A MUM-of-two has shared her savvy shopping secrets after snapping up designer dresses and shoes at bargain prices via eBay and Depop.
Her finds include a pair of blue Christian Louboutin heels worth £700 for just £75.
She has also bought two Victoria Beckham dresses worth around £2,000 for just £100 each using second-hand websites and apps.
“I’ve always been a real shopper,” explains the 35-year-old part-time accountant, who lives in Goring, Oxfordshire, with her two daughters Sophie 12, and Harriet, who is nine.
“I used to have an Asos delivery every day and was on first name terms with my delivery driver.
But in 2017, Andrea became a single mum and was trying to pay bills while working part-time and taking care of her children.
She adds: “I had to downsize and move to a smaller house and obviously, I had to make cutbacks.
“It was tough. Buying clothes was one of my joys, I love fashion, but I just couldn’t afford to keep splurging on myself any more.
“Like so many parents, everything I earned went on bills or the kids. It was hard especially being newly single. I lost all my self-confidence.”
But two years ago, in February 2019, Andrea began researching for her new business itwontcosttheearth.com – a sustainable gift and homewares website.
While doing so she learned about some second-hand shopping websites such as Depop, a fashion app where you can buy and sell second-hand clothes.
“While trying to set up my business I became aware of the impact fast-fashion has on the environment,” Andrea says.
In the UK, 300,000 tonnes of clothing is burned or buried every year and many cheap clothes are made from non-recycled plastics which are fuelling carbon emissions and climate change.
I felt guilty about buying clothes
“I began to feel a bit guilty about all the clothes I bought and the impact it was having,” Andrea says. “But when I started browsing. I also realised you could pick up some real bargains.
“One of my favourite purchases is a blue Victoria Beckham top which set me back £20 but it would originally have sold for around £200.
“I have two Victoria Beckham dresses which I love.
“They normally sell for between £1,500 and £2,000 but I bought them for around £100 each.
“The Louboutin heels I bought had only been worn once.
Andrea’s top tips
- Be specific. If you type in ‘dress’ you will be overwhelmed by choices. Set your sizes so it only shows items that fit and if you can, specific a length or colour.
- Select ‘newly-listed items’ so you’re trawling through tons of old stuff you have already seen.
- Search for specific brands or designers you like to help narrow down what you like and what will suit you.
- Leave reviews. The more reviews you get, the more you become a trusted buyer and seller and the more successful you’ll be.
- Make cheeky offers. You can see how long something has been listed for. If it’s been over a month, make an offer. I got a really nice pair of Claude Pierlot jeans that were on sale for £60. I offered the seller £30 and she was happy to get rid of them. They would have been worth around £150 new and she had never worn them.
“They are absolutely gorgeous and I have to keep them under lock and key as my daughter loves them too.
“I have found a few favourite designers such as Sandro and Alice & Olivia so I tend to search for them as I know I like their clothes and they are usually a good fit on me.
“I much prefer Depop to websites like Asos now.
“I also use Vestiaire Collective, eBay and Thrift Plus. I buy less but the pieces I buy are better quality.
“I really love them as opposed to thinking ‘oh that’s nice, I’ll wear it Friday night’, then it falls to the back of my wardrobe.
“The pieces last too. They are better quality.
“If you decide something is not right, you can re-sell them and they hold their value. If I decided to sell one of my Victoria Beckham dresses I’ll probably get back what I bought it for.
I can still get my fix of high street bargains
“There are lots of high street bargains to be had so I can still get my Zara fix. I feel better as I’m n