fashion. The Secret To Thrift Store Shopping
Be A Thrift Store Pro
Stop being jealous of your fashionable vintage-obsessed friend who always finds the cutest things just by shopping at thrifts stores. Can’t figure out why every-time you go thrifting you end up finding nothing but mom jeans and t-shirts you could live without? Well it looks like it’s your lucky day! I’ve gathered some top tips on finding your next major thrift score!
Where Oh Where to Start?!
While thrifting allows you to give in to the urge to consume while still holding on to your savings, where you thrift has an impact on what you will consume. The general rule of thumb is: the better the neighborhood, the more disappointing the thrift. Stores run by well-bred charities like the Junior League tend to be filled with uninteresting stuff — casserole dishes, bad polyester, and old hi-fi systems.
Since thrift stores tend to move into places with low overhead, the best ones are in the sketchier parts of town. Check the Yellow Pages of your local phone book. Or, if you’re feeling more adventuresome, try driving around the more eclectic part of town.
Patience is a Virtue
Trust me, being patient when you’re staring at a room full of racks which seem to have no rhyme or reason in compared to traditional store shopping where everything is merchandised, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Slow down and take your time. If you hurry yourself as you sift through it all you will most likely skip over that special item you might find in the future you can’t live without.
With that being said, it is best to make a day for yourself and your thrifting adventure. Choose a day when you can put everything on hold and no one is waiting for on you and you can take your sweet time browsing and trying everything on.
One Alteration Away from Perfect
Don’t abandon that fabulous vintage cocktail dress just because it’s a size too big. For a mere $4 you’re spending it would be well worth the extra change to take it to a tailor and have it fitted to your exact specifications. Just think about how happy you’ll be about that dress once everything is all said and done.
Stretch your creative muscle! Let’s say you decide that fabulous vintage cocktail dress would actually make a stunning blouse.. DO IT!! Be your own designer.
Size Really Doesn’t Matter
Unless you can tell that a piece of clothing was made very, very recently, don’t bother looking at the size to determine fit. With all of the size inflation that has happened in the past few decades, it’s impossible to tell if a size 12 at the Gap is the same as a size 12 at the Goodwill. And, even if it was made in the past few years, it’s still worth trying on an item — you never know!
Make the Cashier your New BFF
Most thrift stores don’t have a set-in-stone pricing structure. With that in mind, be sure to strike up a conversation with your cashier. Telling them how nicely their blue sweater bring out their eyes couldn’t hurt. The gesture just might earn you some brownie points!
Especially if you plan on being a regular at their establishment, getting to know the employees well enough may be beneficial. Build that rapport well enough there may come a time to where they’d be willing to set aside that elusive pair of colored denim you’ve been on the hunt for before it is available to the masses.
When is the best time to go thrifting?
Some stores have entire days where their inventory is 75% off. Goodwill always has sales on a certain item of clothing, usually something out of season. By the way, there is nothing wrong with shopping off-season. This is the time when you’ll find the best deals AND have a better selection to pick through.
Late Spring, if You’re in a College Town
If you live in a city with a university, you’re likely to find good deals at thrift stores near the school right before the spring semester ends. Many colleges put out bins at every dorm where students dump clothes, electronics, books, and other goods they don’t want to haul home for the summer.
During the Week
If you have a flexible work schedule, weekdays are a great time to hit up thrift stores. There are fewer people to compete with and the merchandise is less picked over. Some thrift stores stay open late on weekdays, so even if you work 9 to 5, you can find bargains at night.
Locate Thrift Stores Through Thrift Store Search Engines
TheThriftShopper.Com is a one-stop web destination for all your thrift shopping needs. Search for thrift stores in their national thrift store directory, join their online thrifting community, and learn more about thrift shopping!
The Thrifty Planet Resource Guide is the collective database of businesses in the United States that sell recycled or previously owned merchandise.