9 Tips to Make You A Thrift Store PRO

Written By Kiara B.

You would not believe it, but 75% of my wardrobe is thrift and vintage shopping. Thrift shopping is not only eco-friendly but can also be very good for your wallet. While I feel like I was born a thrifter, everyone can’t be so lucky. However, a few tips for shopping at your local thrift store can help you become a pro in no time.

Thrift Store Shopping Hacks

The thrift stores in wealthier neighborhoods usually have more designer clothing and higher-end products. From my experience, the thrift stores are also not as picked over, and the prices are lower for designer products.

Thrift stores have an email list to communicate their sales. Sometimes they even offer deals and coupons exclusive to customers on their email list. On holidays, many the Value Village and Savers Thrift stores offer a 50% sale.

Shop Off-season
Please don’t write off a fabulous coat because it’s almost springtime. Don’t wait until the summer to shop for tanks and dresses. When shopping off-season, the most important thing is to make sure it is an item you will actually want to wear six months from now.

Come Prepared
Wear leggings and a tank, something you will feel comfortable trying on your thrift store finds in. The lines can be lengthy because people have full baskets, and some smaller thrift stores do not even have fitting rooms. Examine your wardrobe and see what you need; it will help you match with pieces that you already have. Find inspiration in magazines and find out current trends for the season.

Take your time
Sometimes I would find Women’s clothing mixed with young girls’ clothing. The sorters probably thought the skimpy dress had to be for a child. Most thrift stores do not offer returns or exchanges. Therefore it is essential to check your items for tears, broken zippers, holes, and discoloration. Make sure it’s worth it, and you are not just buying the item because it’s cheap. I like to give myself time to make sure I actually want the item, and it’s not an impulse purchase walk, so I go around the store a few times.

Thrifter’s Karma
DONATE! Every time you visit, consider bringing a bag of old clothing and household items. I believe thrifting karma comes full circle, and whenever you give cool items, you find some more cool items. Plus, it is a fine line between being a thrifter and a HOARDER!

Remember, this is Fun!
The thrift store is just like the lottery; you have to be in it to win it. The more you go to thrift stores, the more likely you will stumble upon a gem. There are times when I will spend an hour in the thrift store and still leave empty-handed. However, those of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces make it all worth it.

Shop on Vacation
Whenever I’m on vacation, I map out the local thrift stores and make it my mission to stop at least once. You can usually find sports gear or theme styles specific to the area cheaper than you would on eBay.

Yelp is a helpful tool when searching for new thrift stores. You can research store hours the location and read reviews. Does the thrift store sell clothing, furniture, or a mixture of both primarily? I remember I found this amazing thrift store in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; one weekend, I decided to travel all the way there from D.C. to go thrifting to see an abandoned building. So to save time and maybe even gas, do your research!

Are you already a thrift store guru? What was the coolest item you found at the thrift store?

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