you find a winner on your next online thrifting adventure, please share! We’d love to hear about your successes.

 

References:

(n.d.). [Web log post]. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.dinasdays.com/plus-size-thrifting-tips/

Tiana, A. (n.d). 10 Tips and Tricks for Thrifting as a Plus-Size Woman [Web log post]. Curvicality. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://curvicality.com/10-tips-and-tricks-for-thrifting-as-a-plus-size-woman/

 

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