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Can cheap be made cheaper?

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

Kilo sales are notoriously one of the cheapest ways to score vintage & second hand clothing, with most selling at rates up to £20 per kilo. Unfamiliar with this concept? Long story short, items are sold by weight and the price calculated in fractions, so at £20 per kilo for example, 0.05kg is just £1 or half a kilo would be a tenner. Sounds like a bargain....but what if you're missing out on better rates or further discounts? Here's some quick tips to help you make the most of a kilo sale and potentially save money!

Some kilos have the option to prepay for a kilo at a cheaper rate. Preloved Kilo have £15 Advance Kilo tickets which saves 25% compared to paying on the day. Denim Jackets weigh 1kg on average, paying on the day is £20 but paying in advance and using your ticket is just £15.
1. Pre-pay for your haul!

Save up to 25% when you pre-pay online with advance tickets! Not all kilos will have pre-pay options and the advance discount may vary, but if you know you're definitely going to be bagging a decent haul, pre-paying for a kilo or two can land some of the biggest savings. They're usually sold alongside online entry tickets, so check see if they're available when you book.

Bonus tip: they're also useful for setting and sticking to a budget!

Knowing the average weights can help prevent surprises when you pay! Consider the size, style & material of the item; 80’s sequins will tip the scales more than 90’s silk! But we do love a bit of sparkle…  Items up to 0.2kg, or £4, include t-shirts, shirts, blouse, skirts & shorts.   Items up to 0.4kg, or £8, include tracks, sweats & summer dress.   Items up to 0.8kg, or £16, include hoodies, jeans, chunky knits & jackets.  Items up to 1kg, or £20 include denim jackets, sequins, winter coats.
2. Know your weights

This can be a little tricky as it's difficult to grasp exactly what a kilo is if you're not used to working with weights. We can tell you that a kilo is a bag of sugar, but again that's only going to be useful if you're familiar with the sugar!

The averages listed above are fairly accurate, such as t-shirts weighing 0.2kg, it's only long sleeved or thicker cotton t-shirts that will weigh significantly more. Categories such as dress can be difficult as styles wildly vary but a typical slinky Summer dress with few embellishments usually won't weigh more than 0.4kg, whereas evening gowns with beading, ruffles and sequins can push the scales closer to a kilo.

Bonus Tip: Really stuck? Most kilo sales will let you weigh before you pay! Ask a member of staff to work out items individually so you can visualise the weight better.

Understanding vintage materials can help you determine the versatility and value of a n item, as well as the weight.   Silk: lightweight, low price, good value, breathable natural fibre, long lasting with delicate care.   Cotton: high carbon & water footprints when made new, mid-weight but durable, can wash cold, versatile for year round wear.   Wool: heavier but hard wearing, lighter wool does exist, biodegradable and anti-microbial, retails heat well, layer up in Winter.
3. Know your materials

Some people already focus solely on hunting down the silk or cotton in a kilo; these materials are generally more sought after than synthetic materials such as Polyester, Acrylic or Nylon as natural fibers tend to be more breathable and comfy, especially for those with sensitive skin. Buying these materials new can be pricey, especially when trying to source items with low carbon/water footprints from more ethical retailers.

Wool is also desirable as it naturally retains heat very well, and luxury wools such as cashmere or merino are extremely desirable for their warmth and added silky texture, with the bonus of being lightweight at a kilo sale so extremely cheap compared to buying new.

Bonus Tip: check if there's any care labels detailing the materials if you're not used to sourcing by feel and touch alone.

What better way to find out about deals & discounts than to find them out direct! Subscribe to email updates, give your fave kilo a follow on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok...

Also keep an eye out for any loyalty promotions, kilo sales may only swing by a few times a year but if you can add up points, stamps or visits in order to score a freebie it will still make a difference eventually!

Preloved Kilo have a free, digital loyalty card with a stamp earned for every whole kilo purchased, with a free kilo rewarded after 10 stamps are collected. There's also the paid-for membership via the Kilo Club with the best benefit being an exclusive rate of £18 per kilo across all events for a year, as well as unlimited free entry. Kilo Aficionado membership is £15, to put that into perspective you only need to buy 3kg across two events or 1.8kg across three events to make back savings equivalent to the cost of joining in the first place.

Bonus Tip: combine loyalty & discounts for bigger savings! Kilo Aficionado members get a discount at events, plus can also purchase Advance Kilo tickets and can collect loyalty stamps too!

 Well, not the overall price!  The total number of items in your haul divided by the price gives the mean average cost of each item.  Bring the mean cost of heavier items down; add lighter pieces such as t-shirts, blouses, shirts.  Our trade customers use this trick to know how much room for profit they have!
5. Change the price!

Imagine if we could freely lower the price of everything! But it's not about changing the overall price you pay, but the way you work out what you paid for individual items in your haul. A 1.2kg haul will still cost you £24 (at a rate of £20 per kilo), but ever wondered what each individual item worked out at? A quick way to get an average mean value is to divide the price by the total number of items.

If your 1.2kg haul consisted of 5 items for example, this works out at an average of £4.80 each. You may have picked up a hoodie and 4 light satin blouses, so the hoodie will definitely have weighed in more than the blouses, but this simple calculation brings the mean cost of the hoodie down so it becomes much better value...get it! If you picked up a hoodie and 10 silk scarves, that's 11 different items so the average of each one drops to just £2.18 an item.

Bonus Tip: Reselling? Add a couple of lighter items to your haul to lower your average cost per item, making it easier to calculate what sort of profit each item owes you!

Some people shop kilo just to resell, buying huge quantities at a time! But with a little research it's entirely possible to buy just one or two items which can generate enough profit to cover some or all of the cost of your own personal haul.

Most kilos will be fully stocked with a different variety of items, such as branded sportswear or vintage dresses, so try and plan in advance what you think your resale niche could be and focus your research on that area - otherwise you could end up lost in a sea of clothes wondering where the best profit can be found.

Iconic casual brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Fred perry, Carhartt, Dickies etc will always sell well second hand, but there's also a thriving market for true vintage: original 70's prairie dresses and cotton smocks are back in this year with collectable brands such as Gunne Sax, Magnin, Laura Ashley, David Silverman, Phool or Anokhi being well sought after.

You could even keep your eye out for high end designer labels, Preloved Kilo have seen a fair share of Versace, Burberry, Gucci, D&G, Prada and others over the years...


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