Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Purchase Used Clothes

Jill Vonier

Jill Vonier

6 min read

Thrift stores are raising prices as vintage clothing becomes more popular. Find great deals on Craigslist instead.

Person taking a photo with their phone

We all have some extra clothing items in our closets we should probably get rid of. Either we've had them for a long time, they don't fit the way we like, or they don't fit at all. But clothes are investments and it can be hard to let go of them.

That is why millions of people sell clothing online on Criagslist every year. Craigslist is a great place to recoup some of that investment, help you afford to buy some clothes you'll wear, try out fast fashion, or just make some extra cash for something else you love. Plus it saves you from running back and forth to thrift stores. Instead, it's online thrifting.

So if you're looking for a good deal on clothing, Craigslist is a great place to find fantastic deals on clothes you will love.

See our guide, Looking for a Great Deal? Follow These Tips to Get There First, for tips on tracking down the items you want. However, before you make a purchase, it's important to ask the right questions to ensure you're getting quality clothing and good value for your money.

Read on to find the top 10 questions to ask when buying clothing on Craigslist:

Question #1: "What is the Condition of the Clothing?"

The first question to ask when purchasing clothing items is the condition. Is it New With Tags (NWT), in "like new" condition, or pretty worn out? Has it been worn only a few times or worn every week for 2 years?

Clothes that have been worn for a long time or are cheaply made may have pilling or small holes that aren't noticeable in pictures. Be sure to ask the seller directly to give a clear understanding of the condition of the clothing.

If the seller says the clothing is in "good" or "excellent" condition, ask for more details to get a better understanding of its condition.

Question #2: "Does It Fit True-To-Size?"

Lots of clothes may have a certain size listed but that doesn't mean that's how it actually fits. We all know brands that fit much smaller or much bigger than the standard size.

To understand if the item will fit you according to your expectation, ask the seller if it fits true to the size on them or if it is on the smaller or larger size. This can help you know how it will fit you and if you want to continue with the purchase.

Question #3: "Can I See More Pictures of the Clothing?"

As with anything you buy used, you will want to thoroughly inspect secondhand clothing to make sure you understand the condition and decide if it's a good fit for you.

It's okay to ask additional questions and ask for extra pictures of the item you're interested in. Try to be specific about what you want to see, whether it be from different angles or close-ups of the material.

This can help you visually understand the condition of the clothing before making a purchase.

Question #4. "What is the Brand?"

Knowing what brand you're buying can help you determine how long the item will last. You might be willing to pay more for one brand over the other if you know it's going to stay in good condition for a while.

Additionally, it can give you a better idea of how well it will fit you. For example, you might be a J. Crew small but an Old Navy medium.

If you're looking for a specific designer brand, you will want to ask if the clothing is authentic or a designer dud. This will help you avoid getting a fake or low-quality item that may not be worth the price.

Question #5: "What is the Material?"

Another important detail about clothing is the material is it made from. Some materials are superior to others and you may be willing to spend more money on wool than polyester, or cotton

It may also be that you have an allergy to certain materials. Maybe wool makes you break out in a rash so you want to avoid any clothing items that have wool in them. Ask the seller to send you a list of the materials or a picture of the tag that has the materials listed. This can help you make an informed decision about purchasing the item.

Question #6: "Can I Try on the Clothing Before I Buy It?"

Woman trying on clothes

Everyone's body height, weight, and shape is different and so clothes may fit differently from one person to the next. If possible, it's always a good idea to try on the clothing before you make a purchase.

Ask the seller if you can come and try on the clothing in person to make sure it fits and is comfortable before you purchase it. This is a fair question and ensures both parties are satisfied with the sale.

Question #7: "Is the Clothing Pet-free and Smoke-free?"

The clothing item may look great online and even in person, but if it comes from a home full of pets and/or smoke, it may be unbearable to wear.

This is especially a problem if you're sensitive to pet hair or smoke so it's important to ask if the clothing comes from a pet-free and smoke-free home. This will help you avoid any allergies or breathing issues that may be caused by pets or smoke.

Most people have this listed in the listing as a selling point, so if you don't see it, definitely ask to make sure!

Question #8: "Are There Any Stains or Defects on the Clothing?"

The clothing item may look great from the front but there could be a hidden stain lurking behind, or the side stitching is actually off on the left side from the right side.

Before you make a purchase, ask the seller if there are any stains or defects on the clothing you should know about. This will give you an idea of its condition and whether it's worth the price. It could also help you negotiate a lower price if you're still interested in the item.

Question #9: "Is the clothing washable and dry-clean only?"

Keeping your clothes in good condition can require some regular upkeep. Your life might be too busy to follow very specific washing instructions or you may not be able to afford regularly getting your clothes dry-cleaned.

Be sure to find out how much care and maintenance the clothing item will require to make sure it's worth the effort and price.

Question #10: "Are there any other items included with the clothing?"

Some clothing on Craigslist may come with other items, such as a belt, hood, sleeves, or decorative items. If it's a designer brand, it could come with a bag, tags, or receipts you may want.

Ask if there are any other items included with the clothing, as this will give you a better idea of what you're getting and whether it's worth the price

Buying and selling clothes on Craigslist is a great way to make some money off those ill-fit clothes in your closet. By asking the above 10 questions, you can get a better understanding of the clothing you're interested in buying on Craigslist.

Asking these questions will help you determine the condition, authenticity, and value of the clothing, and will also help you figure out how to care for the clothing and whether it's worth the price.

Happy buying!


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