eBay’s Head of Pre Loved, Emma Grant, on Oxfam’s Second Hand September. Image: eBay

Celebrating Second Hand September with Oxfam is a great opportunity to keep the green recovery front of mind and ensure that we all play our part to reduce fast fashion where possible.

At eBay, we saw that lockdown sped up the transition to a greater sustainability-conscious society, as we witnessed more pre-loved listings and sales post-lockdown with 30% more second-hand sales made in June 2020, compared to March. With people’s wallets becoming tighter, an uneasiness about going out shopping, and after some time away from the materialism of day-to-day normality, it seems that we are all more in tune than ever with charities, small businesses and caring for the planet.

We’re so excited to be supporting Oxfam’s Second Hand September this year by hosting a joint auction of curated vintage and Oxfam pieces, which launched today and will run until 12pm on 20th September. There are some incredible luxury items, so make sure to place a bid so you don’t miss out! All of the funds will go towards Oxfam and the incredible work they do reducing poverty worldwide.

Oxfam-donated sequin Stella McCartney dress, True Vintage beaded jacket and Sergio Rossi heels are all available to bid on. Bids start from 99p. Images: eBay

If you miss out, fear not, you can always get your hands on a second-hand steal on eBay this September by following these simple steps. And remember to donate to Oxfam at checkout when you do!

1. Commit some time

The nature of vintage clothing is that you’ll need to have a good scroll before that one-of-a-kind gem catches your eye.

2. Be specific with your search terms

If you’re looking for a particular item, be specific in your search. Naming brands or eras that are associated with the style you’re looking to emulate will help you narrow down the search to the most relevant items. For instance, if you’re looking for the perfect vintage rain mac for Autumn, try including Burberry or 70s trench in your search.

3. Focus on timeliness trends

To get the most wear out of second-hand fashion and to get the best bang for your buck, look for timeless, stylish pieces that will always look ‘modern’. Coats, boots and handbags are sure-fire investment pieces.

4. Avoid anything too fancy dress

Think about how a vintage piece will fit in with your daily wardrobe – can you wear it with your new handbag or favourite jeans? Stay away from anything too ‘fancy dress’.

5. Be flexible with sizes

The fits and cuts of vintage and pre-owned fashion can differ hugely from what we’re used to seeing on the high street, so don’t expect your usual size to fit you perfectly. You may have to size up or down to get the fit that works for you, so always check the specific measurements.

6. The tailor is your friend

Shortening hemlines and streamlining waistlines are all easy and relatively inexpensive at your local dry cleaner, meaning you can achieve the perfect fit and modernise any vintage piece.

7. Don’t be put off by a little wear and tear

A few buttons missing shouldn’t put you off investing in great quality vintage or pre-owned fashion. Think of it as an opportunity to personalise and upcycle a classic piece – giving it your own style touch! If you’re not confident with a needle and thread your local dry cleaners will sow on buttons, accessories or fabric patches for a minimal cost.

8. Stay away from significant damage

Don’t risk your money on items that are fraying, holed and stained. That kind of damage likely can’t be fixed, not matter how beautiful the piece.

9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Not sure how a particular item will look on you? No need to panic. The beauty of shopping through a platform means you have a direct line to the seller where you can ask any question under the sun – from an items’ ‘real’ sizing to the best description of its colour, condition and material feel.

10. If you like it buy it

Vintage fashion is so often one-of-a-kind pieces. Don’t let it be the one that got away that keeps you up at night!


We’re also encouraging our customers selling their own second-hand items to donate a percentage of their proceeds to support Oxfam’s work around the world; the equivalent percentage in fees will be waived by eBay for Charity, or if you aren’t up for a wardrobe clear-out donate at checkout where we’re hosting Oxfam all month. If you’re in the mood to Marie Kondo your wardrobe, follow these simple tips to donate to Oxfam:

1. When you create your listing on eBay, look for our charity ribbon and check the box that says “Donate a portion to charity”
2. Select ‘Oxfam’ and the percentage you want to donate
3. List the item and start raising money for a cause you care about!

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