Secrets for Winning at Thrift Store Shopping

Posted on 10/01/2014

Have a passion for fashion, but not the insane price tags that often accompany the latest trends? Being on a strict clothing allowance doesn't mean you can't put designer tags and up-to-the-minute trends in your closet. Just hit your local thrift store with these six secrets for winning at buying used.

Location, Location, Location
Often items that are donated at a particular thrift store location are sold there too. Therefore logic would tell you that a thrift store in a nicer part of town might have a better selection of quality items than a thrift store in a sketchy area.

Plan Ahead
Professional thrift store shopper and fashion blogger Lynsie Crespo says start with a plan. She advises newbies to the thrifting world to create a Pinterest board with looks they love. Think of this as the road map that will guide you to the outfit you want. Another option is ripping out a page in fashion magazine or J. Crew catalog. Think of it as a treasure hunt, but instead of a treasure you're finding fashion at a great price.

Try New Stores
If you haven't been having much luck at the thrift store near your home, try a new spot. Need help locating a thrift store in your community? Check out, a national directory of charity-driven thrift stores.

Shop Tuesdays or Wednesdays
Think about it. When do you purge your attic or clean your garage? If you're like most people you tackle these projects on Saturday or Sunday. Thrift store workers need a day or two to process all that newly donated inventory. That means all of the new stuff finds its way to the store floor by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Give Yourself Time
Shopping for bargains at a thrift store can be overwhelming at times. It's not as easy as it might be at your favorite department store where everything is neatly displayed on racks. But keep reminding yourself-- the payoff can be huge.

Shop What You Believe
There are a wide variety of thrift stores and many support important causes. Find a store that supports a ministry or community that you believe in. That will give your shopping more meaning and encouragement to keep going even when the shopping gets tough.

By Alison Storm

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