If you are anything like me, when hear the word “Thrift Store” you think of a dark and musty place where old stuff goes to die. Well, I’m here to tell you that you may be right… but you are also wrong.
I have jumped onto the Thrifting Bandwagon and I’m going to share with you some great reasons for you to join me. Also, I have some awesome tips to get you started on your journey.
I also love the idea of recycling. We recycle our cardboard, right? So why not recycle our used clothes, purses we thought we wanted and never used, and unused toys.
Well, maybe you already recycle those items. But have you ever gone to a Thrift Store looking for something instead of buying new? And if no, then why not?
I got started thrifting when I moved to a smaller town that didn’t have a lot of entertainment. Being a natural shopper, I eventually ended up in one of the towns 5 or so thrift stores. I was in heaven!
I found name brand (and often NWT: new with tags) clothing for a fraction of the new cost. Also, believe it or not, I found furniture sometimes starting at five dollars per item. FIVE DOLLARS!
Needless to say, I immediately hit the other 4 stores in town. I learned that all thrift stores are not the same. And that is okay. Sometimes a store will specialize in more current clothing items; furniture; or more vintage finds. And some are a hodge-podge of everything – and that can be fun, too.
So, when you are ready to try it out, here is my Beginners Guide to Thrifting with some of my favorite tips.
- Go through your closest and make a list of items you need; bring the list with you. I know that might sound funny as number one, but it will be so helpful.
- Research shops in your area and make a plan to visit 1-2 stores that are close in proximity each trip. This is important as you never know how busy the store will be, if they are having a sale, etc. and you want to move on. It’s good to have a backup plan. Also, consider going to upscale neighborhoods as they have great finds!
- Find out about sales at each store. Some stores advertise this on their website, some in the store and sometimes you have to chat up a store employee. But, it is totally worth it! Nothing is better than a good sale! I have a favorite store in my area that has a 69 cent day. Let me assure you that it gets crazy in there on that day but I’ve also gotten some amazing deals!
- Give yourself a budget and stick to it. Sometimes you get the urge to go a little crazy and it’s important to stay on track with your budget.
- Wear comfortable (washable) clothes. You might get a little dusty or you may want to try a skirt on over your running leggings. Some thrift stores don’t have many dressing rooms and there can be quite a line. Also, a lot of thrift stores have laundered the clothing and it does not smell.
- Go with your instincts if you decide to buy something off list. If you find a really cool handbag that you don’t really need… but it’s fabulous and a great price, then get it!
- It’s okay if you don’t find anything. There are times that you walk in and find a shopping cart full of things and there are days you find nothing. And that’s okay. Don’t buy just to buy. And know that the inventory at most Thrift Stores turns over every few weeks. They are in the business of moving stuff pretty fast. So if there isn’t anything for you this week, there might be next week.
Thrift Stores are a great way to be involved in a recycling program in your own community. Consider taking a bag (or 5!) to drop off and recycle.
I think that Thrift Stores can also be a lot of (inexpensive) fun if you have the right mind-set. I like to think of it as a treasure hunt; you never really know what you will find. And if you follow my Tips for Beginners, you are sure to have a successful visit!