I’ve always loved thrift shopping and yard sales; even as a kid. My friends and family are usually amazed when they comment on something I’m wearing and I tell them that I purchased it from a thrift store. The common response is “Why can’t I ever find anything nice”? Today, I want to share a few tips to help you score those fabulous finds while thrift shopping. Try them out and be sure to share your results with me.
Go at it alone-Leave the kids, spouse at home. This is not the typical retail store. You will not walk in and find your most desired dress staring you in the face. You have to LOOK for it and that will take time. There’s nothing worst that having someone rush you while you shop. Either go alone or with a friend that is also into thrifting.
Go with an open mind-when I’m in a thrifting mood, I walk into the store with an open mind. I don’t carry a list with me and I don’t expect to find those BCBG pumps I saw on a chic in the mall last week. HOWEVER, I do have mental reminders of what styles are currently in and what general items I would love to add to my current wardrobe. The only thing that I am sure to check out is the accessories counter. Thrift stores have the best vintage earrings and clutches. I check the accessories counter EVERY time I thrift shop.
Check for damages-Because most of the items in thrift stores are pre-owned, you will occassionally find a gorgeous item; with an ugly stair or tear. Be sure to examine the item for damages. Some items are worth having repaired. If not, leave it in the store.
Check the return policy-Some stores will offer returns and/or exchanges. Some stores do not. Before you buy anything check the return policy. If a dressing room is available; try on EVERYTHING!
Pick up everything you like- The fact that I LOVE and have an eye for vintage clothes makes it easier for me to thrift shop…..but it also causes me pick up more pieces than I need. And trust me, I do it every time! Here’s what I do. As I’m shopping, I pick up all the items that I really like. When I’m done shopping, I do an inventory check to see which items I absolutely can not live without. More than likely these are vintage, one-of-a- kind pieces or name brand pieces that fit really well. I KEEP these. I RETURN the items that are the average run of the mill items that I’m sure to find again. This helps me stay within a budget and also prevents me from purchasing things that I’m not so in love with when I get home.
Set A Budget- Don’t get it twisted. You can spend just as much money in thrift stores as you can in retail stores. It’s best to set a budget before you go into the store. Figure out how much you want to spend and take cash only! Having only the amount of money you want to spend makes shopping more challenging. It also helps me to be creative in the items I purchase. Once I’m forced to put things back, I start considering my current wardrobe and which pieces will fit better in it.
Donate old items when you buy new ones- One of the things that I plan to start doing (read this in a ”wealth watchers” book) is for every piece of clothing I add to my wardrobe (whether it is new or used) I will donate the same number of items from my closet. So, if I purchase two pieces, I will remove two pieces and donate to a local charity. What better way to contribute to charity while maintaining the space in my closet?
Note: anyone willing to do this is more than welcome to donate your items to The Fashionably Me Boutique!