eBay, Depop, and Vinted Spend £97m on Ads to Build Your Vintage Clothing Empire

John W Hayes
3 min readApr 20
Photo by Perry Merrity II on Unsplash

Call it what you want, secondhand, pre-loved, or vintage clothing is big business these days. Big enough to justify the leading online marketplaces in the secondhand clothing market to spend nearly £100 million on advertising in the UK last year.

This incredible investment, which includes TV, radio, print, social media, and online advertising, has helped pre-loved fashion sellers take their business into the mainstream.

Rebranding Secondhand

eBay’s sponsorship of ITV’s reality TV series, Love Island, has been largely attributed to changing consumers’ perception of buying secondhand and vintage clothing. It’s even been suggested that the online marketplaces have helped rebrand “secondhand” as “pre-loved,” opening up the market’s potential to consumers who would have never previously purchased used items.

As high-profile media events have normalised the buying and selling pre-loved clothing, research suggests that 75% of Gen Z consumers are shopping secondhand, and 37% are actively reselling their clothes.

A Competitive Market

While eBay is leading the charge in the pre-loved market, its competitors are snapping at its heels. With an ad spend of £37 million in 2022, Vinted has seen its user base grow from 1.2 million members in 2021 to more than 8 million in 2023.

Meanwhile, Depop is using its much smaller advertising budget, approx £500,000 in 2022, to invest in its relationships with creators, sellers, and brand partnerships.

As consumer perceptions of the secondhand market change, a growing number of fast-fashion brands have jumped on the circular economy bandwagon. However, this approach is not risk-free, with accusations of “greenwashing” thrown at some operators.

Stand Out From The Crowd

As an increasingly legitimised business opportunity, sellers of secondhand clothing will undoubtedly face increased competition as new entrants (including big brands) and an increasing number of private sellers enter the market.

There are many things a seller can do to stand out from the crowd.

John W Hayes

Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile: https://amzn.to/2OO5DR5