Thrift Shopping Guide for Beginners

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The art of thrifting, shopping in thrift stores for trendy, vintage clothing, and/or other items. Thrifting has become wildly popular lately. While it might be on-trend now, you should consider keeping the art of thrifting in your back pocket for when the fad dies down. Why might you ask? Because there are so many positives that come out of thrifting. In today’s post, I will be giving you my Thrift Shopping Guide for Beginners!

Thrift Shopping Guide

Reasons Why You Should Thrift

  1. Save Money. This should be a given most items at a thrift store are going to be more than 50% less than what you pay at department stores. Goodwill also has select days in the week where different discounts are available. These often go by tag sticker color. My favorites are the $1 item days and the student discount days. 
  2. Helps the Environment. Here are some fun facts for you. It takes at least 400 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make one t-shirt and a pair of jeans needs at least 1,800 gallons. Not to mention all the pesticides that are used to grow cotton, which can contaminate ground and surface water, leading to soil acidification and agricultural run-off that can disrupt ecosystems. By shopping at thrift stores you are also helping decrease the size of landfills. 
  3. One Time Use Items. Costumes, Christmas Sweaters, Painting Shirts.
  4. The Thrill of the Hunt and Find. You never know what you’re going to find at a thrift store because they restock so often. Every trip is a new adventure. You could find a one-of-a-kind item, discover a collectible, or might just find something that can be resold for a profit.
  5. Children. Kids grow out of clothes so fast. Why waste the money at department stores when you know they won’t be able to fit in it come to a couple of months down the road. Then you can pay it forward by selling or donating them back. 
  6. No Sales People. Workers are not paid on commission. You do not have to worry about someone jumping at you to make a sale. Really there is no interaction at all. 
  7. They Often Help the Community. Many thrift stores benefit local charities. They are usually involved in community-based programs too. Some thrift stores are known to provide job training, employment placement services, and help with other barriers that may otherwise get in the way of getting work. Just like shopping small your money used at a thrift store is going back into the community not off to some big corporation. 

Thrifting can be daunting at first. Your typical thrift store is going to have enormous amounts of products. Some stores have organization, while others don’t. Knowing where to start is half the battle when it comes to thrifting for the first time. But don’t you worry I have my Thrift Shopping Guide for Beginners ready for you!

Thrift Shopping Guide for Beginners

Number 1: What to Bring with You Thrifting?

  • Reusable Bags – preferably fabric and washable 
  • Hand Sanitizer (plastic gloves are also an option)
  • A Cloth Measuring Tape 
  • Snacks and Water Bottle 

Number 2: Have an Idea of Your Style & What You Do and Don’t Need 

This is extremely important when thrifting. You must ask yourself would I wear this, do I need this, is there something I could wear with it in my closet, could I turn it into something else, does it go with my style aesthetic? If you don’t answer these questions you could be going home with items that you are never gonna wear, i.e. wasting the thrift. 

Number 3: Have a List or a Plan 

I typically do one or the other when going thrifting. If I’m going thrifting just for the adventure and to take time with myself I follow this Thrift Shopping Guide

  • I go through the furniture and other nick nack items. These are normally the first things to go if they are a good find. Especially collectibles or vintage items. 
  • I skim through the t-shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts. I have a real problem with buying way too many. They are just my comfort clothing elements. Your comfort clothing elements are going to be the items that you will need to answer all the questions listed above before purchasing. But these sections are where you could find a really good find. A vintage graphic tee or crewneck for instance. Moderation is the key.
  • I go through the denim and blouses section one by one. Pre-worn denim will be your best friend! No uncomfortable stiffness with a good thrifted pair of jeans. This is also where a measuring tape will come in handing. Not all thrift stores have dressing rooms to try on items. Use the measuring tape to figure out the waist, inseam, and length. After using it a couple of times you will know what range is perfect for your style and size. 
  • Do not neglect all the other sections. Especially if they fall into your style. Such as the bottoms, dresses, skirts, and activewear. Seasonal elements such as jackets, sweaters, and outerwear are always in stock at a thrift store, be sure to check those sections out too. 
Thrift Shopping Guide

Taking your time and having patience is the key to thrifting. To find the good stuff you have to really search through each section. No vintage or collectible item is going to jump out in front of you, let alone be on display at a thrift store. This is the fun adventure of thrifting and the thrill when finding the perfect item. Happy Thrifting!

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One response to “Thrift Shopping Guide for Beginners”

  1. I absolutely love thrift/op shopping, great advice!

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