If you have ventured out of the online shopping world recently and actually went shopping #IRL, you probably would've heard of Refash.
On the surface, it looks like a normal fashion apparel chain - the designs are trendy, and there are stores at popular malls like Orchard Gateway, Suntec City and City Plaza.
However, Refash is actually a thrift shop in Singapore where you can buy and sell your preloved clothes.
Here’s how thrift shopping and selling works on Refash. Plus, we shortlist some other secondhand shops to try your luck at.
REFASH — BUY AND SELL PRELOVED CLOTHES
- Dresses under $25
- Tops & bottoms under $15
- “Branded” clothes at $30+
- $10 off first purchase when you sign up for the mailing list
Refash doesn’t really “feel” like a thrift shop. In fact, the first time I went to Refash, I didn’t actually know I was looking at preloved clothes.
It was not until I picked up a dress and the tag said “$14.90, like new” that I realised it was a thrift shop.
So yes, the tags will tell you the price and condition of the item, and you can decide if it’s worth your time.
There are actually brand new items as well, as some blogshops put their past-season pieces there too.
I’ve found that most items are really cheap and you can get dresses for under $25 and separates for under $15.
However, some of the more “branded” ones — like pieces from Love, Bonito or The willow Label — then it can go up to $30+ or even $40+.
I applied filters for clothes in size XS/S, under $25 and in “new with tag” condition, and here are some of the options:
Not half bad, I think.
Plus, if you sign up for their mailing list, you get a neat $10 off your first purchase.
BEING A SELLER ON REFASH.SG
- Refash takes a 19% cut (“handling fee”)
- but you have to pack and mail the item (reimbursable)
If you’ve ever found yourself whining that your wardrobe is bursting but you still have nothing to wear, then thrift shopping and selling is literally the solution.
Depending on whether you want to sell on the Refash site or store, the steps are slightly different.
Although the FAQ states that selling on Refash.sg is “free”, and that there is “no listing or registration fee”, that’s not exactly true.
There is no listing or registration fee, but there is a handling fee, and it’s a significant 19%.
This charge is for Refash to handle all the sales and enquiries for your items…
If someone decides to buy your clothes, you will have to do the packing and mailing of your item to the buyer.
Refash will deduct the 19% handling fee from you and pay you the balance. They’ll also reimburse your for postage fees.
SELLING THROUGH REFASH STORES
- Requires minimum 10 pieces
- Receive quotation within 14 days
- Receive 150% of the quote if you accept store credits instead of cash
If you have a minimum of 10 pieces, you can also head down to the physical Refash store to drop your items off. In my opinion, this is better because you don’t have to wait for someone to buy your clothes.
Instead, Refash will respond with a quotation within 14 days and you can decide if you want to accept their offer or not.
If you do, you’ll get the cash within 30 days. Alternatively, if you accept “payment” in store credits, you get the quoted amount, +50% more.
If you think it’s too little, they’ll still put your clothes up for sale, but on a consignment basis (so like the online selling mechanic).
Refash has a list of “preferred brands” — like ASOS, And Well Dressed, Dressable, etc — that will supposedly “fast track” the selling process. You just need to indicate that you are selling these brands and they’ll speed it up.
To be honest, I’ve never done this before, but I think I want to try.
If you have experience with selling on Refash, please share your experience with us in the comments — I’m interested to know what their quoted prices are like!
OTHER THRIFT SHOPS IN SINGAPORE
Refash is just about the only thrift shop who’ll buy your used clothes and/or put them up for consignment sale.
There are, however, many other places you can donate and shop for used items.
For places to shop… here are more thrift shops in Singapore to check out.
THE KINT STORY
Founded by two 20-somethings, The Kint Story is an online thrift store. The name is inspired by the Japanese concept of “kintsugi”, which is the art of repairing pottery by filling up the cracks with gold.
The clothes are curated by their team, and then priced according to the condition and brand of the item.
There is no particular style, but the pieces are quite unique.
If you’re bored of the mainstream blogshop aesthetic, you can have a look here for some quirky finds.
You can self-collect the clothes for free at UnPackt (OUE Downtown Gallery), or pay $1.70 (normal) / $3.90 (registered) for postage.
New2U is a thrift store by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), so all proceeds go to their initiatives and the Star Shelter.
It’s a lot less “glam” than some of the other stores that spruce up the pieces and have them professionally modelled and photographed, but there is a lot to shop for here.
So if you look hard enough, you’re sure to find some hidden gems.
They accept donations for (and sell) not just clothes but bags and accessories as well.
PRAISEHEAVEN MEGA FAMILY STORE (BY SALVATION ARMY)
Praisehaven is the biggest thrift shop in Singapore, but that’s because they have everything — from clothes and books to furniture and electronics.
I’ve read that there clothes are slightly expensive, but they have a fitting room and everything for you to try on the items.
Also, it goes to the Salvation Army so it’s not all bad.
Praisehaven used to be pretty inaccessible (it’s along Upper Bukit Timah), but now that the downtown line is up and running, it’s very near the Hillview MRT station.
INSTAGRAM THRIFT SHOPS IN SINGAPORE
Looks like green really is the new black: some eco-conscious (and not to mention, quite enterprising) young ladies have also started creating Instagram thrift shops to sell their vintage finds.
Here are some of the more popular ones:
This article was first published in MoneySmart .