How to Go Thrift Store Shopping Like an Expert
Thrift stores are great! If you’ve never been to any, give them a chance. You can get a lot of nice clothes for very cheap prices. This is really great if you’re a poor college student trying to save money. Here are some tips for thrift store shopping:
- You know that email you signed up for when you were 12 so you could play games or download apps or whatever? Put it to good use and sign up for notifications from thrift stores with it. Some stores have certain days of the week or times of the year where items are discounted even further, and you won’t want to miss out!
- Try clothing on before you leave! This is when you will notice the hole in the armpit or the stain on the right pant leg. It's not easy, and usually impossible to return anything to a thrift store, so it's worth spending a few minutes to put the items of interest to the test before buying them. It’s also fun to match up some clothes to make new outfits to try on.
- Before leaving the house, quickly glance in your closet to see if there's anything you can donate. A good general rule of thumb is, if you haven't worn it in the last year, get rid of it - you're already headed to the thrift store anyways! Plus, this allows more space for "new" clothes.
- Bring a friend! It makes shopping so much more fun! At thrift stores you have to look more closely through each individual piece of clothing since they’re all different, so you might be there a while. It’s a great time to chat with your friends, and you can help each other find thrift store treasures.
- Clothes aren’t the only good things about thrift stores - my sister's husband often goes with her, but instead of looking for clothes or kitchen necessities, he loves hitting up the books, music, movies, and games! They even have a running list of movies they'd like to own so every time they venture to a thrift store, he checks to see if they have any movies on the list. Classic Disney movies for $1? SCORE!
- Get creative in your search. If you like art, thrift stores are a great resource to equip you with new material and ideas. They provide the best materials for experimenting because it's relatively cheap and most likely gently used, plus you're doing the earth (and your wallet) a favor. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” can be hard when looking to satisfy your artsy side, but Pinterest has great ideas on how to turn almost anything from a thrift store into art.
- Make sure you bring some cash! Not all places take cards, and you don’t want to miss out on all the great finds because you forgot to stop at the ATM.
- Most thrift stores benefit some type of charity. The ones that fundraise are usually better quality due to more people donating to a cause than a store solely for profit. So it’s a win-win situation: you get some good deals and you are making the world a better place!