A Guide To Thrift Store Shopping

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I don’t need to tell you that these are hard economic times, when no one can predict how much worse off financially our country is going to get. We all must tighten our belts and explore any and all budget alternatives in our power. Fashionistas, listen up. You are missing the boat if you have not explored thrift store shopping.

I have been a thrift shopper for over eight years. In fact, you can say I am addicted to thrift store shopping now. Why? I know that there are absolute treasures to be found in the used clothing arena at absurdly low prices. I don’t shop every thrift store in my area. I target the thrift stores in more affluent sections of my county. Everyone gives to goodwill, but in the affluent areas, I have found there is a better selection of designer label used clothing. Actually, most of the clothes I find still have the tags on them, so perhaps calling them “used” is a misnomer.

If you are shy about starting to explore the world of thrift store shopping for used clothing, I have a few suggestions that might help you get over it:

First, many thrift stores now have online internet sites. Do a search on “online thrift stores”. You will be amazed at the number of options. Many are goodwill charity sights, but others are independent. You can shop discreetly in your own home, so your friends and family won’t have to know where you got that fabulous red dress! If you choose to do your thrift store shopping online, be aware of the following: You’ll have to pay postage. You won’t be able to inspect the used clothing in person, so if the site neglects to mention a stain or tear, you will probably be stuck with something you can’t wear. Besides, any thrift store savvy shopper will tell you, half the fun is hunting for the designer treasure in person!

Second, if you are “scared” to walk into a thrift store, consider a visiting a consignment shop first. Go through your closet and find a designer piece that is really nice, but no longer suits you. You now have your excuse for visiting the consignment shop. The shop will pay you a certain percentage when your article of clothing sells. Because of this, consignment shop prices are usually higher than thrift store prices, but there are still bargains to be found. Walk around the store and window shop! You will find it’s not such a bad place at all.

Third, if you are an absolute “scaredy-cat”, it’s time for guerilla thrift store shopping. Plan a day trip to an affluent community in your area where you will visit all of the thrift stores. Research the locations ahead of time on the internet and in the phone book.

You will be amazed at the lovely used clothing and makeup that you stumble upon. You can go wild and probably walk away with a couple of designer outfits with the tags still on for less than the price of one new boutique article of clothing.

When you finally overcome your reservations about thrift store shopping, you will probably kick yourself for not doing it sooner! Oh, and when someone compliments you on one of your fabulous finds and asks where you got it, you can decide to let them in on your secret-or not!


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