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Do you want to start an online second hand store or want to develop an online thrift store? Well, in that case, this blog will assist you! The world of online thrift stores is booming, offering a sustainable and exciting way to bring pre-loved items to a new generation. 

Whether you’re passionate about vintage fashion, unique homeware, or sporting finds, investing in online thrift store development allows you to connect with eco-conscious consumers and turn your passion into profit.       

“I love using Online thrift stores to sell my pre-loved items and make some extra cash.” – Marie Kondo.   

Compared to 140 billion dollars in 2020, the US re-commerce market was above 188 billion in 2023. The economy should expand to $276 billion by 2028. This is why many entrepreneurs want to invest in online second hand stores app development.

So, if you want to develop an online thrift store, read this blog. This complete guide will help you turn your idea into a successful online thrift business.       

So, let’s begin. 


What Is An Online Thrift Store?

An online thrift store is a digital marketplace where users or businesses provide vintage or used goods at reduced costs. For example, furniture, decor, accessories, and apparel. Users  can use the website or app like thredUP or other online thrift store app to browse and buy a range of pre-owned products, frequently from designer labels to everyday necessities. It provides a practical and environmentally friendly shopping experience.       


Develop An Online Thrift Store


Why Is Creating An Online Thrift Store Worth Paying The Cost?

Launching an online thrift store can be a worthwhile investment. There are lower costs compared to a physical shop, and you reach a wider audience. The trend of pre-owned items is booming, with eco-conscious consumers on the rise. By offering unique finds at good prices, you can carve a niche in this growing market. While there are fees involved, with smart sourcing and strategic marketing, your online thrift store development can turn a profit.        

  • There were more than 188 billion dollars in the re-commerce market in the United States in 2023, up from about 140 billion dollars in 2020. The economy is expected to keep growing, and by 2028, it’s expected to be worth about $276 billion.    
  • As late as April 2023, nearly 3 million people around the world had downloaded the Vinted online shopping app. 
  • In the last five years, the US thrift shop market has grown by 4.7% each year.  


Develop An Online Thrift Store

Source: Statista  

  • A study released by OfferUp in 2023 found that an amazing  85% of people buy or sell used items.     
  • All together, 29% of people in the US who buy used clothes online use Poshmark. So, out of the 73 percent who recognize the name, 40 percent actually use it.     


Step-by-Step Blueprint To Develop An Online Thrift Store

While some thrift shopping app development processes may be one-of-a-kind and tailored to specific needs. Below are the major steps that you must take to when you develop an online thrift store:     


  • Validate Your App Idea
  • Decide on features
  • Create UX/UI design
  • Develop Your Online Thrift Store
  • Test the Online Thrift Store
  • Launch and Maintain


Develop An Online Thrift Store        


1. Validate Your App Idea      

Firstly, you must validate your online thrift store idea with the online thrift store website development team. In this stage, you find out the users demands, pain points, competitors and user expectations. Also, you should be well-versed with the idea of how your app will help users. It is important to specify if you are looking for an thrift online shopping app that offers vintage goods, old garments, or both.   


2. Decide on Features

Features are the heart and soul of your online thrift store. So, when you develop an online thrift, add features that align your idea and budget. You can even take examples of a fashion app like Depop or Vinted; what features they have which makes them stand out. It is critical to understand that user demands must guide feature selection. Thus, you can now decide what features your Vintage thrift store should have during online thrift store development step with the help of a thrift store app development company.  


3. Create UX/UI Design 

The design stage is vital because it’s where you make the user experience simple and engaging. To differentiate yourself from other online thrift stores, you must design a thrift app from scratch and make a logo.  

Just like other apps, your thrift store mobile app development should have an aesthetic that appeals to your target market. Work with a designer when you develop an online thrift store business to make a simple layout and logo.  


4. Develop Your Online Thrift Store 

In this stage, the ecommerce development company turns the blueprint (design) and list of features into a fully functional online reselling app. It is advisable to test your app idea by developing an MVP with only minimal features. 

These essential elements satisfy the basic needs of your users. It allows you to gauge the online thrift store’s success, gather early feedback, and make informed changes.     


Develop An Online Thrift Store


5. Test the Online Thrift Store 

Now in this stage of thrift store mobile app development, you test the thrift shopping app to make sure they work as expected and provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all users. The testers conduct the testing to make the online thrift app error-free. 


6. Launch and Maintain 

You can now finally launch your online thrift app on the respective app stores. After that, you should regularly update your create an online thrift store by consulting with a mobile app maintenance services provider. It will assist in ensuring the security and seamless operation of your online thrift app.    


Making An Online Thrift Store: Core Features

Features are essential in making your online thrift store successful. When you develop an online thrift store, consider adding the below features given by an on demand app development company.    


Develop An Online Thrift Store


  • User Profile 

When you develop an online thrift store, add a user profile feature to enable users to register, access, and edit their private details.  


  • Product Listings

You should add a product listings feature when you create an online thrift store. It allows users to peruse a wide range of used goods.      


  • Search and Filters

Build an app like Vinted or Depop with search feature integration. It provides strong search functions to help users locate what they’re looking for.          


  • Shopping Cart

When you develop an online thrift store, add a shopping cart feature. It helps users to put products in their shopping carts for a future purchase.   


Expert Advice: To make “Virtual Fitting Room” even better, think about adding some cutting-edge innovation like AI or augmented reality by taking help from a custom website development company. Users can see how clothes will fit them before they order them with this feature.   


  • Checkout Process 

Set up a simple checkout process with a number of payment choices. You can see this feature in one of the top thrift store apps like Depop or Poshmark.  


  • Push Notifications

With this feature, your app must send notifications to users regarding new listings, messages, offers, or updates regarding the status of their orders.     


  • In-app Chat   

When you develop an online thrift store, add an in-app chat feature by taking help from a mobile app development company. It lets buyers and sellers communicate. This can be used to bargain over costs, inquire about goods.   


  • Shipping and Tracking

Give real-time shipping quotes and delivery estimates along with your shipment alternatives. It helps them track their packages to keep track of their delivery status once they place a purchase.   


  • Customer Support 

When you launch a successful online thrift store, you should also provide a variety of customer service methods, such as email, live chat, and a help center when you build an app like Poshmark or Vinted. 


  • Analytics and Insights 

You should add an analytics feature when you develop an online thrift store. Making smart decisions to optimize your platform and enhance user experience can be aided by the analysis of this data.      


Popular Online Thrift Store In the Market

If you are planning to build an app like Mercari or another online thrift store app, you should know who your competitors’ online thrift apps are and their USPs. So, below are the most popular online thrift store apps that you should check out:  


Top 5 Online Thrift Store  Available Platform  Downloads  Ratings    
Vinted  Android | iOS  50M  3.7  
Mercari     Android | iOS 10M  4.7  
Poshmark  Android | iOS 10M  4.6  
ThredUp   Android | iOS 5M  4.0  
Depop  Android | iOS 5M  4.5   


How Much Does It Cost to Develop An Online Thrift Store?

Now you must be wondering “what is the Re-eCommerce app development cost?”. On average, the cost to develop an online thrift store may range between $10000-$25000. You should know that this is not the actual cost, it can vary depending on your project specifications and factors. The below table depicts the cost to start an online thrift store on the basis of complexity.       


Complexity Of Apps  Estimated Cost 
Simple Online Thrift Store App  $10000-$14000
Medium Online Thrift Store App    $15000-$21000
Complex Online Thrift Store App $25000+


These are just the basic estimation to make an online thrift store, you can measure the cost to create an online thrift store by looking at the below formula.  

Total Online Thrift Store App Development Cost = Developer’s Hourly Rate * Total Time

 Thus, if you want to discover the exact cost to develop an online thrift store, consult a marketplace development company. They will provide you with all the actual cost required to build an online thrift store  


Develop An Online Thrift Store


Let’s Create a Successful Thrift Store App!!

The market for second hand stores online is expanding rapidly across a wide range of sectors. Because of this, more and more startups are investing in online thrift store app development. You are now well-informed about the steps, features, and costs involved to build an online thrift store or start a thrift business.  

The next step is to transform your stores into an online thrift store. In order to start a second-hand store online, you should consult with a marketplace app development services provider. They will create an online thrift store for clothes with the latest technology.