11 Essentials For Thrift Shopping 

Guest post written by Sydney Hahn

Shopping with money is easy, but shopping without it takes real skill. Thrift shopping is not for the faint of heart… it takes a skillful eye, creative mind, and lots (& lots) of patience. Buying second hand means that you have to sort through tons of old junk to find gold. Since thrifting can take a lot of work (& very real skill), we want to help you out. The next time you go to your favorite used store refresh yourself on our best tips below. Shop smart, girlies! 

1. Location

Obviously, not every thrift store is going to have the same things for sale. In general, the nicer the area, the higher quality the items will be. However, it is also important to consider that these stores are generally much more picked over. If you live in a big city, smaller towns outside of the city often have great finds. Thrift stores in bigger cities tend to take their overload of goods to different stores. 

2. Go frequently

If you’re trying to find unique & high quality products for a fraction of the price, know that those items are the kind of things that get picked over. Keeping an eye on the inventory of one or two thrift stores in the area will help you be the first to know when the good stuff is in.

3. Shop during the week

Thrift shopping is the most popular on the weekend, so beat the rush, and go on a Wednesday. Going during a time with less people around will allow you to shop at your leisure, and not feel pressure to beat people to the best stuff.

4. Know when different stores restock

… and if you don’t know, ask. Stores that are restocking inventory are the best times to go. They are unloading new goods that have not yet been picked over! Similarly, make sure you are keeping an eye on new racks coming out as you are shopping. New inventory is a gold mine for best deals & steals.

5. Scan sections that are less popular

That includes: books, house ware, bags, and jewelry. Even if you’re not looking for anything in a lesser-loved department, it’s always a good rule of thumb to keep an eye on areas of the store that you don’t usually shop in. You never know what you can find at a thrift store so don’t discount anything!

6. Try everything on

Even if you think that you LOVE it, try it on. Often times, vintage clothing and lesser known brands will have funky sizing and fit. It might look like it would fit you off the rack, but you don’t want to take risks on weird sleeves or a tight fit. Better safe than sorry. Try it on.

7. Only buy what you love

Unlike regular retail, thrift stores usually have a no return policy. You buy it, you keep it. Sometimes the cheap prices & seemingly good deals are too tempting to pass up. But a good rule of thumb is NOT to buy an item of clothing unless you can think of at least 3 things to wear it with. If you leave the store with regret, you can always go back a few days later. It will most likely be in the same place you left it.

8. Check and see if there are good deals

A lot of thrift stores have what they call a  “color tag” and have different colors a certain percentage off. Check with a cashier and ask if they do color tags, and when. If you have a Goodwill in the area, Saturday’s are often 50% off… and, usually when you donate to Goodwill, you can get a 20% off coupon. If you’re not sure what deals you can get, just ask your cashier and see what additional discounts are available!

9. Know up-to-date styles

 Look on instagram or make a Pinterest board of styles that you like. It’s not impossible to find similar styles to the ones that you like. Usually, you can find items that are similar, but a little more edgy. Knowing what to look for also helps you stay on track and focused during your shopping spree. No need to spend hours at a store!

10. Take cash

Not all stores accept debit and credit, so it’s good to bring cash with you. Another good reason to bring cash is to limit your purchases. It can be easy to go overboard on the deals, so limit yourself with a $10 or $20.

11. Shop off-season clothes

Be okay with keeping a sweater in your closet during the summer; or, a Christmas ornament stored away. People like to get rid of their things during an off-season, so keep an open mind. You may not need it now, but an extra sweater would be nice in the winter.

Are you a thrifter or a thrift hater? What are some ways that you find the best deals when you’re thrift shopping? What are the kind of things you look for when you’re shopping second-hand?

FashionAbbie MeyerComment