Thrifting is something I enjoy to do and to be honest, it’s a guilty pleasure of mines that I am sometimes afraid to admit to my close friends. People deem thrifting as a ‘poor person/cheap person’ way to shop, but in all honesty, thrifting is just saving money.
I haven’t been thrifting my entire life. If anything, I just started in September 2012 and my previous thrifting trip was back in January. You can read more about it here.
So, today as a novice thrifter, I present to you 5 of my favourite tips that I’ve accumulated over time:
- Make a list… and stick to it!
Because thrifting is soooo cheap, it’s easy to go overboard. There are so many times when I walked into my thrift store and told myself I only needed a jacket, the next thing I knew, I was picking up three jackets, jeans, tons of shirts, etc. I even pick up random things such as picture frames, necklaces, etc. when I don’t even need them!
Next thing you know, you’re not even saving money because you’re going on another shopping spree. Make a list of items you really need and put away anything you don’t need.
- Take your time.
If you want a good deal, you need time and patience. If you think you can just zip in and out of a thrifting store, no! You want to dedicate at least 2 hours of your time (I’m serious!) because there are a lot of items to sift through (assuming your local thrifting store is huge! I know some can be super small).
You want to sift through item by item because a lot of time people will skip a few items and miss out on a really good deal.
- Do you really need it? Do you really have time to DIY?
My best friend told me, “If you ever doubt it, leave it.”
Ever since that, whenever I feel doubtful about an item, I just ditch it… because deep inside, I know I don’t want it. Unless I got like 25 people telling me it looks amazing, I would usually leave it. You want to buy the item(s) when you love it and you’re positive you will see yourself wearing it in the future.
This tip goes to DIY-ers. A lot of time, thrift stores will have furniture or clothes that can be fixed up or altered. It’s great if you got some DIY skills but unless you’re 100% sure you have enough time and dedication to fixing it up, skip it. It’s so easy to pile up broken items for a fix-me-up because stores will obviously lower the price. But in all honesty, if you can’t dedicate your time to fix it, don’t bother getting it.
- Check carefully.
I’ve been a victim of this a few times. I see something so good, I just drop it in my basket without checking it out. When I try it on, I get excited and forget to double check the item itself. This happens.
Before you even put it in your basket, inspect it carefully. Make sure there’s no rips, stains, loose threads, etc. Unless it’s a quick fix-me-up such as a loose button, then that’s fine. But if there’s a gigantic hole or a stain you know you can’t get rid of, leave it. I wouldn’t even bother asking for a lower price.
- Bring a friend 🙂
I tend to thrift with a friend. It’s fun! There are so many random things you find there, it’s nice to share it with a friend and have a good laugh about it. Especially if you’re still new and aren’t comfortable thrifting by yourself, bringing a friend really helps!
PS: Don’t forget to wash your items! Most stores will prewash it, but throw it in your own wash before wearing it out.