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As someone who has grown up in thrift stores, I have grown to absolutely love thrifting when all things align. Let’s be honest, not all thrift stores are alike and not all thrifting days are the same.
When thrifting, it’s important to set your goal before entering into the store. If you are looking for pants, I suggest only going to the clothing portion of the store. If you are furniture shopping, veer straight to that particular section upon entering the store. Your pockets and your precious time will thank me later.
Thrifting is in fact an art.
It takes creativity, patience, and diligence to sort through gently used clothing and household items. One way to organize your thoughts and closet ahead of time, is to print the pictures off of “potential outfit ideas.” This will eliminate any frustration as you roam the shelves. Let’s face it, there is no guarantee that you will find all of the items on your mental or physical list. Remember, not all thrift stores are the same and not all shopping experiences are the same.
Beware of Overly Used or Malfunctioning Items
There are some items you should either avoid or exercise extreme caution before purchasing. These items include electronics (toasters, radios, blenders, televisions). Some thrift stores will allow you to test these items out before purchasing (DO IT!) Most thrift stores have a no return policy.
Learn the Donation Days and Sales Events
Some thrift stores have a specific day to which the items are placed on the shelves. Regulars know these days and show up faithfully on these days. This is when ‘new’ gently used items are re-stocked. I suggest showing up early, preferably before the lunch hour!
Call or visit your favorite or local thrift store to learn about the weekly sales events. If you’re lucky, you can catch the buy one get one for half off. Some events even include all items half priced. Word of advice on the sales days: The lines will be long and the competition will be HIGH for some items.
Buying secondhand is a mindful way to help decrease pollution from production, waste, and use of resources while still getting your fashion fix.
Check The Zip-Code
As stated, not all thrift stores and experiences are the same. Yes, that’s right. There are some thrift stores that are basically overpriced used items. Within these stores, you can find $75 purses and $35 belts. This is not O.K. The purpose is to locate used items that are used and still usable for a reduced price. Be sure you are not being taken advantage of for the sake of thrifting!
Experiment and Have Fun!
Create your own thrifting experience and have fun doing it! When you leave with all of your new items, you should feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness! Happy Thrifting!