Vinted is an online shopping community where people can create their own shops and sell their gently used clothing, shoes & accessories to other shoppers.
From the Vinted website:
"Vinted is the spot where you can refresh your wardrobe without spending a fortune! Buying, selling, and swapping clothes is always easy and fun here. So, start making space in your closets - you'll need it for all the sweet finds you'll score while you're here! If you're interested in selling or swapping, just snap some nice well-lit photos of your things, then upload them and set your price or choose to swap. Now other Vinties can find your pre-loved fashions, and make you a deal - It's as simple as that!"
After perusing the app for about 20 minutes, I made a profile and began searching for my first purchase. When I signed up, the Vinted team deposited $10 in my "wallet" for free. I don't know if this was a promotional deal running at the time or if this happens any time anyone signs up, but I thought that was a nice touch! I knew that if I set a budget for myself of $20, keeping in mind I would be charged for shipping, I would only end up spending $10, so what did I have to lose?
After looking at a few different sellers and reading reviews (Every time you buy something you are prompted to review the experience- Positive, Neutral or Negative), I chose a seller that had a slew of positive reviews and only one negative. I found a few dresses from said seller that I was interested in, but I wasn't entirely comfortable paying over $30 for both, so I messaged the seller and asked her if she would be willing to sell them both for a lower price. In the Vinted community this is know as bundling and most of the sellers are willing to bundle anything in their shops for a lower price. Some may also be interested in trading if you have anything that they want in your store!
After agreeing on a price, and double checking the payment policies (Vinted charges your account as soon as you purchase an item, but they don't transfer the money to the seller until you receive your items), I purchased the items and sat back, reveling in my own online shopping prowess.
And I kept waiting. The seller never sent my dresses and she never communicated why she didn't send my dresses.
I messaged her to no avail and finally, messaged the Vinted team and told them that I wanted my money back. Sadly, I didn't get my free $10 back.* That ship had sailed. Needless to say, I was bummed.
Now, one seller doesn't represent the whole community and who knows? Maybe she had problems with the app or something. I'll never know! However, I did feel compelled to give her a negative review, if only for the sake of other buyers. In an online buying community like Vinted, you are only as good as your customer service and I was disappointed.
As far a premise, I think Vinted is really cool! I love the idea of lots of different kinds of girls and women trading and sharing clothes! In actual execution, I want to love it but I'm not there yet. The truth is that I'm not a big fan of bartering, but I acknowledge that when thrifting, in person or online, a certain amount of bartering is involved. In terms of online shopping, I've never really liked the idea of not being able to try something on and with Vinted, everything is final sale. That's kind of scary!
I will try to buy from Vinted again. I'm not deterred by one poor experience, but maybe next time I will choose a seller that has ALL positive reviews. And maybe I'll put a few of my own items up for sale!
If you are already on Vinted you can find me under the username thethriftarchives. If you haven't checked it out yet, I urge you to give Vinted a look! The more people that participate in the community, the more the clothes, sizes and styles will all differ, and that's always a good thing!
Happy Thrifting Thursday, Friends!
*UPDATE: When I tweeted out the link to this blog on the ol' Twitter, I got a message from the gang over at Vinted saying that if a seller never ships the items you ordered, they can definitely reissue the gift that you used to pay for it! How fabulous is that? Vinted, you're the tops!