I've had a couple friends ask me how I manage good finds when thrifting. I have to say, it's an acquired skill, but with a few tricks & time I've found some of my favorite clothes/shoes/accessories/housewares at the thrift stores.
1. Find your local thrift stores.
The ThriftyShopper.com that list local ones. Also check the phone book.
2. Have certain things you are in the market for.
I'm always looking for gnomes. Cardigans: to feed my addiction. Like-new kids/baby clothes. Tea cups. Books for me- I read too much to always by new ones. Fabric. Unused patterns.
3. Go often.
I try to go once a week to one thrift store. Stuff is constantly rotating in thrift stores. Some days you'll find the thrifting equivalent to gold, other days I walk away empty handed. Which leads me to my next tip...
4. Walk away empty handed.
"gold" day, but you need to be discerning. Only buy really good quality stuff you love. A lot of times you buy it & end up keeping for a while, never use it, & it ends up donated back to the thrift store.
5. Use your imagination
ways to fancy-up a onesie- just check out Pinterest. Things I've prettied-up from thrift stores here & here.
6. Check for holes or stains.
"I'll sew up that hole"... But I won't. I have at least 5 things I already own that I have to mend. If I love it, it's extraordinary/vintage goodness then I'll buy it & mend it that day. If it's a black cardigan, it ain't gonna happen. I think you should really like something if you’re going to spend money on it—even if it’s only $3.
7. Fill your cart.
8. DO NOT look in a section that is not your size.
It will kill you. I promise. It's not like a regular store where you find a life changing dress & you can go find it in your size. This has happened to me many times & I'll tell you, it's crushing.
9. Thrift when you travel.
When you're traveling & you have some free time try out some thrift stores. I do this because frankly thrifting in Utah's pretty weak. We're cheap & we use everything to death (baby clothes go through like 8 children). Speaking of children...
10. Ditch the kids
(don't I know) but thrifting takes time. Sometimes, on a good trip at least an hour. Plus awful lighting & stimulus overload makes kids crazy people. Leave 'em at home. Babies who sleep the whole time are good.
11. Dig deep
(twice as wide as this picture) full of little baggies with random stuff inside. A lot of it is junk. A lot. But sometimes you get lucky & find treasure. Last time I found tags-still-on Converse One Stars.
12. Some thrift stores have special coupons & promotions.
(like President's Day & Labor Day) one of our local stores has all clothes 50% off. Scott's like "We've got money. You don't have to go at 8 am to the 50% off thrift store day" but he doesn't get it. It's not just the deal- it's the treasure! Our local store also gives you a 20% off coupon when you donate there.
13. Congratulate yourself.
You got a great deal. Found something awesome. And it's good for the environment- It makes sense to now and then pick things out from the abundance of stuff that already exists rather than propagating a need for more new merchandise.
Other Extra Tips:
- Mondays are great days to go (people clean their closets out on the weekend, everything gets refilled).
- Go in the morning (even though they restock all day the best stuff is out in the morning).
- Some thrift stores only take cash so be prepared with cash
- Look for brand names (you know they are good quality & will last)
- There are a lot of baby clothes (kids clothes are harder because they are so hard on their clothes)
- Check the accessories section (that $20 belt can be $2 at a thrift store)
- Try different styles (Because thrifting is so cheap, you can afford to try a new style or trend that you aren't sure you'll love)
Here are some baby clothes I scored on a recent trip:
Some of my favorite shoes I've thrifted through the years:
my favorite turquoise cowgirl boots
What about you guys? Any tips or tricks you use when thrifting? Any other questions feel free to ask in the comments!