5 Insider Tricks for Finding a Sold-Out Item


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)

As a self-proclaimed expert shopper (hey, it’s literally my job!), I’m willing to go to great lengths when it comes to finding an item I simply need. Whether it’s an amazing pair of jeans, the perfect summer sandals, or an Instagram-famous dress, if an item is sold out, I look at it as an obstacle rather than the end of a journey. With that in mind, today I’ll be sharing five of my best tricks for finding these seemingly out-of-reach pieces since, more often than not, they have worked for me. Plus, as they say, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take! 

Scroll through for my top tips and to shop some of my favorite basic (that I'm betting will sell out soon) along the way. Below, five insider tricks on where to find sold-out clothing.

1. Go straight to the source.

Oftentimes, your best bet is to go straight to the source. One way to do so is by simply emailing customer service. They may have intel on if and when an item is coming back or at the very least tell you what days restocks happen on the site. If you’re not shy, you can ask the brand directly on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You’d be surprised how responsive brands can be—even large corporate conglomerates are all about customer engagement these days.

2. Check resale sites.

While there are many associate resale sites with "old” or "used” clothes, when a relatively new item is in demand, buyers oftentimes catch on and are willing to part with an unworn or slightly used piece for even a small profit. Be sure to check resale sites such as Vestiaire CollectiveWhat Goes Around Comes Around, and The RealReal for such pieces.

3. Sign up.

If you’re lucky, the sold-out item you’re coveting will have a waiting list either in-store or online, in which case you can enter your email address or provide your phone number and get notified when it’s back in stock. If that’s the case, definitely sign up but also sign up for the site’s newsletter regardless. If the item is highly in demand, the general newsletter might notify you of the restock well before the store gets in touch with you personally.

4. Bookmark it.

This is one of my FAVORITE tricks. Whether an item is completely sold-out or just sold-out in your size, bookmark the direct link to the piece on all your devices (cell phone, work computer, laptop) and check it once a day—at least. If someone returns the piece, you’ll likely be one of the first to notice when the site processes it and be able to snatch it up once it’s back in stock. This has worked for me countless times.

5. Let a third party help.

If your own attempts to find a piece are unsuccessful, enlist a third party to help you out—they’re effective and allow you to be more effective with your time. Threads is a personal shopping service that specializes in this for new luxury items. Other options include PS Dept. and The Bettina Looney Edit.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has been recently updated.


Since starting as an intern back in 2013, Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour has held several roles here at Who What Wear, and she is currently Editor-at-Large. It was a less expected route, seeing as she was graduating from business school at USC when this all began, but it has turned out to be the best one for her. Fast-forward to 2020, and she's moved to NYC from her hometown of Beverly Hills and spends her workdays a little differently from when she was an intern starting out. Currently, she focuses on a weekly mélange of shopping content. As far as her personal style goes, she's largely drawn to classic pieces and neutral basics but will always make an exception for something colorful, printed, or bejeweled as long as it's deemed worthy enough. After all, the only thing she loves more than a good party is dressing up for one. On weekdays, she can usually be found at home eating something delicious for dinner and trying to force her husband to watch 90 Day Fiancé.