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A Beginner’s Guide To Thrift Store Shopping

A Beginner’s Guide To Thrift Store Shopping


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As a novice thrift store shopper do you feel overwhelmed?  We created this beginner’s guide to thrift store shopping to help everyone feel confident when walking into a thrift store.  Some of the top comments we hear from newbies are:  “I never find anything.”, “Where do I start?”, and “This is overwhelming!”.

A Beginner’s Guide To Thrift Store Shopping

  1. Start out with a game plan and hit several thrift stores in one area of town.  Do not be discouraged with not finding anything at your first thrift store, it might take stopping by 2-3 stores (one of our favorite resources to find thrift stores is:
  2. Create a shopping list, just as you would to go grocery shopping.  Be intentional with your thrift store finds.  Are you looking for specific items for your wardrobe, working on a craft or looking for a home décor piece?  We both shop with a Pinterest “My Style” board on our phones, this helps us define what we actually need.
  3. Don’t worry about the size, just try everything on!  Many items end up in a thrift store because they have been mislabeled, they are either smaller or larger than the tag specifies.  Also, you never know if garments have been altered or changed sized when washed.
  4. Avoid cheap fabrics such as synthetics!  Look for quality, natural fibers such as silk, cotton and wool.
  5. Know the value of the item of what you are purchasing.  Just because it is in a thrift store does not mean it is a great deal.  (Use your smart phone to determine the original retail price.)
  6. Buy what you love!  Who cares if it is a major brand name item or super deal if you won’t wear it!
  7. Check every item over carefully!  Are there any holes, missing buttons, torn hems or stains?  Most thrift stores do not accept returns or exchanges, so it is up to you to make sure you know what you are purchasing.
  8. Buy off season, these are usually the best deals.  Who wants to buy a wool coat in 100 degree weather?  The savvy thrift store shopper, that’s who!
  9. One of the best things about shopping at a thrift store is that it is a new store every single day . . .  the inventory is always changing which is what makes thrifting such a fun challenge!

We would love to hear from you!  Let us know about your experience if you are a new thrift store shopper or if you are a seasoned thrifter, do you have any tips that you can share with everyone?

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Robert Martin