Thrift shopping is a great way to find unique pieces and save some money. It can be overwhelming, since second hand shopping often involves sifting through a lot of clothing. It’s worth it to find that perfect piece no one else at school will have! Read on for our best tips on how to shop better, get the best quality, save the planet and stay under budget by thrift shopping.
Take your time
You’ll 100% get frustrated thrift shopping if you’re in a rush. The clothes will be somewhat organized by gender, size and type but you’re gonna have to do a lot of searching to find the hidden gems. So grab some friends and make an afternoon of it!
Shop where you normally wouldn’t
If you’re a female, check through the sweaters in the Men’s section. Pettite? Look at Kid’s jackets in XL. There might be something great hiding where you least expect it and you’ll never find it if you don’t look. Besides, thrift stores aren’t known to be the most organized places on Earth so you might find something you love out of place anyways.
Try everything on
Since there is every brand, era and style of clothing under the sun at a thrift store, you can’t just assume anything is going to fit. Wait in that fitting room line to be sure! Since everything is a one-off, if you leave it on the rack and someone else scoops it up there’s no going back.
Trying something on also helps you see flaws that you could have missed on the rack. Speaking of which…
Check for flaws
Even that pair of shoes that retails for $400 new and is only marked at $19.99 aren’t a deal if they are in unwearable and unrepairable condition. Check everything you want to buy for holes, stains, defects or other issues before paying.
Look on the “go back” racks
You’ll find rolling racks throughout the store and by the fitting rooms of items that have been tried on by other customers. You know what they say about one man’s trash? It’s true – and you can even check these a couple of times throughout your visit if you’re not having luck elsewhere.
Be open to what comes your way
Unlike a typical shopping spree where you might go in looking for an item you saw online, you never know what you’re going to get at a second hand store. Go in with an idea of a few things to look for, but be open to other possibilities depending on what you find.
Pay attention to the price
Some items are better deals than others, and pricing isn’ always consistent. Current name brand pieces can be overpriced, so double check that it’s worth it. Even items from bargain fashion chains like H&M or Forever 21 might be on par with their original retail price, so keep that in mind.
Checking the tags, knowing how to spot a fake, or googling will help you out here. Thrift store employees generally price the donations that come in, and sometimes designer or luxury items can fly under the radar due to the sheer volume of items they receive daily. You’ve probably all heard of someone finding a real designer piece for a bargain at a second hand store – that person could be you!
Check the return policy
Value Village actually lets you exchange items after purchase. Often jewellery will be final sale, but for clothing you might be able to bring it back. Know the rules wherever you shop to avoid disappointment.
Do your laundry
You never know if the clothing on the racks has been washed before donation. Best to take care of it yourself once you get home!
If you have any other tips to add let us know in the comments! Happy thrifting.
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