Thrift Shopping 101

by Melanie Hower 12 months ago in shopping

Tips on Achieving a Successful Trip to the Thrift Store

Thrift Shopping 101

My friends and family know not to even ask, "Where'd you get your outfit?" because my answer is always... the thrift store! Just know that 99% of the time, I'm wearing at least one piece of thrifted clothing or accessory. I get asked all the time how I snag good finds, so I put together a list of tips that I follow in order to add some cute/cheap clothes to my wardrobe and my eBay page!

TIP #1: Go in with an open mind.

It's difficult to walk into a thrift store looking for a specific item. For example, say you're looking for a pair of high waisted mom denim shorts. If you can't find any, maybe try searching in the jeans section for a long pair and consider cutting them into shorts! The jeans may look funky when you try them on in the store, but just try to picture them as shorts on you! (Or wear them as is because Mom jeans are totally in!).

Also, don't limit yourself to clothing that you can only wear in the current season. Sometimes you find the best deals when the clothing is out of season (for example, buying a winter jacket in the summer).

TIP #2: Be patient.

Being patient is difficult for some people, especially when shopping. But if you don't get a good find within 10, 15, or even 20 minutes, don't sweat it! Thrift shopping takes time. There could be hundreds of racks or bins to look through, it just takes patience to get through everything.

And because thrift shopping takes patience, it also takes a lot of time. So I suggest thrift shopping on your day off from work, school, etc. Basically, when you have no other plans.

TIP #3: Be in the mood for shopping.

This may sound a little obvious... but because there could be so many clothes/accessories/items to look through, you absolutely NEED to be in the mood for shopping.

TIP #4: It's best to thrift shop alone.

The worst thing is when you want to shop, but your friend, parent, child, etc is antsy and wants you to hurry. If you're alone, you can take all the time you want!

And heads up, it's best to NOT shop with a friend who has the same taste and/or wears the same size clothing as you! It's not like there are several of the same clothing item (most of the time). So if you and a friend eye up the same shirt, things could get ugly!

TIP #5: Don't buy something with the intention of "fixing it."

Whether it's a missing button, a hole, a stain, a broken zipper, etc, it's best to just leave it on the rack. Chances are, you'll buy it and then never get around to fixing whatever it was that needed to be fixed. In addition, if that particular thing can't be fixed, thrift stores have a "no return policy," so you'll be stuck with it!

Bonus Tips:

Bring hand sanitizer or gloves... whatever you need to keep your hands clean (especially if you're going to the Goodwill Outlet to dig through the bins).

Always wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

* DO NOT buy underwear, bras, socks, or any other under garment from a thrift store! *

Read next: Best Jeans for Women to Buy in 2018
Melanie Hower

Wifey, calligrapher, thrifter, dog momma

See all posts by Melanie Hower