A woman who never buys new clothes has set up her own website that lets shoppers compare prices of second-hand garments.
Lauren Reynolds, 23, from Surrey, says she saves thousands of pounds by finding designer clothes for pennies in charity shops and car boot sales.
Some of her best bargains include a mustard yellow midi-dress she picked up for just 20p at a charity warehouse sale – with the same outift costing £150 direct from the retailer.
But when the coronavirus pandemic forced shops to temporarily shut for large parts of 2020, Lauren was inspired to set up her Thriftscape website after panicking over not being able to find second-hand goods.
Through its search engine, users can compare clothes from websites such as eBay, Vinted, Shpock and Vestiaire Collective and others.
Shoppers start by typing in what they’re looking for – for example, Vans shoes – and Thriftscape will then bring up the latest prices from various websites.
You can then filter your search by site and your price range. There are also plans for you to be able to rearrange the results by cheapest price but this isn’t available just yet.
When The Mirror checked today, we spotted prices for Van shoes starting from 99p for auctions on eBay – although these can go up in price if lots of people bid.
Since launching the website in 2021, alongside her friends Sam Gladman and Chris Milton, Lauren said they’ve had over 10,000 people search for pre-loved clothes.
Lauren, who recently appeared on an episode of Martin Lewis’ Extreme Savers, started buying clothes second hand in 2016 due to being on a low-paid apprenticeship salary.
Speaking to The Mirror, she said: “I found myself faced with the prospect of only being able to thrift online for the foreseeable future.
“Despite being an experienced second-hand shopper, I discovered new second-hand websites that I didn’t realise existed.
“Whilst I loved having so many options for shopping, searching through them all began to be a bit of a struggle.
“This is when the idea for Thriftscape started to come together. Wishing a resource like this existed sparked the idea to create it ourselves.”
The trio behind Thriftscape now plan on building an app to go alongside their website so they can grow their visitors.
Of course, shopping second-hand isn’t just better for your purse – it also helps you be more sustainable and reduce the amount of clothes that end up in landfills.
Speaking on the Martin Lewis’ Extreme Savers show, Lauren says some of her other bargain finds include finding Doc Martens worth £180 for just £20 on Facebook Marketplace.
She also recently bagged a £50 dress for just £4 with the tag still on it – days after her friend happened to buy the same item online just the week before, full price.
Top tips for finding second-hand bargains on Facebook
In a post on Instagram, Lauren shared some tips for finding second-hand items for less on Facebook.
- Join Facebook selling groups by searching for the word “free” and then the town or city you’re in.
- The same goes for Facebook Marketplace – type the word in “free” and whatever you’re searching for to see if anyone is giving it away.
- Look for swapping sites on Facebook – sometimes people don’t even charge you if you want to exchange clothes, or you’ll just pay postage.