Selling clothes on Vinted is a three-generational family affair

Selling clothes on Vinted is a three-generational family affair

June 25, 2023

A teenager and her mum joined granny to sell their unwanted clothes on an app called Vinted…What happened next?

  • Kerry Potter explains how selling cast-offs on Vinted has become a three-generational family affair
  • READ MORE: A stylish summer makeover… at a snip

‘Mum, I want to join Vinted,’ announces my 14-year-old daughter Molly. ‘All my friends are selling their clothes on it and making loads of money.’ 

I sigh – yet another app to which I’ll feel obliged to sign up to and digitally trail around after her. I’m already a reluctant lurker on both TikTok (horribly manic) and Snapchat (deeply tedious).

But three months later, I’m a convert.

A Vinted obsessive. As is Molly. As is – plot twist! – my mother Rosemary, 74. Selling our wardrobe cast-offs on the Lithuanian-based second-hand fashion site has become a three-generational family affair and an unexpectedly bonding experience.

I have made £500 from offloading my old Sézane, Whistles and Hush pieces; a sum I’ve smugly banked (minus £45, for being unable to resist buying a pair of fur-lined Nike Air Max 90s). 

Kerry (centre) with her mother Rosemary and daughter Molly, 2015. Selling their wardrobe cast-offs on Vinted has become a three-generational family affair and an unexpectedly bonding experience

Meanwhile, Molly treats Vinted as a zero-cost way to refresh her wardrobe. She’s sold a vast number of Urban Outfitters, H&M and Primark hoodies, leggings and tracksuit bottoms, while replenishing her closet with endless combat trousers and crop tops.

My mother ‒ who’d heard about Vinted from a friend who, post-divorce, was selling off all the clothes her ex-husband had bought her ‒ also wanted in on the act. 

Given that my mum isn’t great at turning on her phone, she brings over bags brimming with Phase Eight, John Lewis and Mint Velvet, and Molly lists and sells them for her. 

Rather than paying her granddaughter commission, she is sweetly letting her keep all the money she makes. ‘I would’ve only taken that stuff to the charity shop otherwise,’ she shrugs.

Whenever we meet, the chat between the three of us soon turns to the latest gossip – what’s sold? What hasn’t? And, can you believe, some chancer is selling a pair of Shein thong knickers for a quid? 

It’s not easy to find a shared hobby that appeals equally to a 14-, 47- and 74-year-old but Vinted hits the spot.

There are a lot of us superfans around. The idea for Vinted came about when Lithuanian Milda Mitkute was looking for an easy way to sell the items in her wardrobe that she never wore. 

She joined forces with her tech-savvy friend Justas Janauskas and the duo launched the online marketplace in 2008. 

The Vinted app is easy to navigate (it is possible to list an item in just two minutes), buyers and seller are friendly and honest, and there are no seller fees

Vinted arrived in the UK in 2014 and it now has eight million members here ‒ up from 1.2 million in 2021. 

Operating in 19 countries, its global revenues have increased by 50 per cent since last year and it’s not hard to work out why. 

The cost-of-living crisis means we have less money to spend, while climate change is persuading us to use the money we do have on more sustainable options.

Then there’s the Vinted user experience. The app is easy to navigate (we can list an item in just two minutes – Molly takes the photos, I write the description), every buyer and seller we’ve encountered has been friendly and honest, and, crucially, there are no seller fees. 

Instead, the buyer pays for delivery, plus a flat fee of 30p-80p, and also three to eight per cent of the sale price. 

The site is less overwhelming than Ebay and feels more grown-up than Depop, which is very much Gen Z territory with its top searches for Carhartt, bucket hats and Y2K style. 

And, because Vinted majors on high-street labels, it has a wider appeal than designer resale sites such as Vestiaire Collective.

Vinted says the average age of its members is nudging up. ‘In the early years, we had a younger 18- to 25-year-old demographic but now it’s 20 to 45 years,’ says its consumer lead Natacha Blanchard. 

Kids’ clothing is now the second most popular category after women’s, Blanchard notes, suggesting there’s a growing contingent of parents on board. 

There are shared mother/daughter profiles – they might be selling to raise funds for the child’s school ski trip, for example. 

And there are retirees – the first person I knew who had a Vinted account was my 82-year-old mother-in-law Anne, a former model and one of the most glamorous women I know. 

She’s selling her cocktail dresses, hats and evening jackets that she used to wear to fancy dinners.

The cross-generational appeal of Vinted points to a shift in consumer behaviour.

 ‘I’ve learned so much from my 20-year-old daughter about second-hand clothing sites,’ says fashion sustainability expert Anne-Marie Curtis, founder of The Calendar Magazine and former editor of Elle. 

‘It’s a form of reverse mentoring – for Gen Z their default is to shop second-hand, they’re preloved natives. 

‘And they’re teaching older generations to see shopping in a new, more considered way.’

As well as being a win for both planet and wallet, Vinted has also been a useful learning experience for my teen.

Attention to detail is key, she discovered, when I pointed out she couldn’t list her H&M pyjamas as ‘silk’, they were merely ‘silky’. 

She’s learnt to barter and negotiate, buying a never-used Eastpak backpack for just £8. 

She’s honed her people skills – placating an angry buyer when a package took a long time to arrive. 

And she’s had a crash course in the tedious admin of adulthood – standing in the Post Office queue for 35 minutes to send your parcel.

With the fashion resale market in the UK predicted to grow by nearly 70 per cent in the next three years, according to research firm GlobalData, Vinted appears to have a rosy future. 

So why not see what all the fuss is about?

‘Ask your children or grandchildren to help you get set up. Sit down with them, have a glass of wine and make it a fun social experience,’ says Curtis. 

Just please don’t sell my daughter any more crop tops.

Get minted selling on Vinted! 

Perfect the picture 

Decent photos are important and teens certainly know how to take them so make use of that skill! Snap your clothes in daylight and in front of a white background. Showing how an item sits on the body can help shift it quicker.

Think like a stylist 

A basic description of your item will suffice but it might sell more quickly if you suggest how it will fit into a buyer’s wardrobe. So I’ll rave about a jumpsuit working for daytime with trainers or for night dressed up with heels.

Watch your parcel weight 

When listing an item you have to choose whether it’s a small, medium or large package and the seller pays delivery fees. Do read the weight guidelines carefully and, if in doubt, go heavier.

Package like a pro

Obsessed with maintaining my five-star profile rating, I wrap items in tissue paper sealed with a sticker on which I write a note of thanks. Yes, I am a creep but it works. One lady was so thrilled she messaged to ask where she could buy the gold paper (Waitrose).

Always be pleasant

Again, for the sake of your reviews, be friendly. I update buyers when their item has been sent and make liberal use of smiley emojis. Think of yourself as an affable boutique owner. And when people make ridiculously cheeky offers (no, I won’t take £20 for an Essentiel Antwerp skirt), decline politely.

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