Tips for Shopping at Thrift Stores

by Web_codes


Thrift store shopping can save you quite a bit of money on clothes, toys and household appliances. If you have never shopped at a thrift store before, there are some things that you should keep in mind to make the most of your first trip to a thrift store.

Do a quick sweep of the thrift stores in the area. Areas with high traffic and low rent tend to spawn many thrift stores. Check out all the stores you can, since each will carry different items and price things differently.

Ask about the specials. Often times, thrift stores will run specials that offer different discounts. Some will do a certain day where items are discounted and others will run specials according to tag color. Some also have senior or military discount as well.

Shop without your kids. Since things are not usually well organized in a thrift store, it can be a long process of looking through everything to find the right item. Leave the kids, especially young ones, at home so that they will not bored and restless.

Be patient. It can take a while to find what you are looking for especially with the unorganized chaos of a thrift store. Be prepared to spend some time looking through all the racks of clothes.

Come dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. Some stores do not have dressing rooms, so come dressed in something that you can easily try clothes on over.

Be creative. Often times you will find something you like the look of, but it just does not fit well. It is always better to buy something that is too big rather than too small. An article of clothing that is too big can be taken in easier than something too small can be altered. Also, think of how clothes can be sewn into something different or layered for a new look.

Look for name brands. Just because it is a thrift store, it does not mean you will not find quality items. Look for brand names. These items are well-made and will last longer than something cheap that was not sewn well.

Examine each item carefully before you buy anything. Look for rips, stains or holes.  However, do not completely discount the item if you find something wrong with it. Instead, think if you can repair or clean it easily.

Search for accessories. Thrift stores often carry discounted belts, hats, bags and jewelry in addition to clothing items.

Try to negotiate a cheaper price. It is often acceptable to haggle at a thrift store, or least give it a try. The worst response you can get is a no and you are stuck with the price you started at. However, do not bother haggling for an item that is already bargain priced. Only try to negotiate if you find something that you honestly feel is overpriced.

Avoid buying shoes, bike helmets, underwear or socks that have been used. For health reasons, personal items like these should be bought new.

Do not be afraid to leave with nothing. Thrift store shopping is akin to scavenger hunting. You have to hunt through loads of clothes to find something you like. Do not get discouraged if you do not find anything and do not worry if leave empty handed.

Wash everything you buy before you wear it. Most times, thrift stores will wash the items that they get as donations, but you do not know where it came from, where it has been or who has tried it on at the store you.

Get the article of clothing tailored if it does not fit right. For basic items, tailoring can be fairly inexpensive. The cost of buying the item at the thrift store and tailoring it, can still be less than buying a new item at another store.

Try fixing the item yourself.  If you do not want to spend money on a tailor, try fixing it yourself. Some basic alterations like hemming or buttons are fairly easy and can be done by you. These just take a general hand stitch to fix and do not require a sewing machine to do.

Give back. If you enjoy shopping at thrift stores, make sure you give back to them. Clean out your closet annually and donate any unused clothing that is in sellable condition to a thrift store of your choice. Also, go through your home and look for unused furniture, books and toys.

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