9 Thrift Shopping Tips

Something you should know about me is that I love thrift shopping. I think it’s so interesting to walk into a second-hand store and see all the items from different eras of fashion and style. There aren’t many places in the world where you are able to find bell bottoms, vintage tees, and chic mini skirts all together, but a thrift store is one of them. To me, that’s pretty cool.

Today I’ve got nine of my best thrift shopping tips for you. I don’t thrift shop all of my clothes, but I would say I’ve got a decent chunk of second-hand items in my wardrobe. These are some tips that have helped me make the most of my thrifting experiences. I hope they can be useful to you as well!

#1: BE AWARE OF SIZE DIFFERENCES

When shopping at a thrift store, one of the most important things to be aware of is differences in clothing size. Some of the pieces you may consider buying could be from several years (or even decades) ago, which means the sizes might run differently. That being said, don’t just assume that your normal size is accurate. Try things on so you can get a clear idea of whether or not something fits the way you want it to.

#2: DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO LOVE SOMETHING

A good deal is a good deal, but by no means should it influence your love for a particular piece. If you feel like your interest in buying something is only growing because of the amount written on the price tag, you shouldn’t get it. When you get home, you’ll probably realize you don’t like it as much as you thought you did.

#3: TAKE YOUR TIME

Thrift shopping isn’t a quick process. If you’re planning to take a trip to a nearby thrift store, allow yourself plenty of time to shop. Rushing will make it really difficult for you to find quality pieces, or even pieces you like. At the very least, you should give yourself enough time to get through several racks.

#4: HAVE A CLEAR IDEA IN MIND

When you see a piece you think you like, make sure to have a clear idea of how you’ll style it before you commit to buying it. Thrift stores (at least the ones I shop at) typically don’t allow refunds. And chances are if you’re uncertain of how to wear a piece while you’re in the store, you’ll be just as hesitant when you get home with it. More likely than not, it will end up sitting in the back of your closet for the next several years, a complete and utter waste of money.

When I am thrifting, my rule of thumb is this: If I don’t know exactly how I’m going to wear it as soon as I see it, I don’t get it. This philosophy has saved me from making some purchases I would have certainly come to regret.

#5: CHECK BEFORE YOU BUY

Thrift stores have some great finds, but occasionally you’ll find items that are stained and ripped. Be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of your prospective purchase so that you don’t end up walking away with something that’s already ruined.

lace dress cute

OUTFIT DETAILS:

DRESS* (similar): Dillard’s

SUNGLASSES* (similar): Nordstrom

#6: BE PATIENT (AND REALISTIC)

Finding a piece you like can sometimes take a while, so it’s really important that you be both patient and realistic with your expectations. Don’t try and convince yourself that you have to find a something the first time you visit a shop. In many cases, it will take two or three trips before you actually walk away with what you’re looking for. If you have a specific piece in mind (i.e. a jean jacket, skirt), be even more patient. Don’t settle for something if it isn’t exactly what you want.

#7: DON’T GET FIXATED

It’s one thing to go into a thrifting trip with an idea of what you want in mind, but it’s another thing to be so fixated on something that you pass up on a lot of other cute pieces. As I said in the previous tip, finding exactly what you’re looking for might not be easy. However, you shouldn’t make one thing your only focus. Look for what you want, but don’t feel afraid to mix things up if the right piece comes along.

#8: LOOK FOR MORE THAN JUST CLOTHES

I feel like people often forget that thrifting doesn’t just have to be for clothing or furniture. One of my absolute favorite things to buy at second-hand shops is handbags and purses. Believe it or not, you can actually find decent quality bags for inexpensive at most thrift stores. A few years back, I had a lovely black-and-white striped bag I carried around with me all the time that I purchased second-hand. Thrift stores can be good for more than just clothes.

#9: SEARCH FOR DEALS

Depending on the type of second-hand store you’re shopping at, there might be some great deals that you definitely don’t want to pass up. Some thrift stores hold monthly sales or have specific days of the week when clothes are discounted. Be aware of the deals going on so you can get the most for your money.

Anyway, that concludes this post! I hope these tips can be helpful to you on your new thrifting trip, and I would love to hear about any tricks that you have!

MORE POSTS LIKE THIS:

3 Ways to Make Your Wardrobe Look More Expensive

What are some thrift shopping tips of your own? 

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Hi, I'm Paige and my favorite things are lipstick, books, and coffee.

28 thoughts on “9 Thrift Shopping Tips

  1. I absolutely love thrifting and these are some great tips. I’m really bad at tip #4. If I like a piece but I’m not sure how to wear it, I usually just tell myself “oh it’s only $4, it’s fine if I never wear it.” But $4 is also the price of a coffee so that’s one less coffee for a skirt that I’ll never wear. 😂 love this post though and I LOVE thrifting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love thrift shopping but it’s really hard for me to find things because I’m always aiming for things that I can wear to work and be versatile. The closest I get now is going to TJ Maxx. I got a $150 Michael Kors sweater for $49.99 which is over 50% off. I’m more so about the deals than anything!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish there were more thrift stores near where I live. A lot are marked as retro upcycled stores and it seems to give the owners an excuse to charge extortionate prices! I think a lot of these points could be relevant for charity shop finds and even general shopping, too! I won’t buy an item from anywhere anymore unless I A) think I can’t live without it and B) I can imagine it in a full outfit!
    Alice Xx

    Like

  4. There are so many hidden gems from thrift shops. Oh man, size differences get me all the time. When you have to force yourself to like a find from a thrift shop, you can end up not liking the piece in the long run. Thanks for sharing these tips! I haven’t gone thrift shopping before but always love admiring the good finds people share!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    Like

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