I’m excited to be sharing this post with you today! It’s been requested several times and I constantly get various questions about thrifting; from how I find my thrift items to what thrift stores are the best to shop at? Before I get into the main course, I’ll share with you my experience with thrifting. I started thrifting about 2 years ago, after I was introduced to it by a friend. Once I became more comfortable with it I started going alone to browse and shop as a hobby that grew into an obsession. If you’re interested in starting but don’t know where to start. Here are 10 general tips for beginners:
1. Eliminate misconceptions: A lot of people are put off by shopping at thrift stores because of the image of a dingy, dump with piles of grandmothers’ old clothing. However, many thrift stores are clean, well organized, and have various types of clothing in good to brand new condition, including some items from a few seasons ago. Personally, my rule of thumb is, if I enter a store and it looks very untidy, I leave.
2. Find out where your local thrift stores are: Do a quick internet search to find the locations nearest you. Examples of popular thrift stores are: Value Village (Savers), Goodwill, SalvationArmy, and Talize. I usually find the best items in more affluent areas. You can find many new and unused clothing with tags still attached! Larger cities are also a great place to search too. However, still check stores in other areas just in case.
3. Have a goal and a budget: Due to the amount of random stuff available at thrift stores; going in with some idea of what you are looking for will make the experience less overwhelming and ensure that you stick to your budget.
4. Seek inspiration: Know what your style is and have an idea of what looks good on you. Finding inspiration from blogs, retail stores, or current trends can help you plan what you are looking for.
5. If you see something you like, grab it: It’s rare to find multiples of the same items, so grab what you like and sort through it later.
6. Find out about sales and special discounts: Thrift stores have sales too, watch out for them, but they can be very hectic. Many stores also have special discounts for members if you sign up or for students and seniors. Some also have loyalty programs. Hint: stores like Savers (also known as Value Village) offer discounts to their club card members. The card can be obtained via their website.
7. Inspect before you buy! If there is a stain, tear, or any other defect I will not buy it unless the defect can be fixed easily. However, I have also heard of some people carrying around stain remover pens to test stains.
8. Be aware of the care instructions: This is what got me when I first started. I would buy this awesome item and then find out that it's dry clean only. Please factor in cleaning costs before purchasing to see if it’s really worth it or look for coupons for dry cleaning services.
9. Go back often: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Thrift shopping definitely requires you to make frequent trips.
10. Wash the items before you wear or use them: This is an important step, machine wash, or dry clean applicable items and wipe down hard surfaces with 99.9% alcohol.
There you have it, 10 basic tips for thrift shopping for beginners! I will definitely be doing many follow up posts on the subject.
If anyone has any tips please share
Until Next time, Sincerely Miss J.