How to thrift shop like a pro

Whether you are a fan of Macklemore’s hit song or just love a good bargain, thrift shopping can be a very enjoyable and exciting experience. Believe it or not, shopping for second hand items requires some talent. With these tips, you will be taking home great finds at your local thrift store in no time.

What are thrift stores?

In case you have never been, thrift stores are places where you can purchase used clothing, accessories, furniture, and pretty much everything under the sun at a very low price. Of course, not everything in the store is worth the money, but with the right tips and even some plain old good luck, you can find some incredible treasures hidden within the aisles.

Know where to shop

The first tip is to seek out the best thrift stores in your area. You can do this by simply looking up “thrift stores near me” and checking out the reviews. Typically, the large chain thrift stores are better because they are bigger and have a lot more items to sell. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Savers are some of the most well known chain thrift stores. Also keep in mind that you will usually get nicer finds in a thrift store that is located in a more upscale community, so sometimes it is worth the drive.

Have some patience

When you enter the thrift store, it can be pretty overwhelming, especially if it is a large store crammed with stuff. First, take a deep breath and focus on which department you would like to venture into. The idea is to keep your mind open and scan through each item, whether it be clothes, shoes, or anything else, with ease and patience. Looking through clothes can be particularly hard since there are so many, but take your time until you see a certain color, fabric, or style that catches your eye. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find anything at first – sometimes it takes a few trips until you get lucky.

Look for sales

As if the prices weren’t cheap enough, there are almost always sales in thrift stores. Some stores will put colored tags on the items and each day will have a sale on a certain color. Some stores will have days where something specific is on sale such as dresses, shoes, shirts, jewelry, and more. Don’t be shy to ask an employee when the next big sale is coming up.

Check the condition before you buy

Even if you find an awesome Calvin Klein Tee for two dollars, don’t be too quick to throw it in your cart. Take a few moments to check the condition of the fabric and make sure there are no stains or holes. If you are buying an electronic item or something with multiple pieces, make sure it is all there and not missing any parts or broken. Even though it is dirt cheap it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out the merchandise before you buy it. Remember that the item is used and there is a big chance that the condition is not perfect. Look for items that look clean, in good shape, and almost new.

Bring in your old stuff

While you are in the store, you might as well drop off some items of your own. We all have old clothes that are just taking up space in our closets, or nicknacks that are collecting dust in the attic. Do a good deed and give it all to a thrift store. Lots of the larger thrift stores donate their profits to specific organizations and charities.

Have fun!

Probably the most important tip for thrift shopping is to just have fun! It doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Shop with friends or family, keep your mind open to everything you find, and enjoy the excitement of the possibility of finding a really great item without breaking your wallet.

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