Instagram has been helping some Winnipeg youth make money out of their full closets.
Hannah Urbano, 20, has garnered more than 1,300 followers on her Instagram account, Thriftingminds, since October. She uses Instagram as a resource to sell her clothes.
It started when she graduated high school and went to college as a full-time student. She wasn’t making enough money and had a closet full of clothes she’d never worn.
“I had a (credit card) to pay. I had clothes that I didn’t wear… so I tried to sell them and see if people would like,” she said. “I get constant (direct messages) ‘did you sell this yet?’, ‘is it sold?’, ‘I’ll bid a higher price.’”
But what makes people buy and trade items through Instagram instead of going to a store?
According to former Winnipeg blogger, Andrew Chipman, lots of people love the look of vintage clothes but hate the search, hate the actual act of thrifting.
“Sometimes I’d buy items my followers are looking for. It’s like I’m their personal shopper,” acknowledged Urbano.
Urbano made more than $2,000 shortly after she sold her items.
“I could pay off my bills. I had to stop working because of my full-time program, so it helped me while I didn’t have a job,” said Urbano.
Chipman has been thrifting for 10 years now, and he said people who sell care for their items.
“Knowing it’s going to a home where they understand where it comes from and will spend money on them might be a comforting thought,” he said.
Urbano said she puts a lot of effort into selling her clothes. She said taking good pictures and presenting her clothes well, plays a big role in getting customers.
“I’ve had people who buy my stuff again and again,” she said, adding people put her on notifications to be the first ones to check what she posts. “It puts a good name on my account.”
Chipman said he’s done a little shopping on Instagram but he’s had friends who became very successful in this world.
“It’s a business. And it’s more sustainable to be reusing clothing rather than buying new. There’s also the ability to find unique pieces or because it’s what you can afford,” he said.