We all love saving money on clothes. The hard part is finding clothes that you like. Many thrift stores are full of off-trend, worn out clothing. Learn how to score big and save money thrift shopping.
I really love thrift shopping. Not only is it a great way to reduce waste and repurpose clothing that has been loved, but it is also super nice for your wallet. I feel so accomplished when I find something that is cute, in good condition, and a really amazing deal. I have found brands like Pacsun, adidas, lululemon, athleta, and more for a fraction of the cost of buying them new.
Because I get the large majority of my clothing and accessories from thrift stores, I have learned a lot of hacks and little secrets that have helped me score deals and find best things in the store without wasting a ton of time.
Thrift stores can have NEW Clothes
yes you heard me right, new clothes!!! Goodwill is one of the thrift stores that buys things that don’t sell well at other retailers. (mainly because they are priced too high. ) A lot of things that retailers (such as target) struggle to get rid of trendy clothes in the midwest. (Imagine that!) If you have a trendy style, it can be really easy to pick up some cute finds. The main areas to look for new things is in the dresses and the shoes. I have not found much in other areas and I have visited many different thrift stores. Beware though- if you have a coupon, nine times out of ten, the coupon does not apply to any item that is bought in bulk from a retail store.
99% of the time thrift store employees do not know which brands are actually expensive so you can find nice clothing for really cheap. One time I scored LuluLemon Leggings for only 2.99! Thrift stores are known for having random, more expensive brands for a fraction of the price because the staff usually does not recognize the quality of a certain item or the fact that it is a more sought after brand. Even if you don’t know that many brands, you can probably pick out a few good finds.
Many thrift stores will end up taking your offer if you simply ask. This is especially true if something is slightly damaged or stained. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for a manager and state your case.
Thrifting is super environmentally friendly because when you thrift, no new clothes are made. – in a sense. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t turn what you buy into something new. Go crazy. Crop that sweater that has a stain on the hem. Turn those old pillows into heaven for your dog. Smash some chipped dishes and make a mosaic from it. Take leather jackets and make them into bracelets. Grab those 3x mens sweaters and make them into mittens. Your imagination has no limits, and thrift stores have the perfect things for your crafty creations.
Decorate your house
While you probably won’t find exactly what you are looking for when you go to only one thrift store one time, you can often find furniture and decorations that are just your style. (Or very close.) There are lots of antiques at thrift stores that with a little love and paint would make the cutest pieces that finish off the look of your home. Often thrift stores have super antique books too that will make great decor. Also, hard cover books can often be wrapped in paper to create a beautiful book case.
Learn what thrift stores Usually Have
In my hometown, I have found that certain thrift stores in my area are more stocked on somethings than others are. While you never know what you are going to find when you go thrift shopping, some stores have a better selection of something than another store. For instance our goodwill usually has a decent furniture selection while our savers does not. Savers on the other hand usually has a larger selection of sweaters and vintage clothing. When you begin to notice things like this, it usually helps you narrow down the time that you spend in the thrift stores because you know which stores usually have a better selection of the thing that you are looking for.
You can sell your things to some thrift stores
A lot of higher end thrift/consignment stores will buy your clothes from you instead of letting you donate them. Not only does this let them control exactly what they choose to have on their floor, but it can also put huge savings in your pocket. Although some consignment stores are super picky about what they will buy from you, they actually do give you quite a bit of cash or store credit for the things that they decide to accept. I usually aim for the store credit over cash because you can usually get about two times as much in store credit as you can in cash.
You can also take the clothes that you find at thrift stores as well as the unused clothes in you closet, and sell them on poshmark or to consignment stores. This is a super easy way to make money. I have only done it a few times, but it worked out well.
Skip the Jeans section
If you are short on time and only have enough time to go through a few sections, skip the jeans. Skinny jeans are a rarity at many thrift stores, and the chances of finding a pair of high rise pants is next to nothing. Even though I go thrift shopping 2-3 times a month, I have barely found any pants that have fit me. (To my credit I am 5’9” and have a tiny waist) But,if you are looking for something to make into a pair of shorts, you will probably find a ton of mom jeans that would make great shorts.
Don’t Expect to find exactly what you are looking for the first time
Sometimes when you thrift shop you find everything on your list the fiorst time that you go. Other times it can literally take months to find the thing that you are looking for. Expecially when it comes to furniture and larger items, you might have to wait a while to find something similar to what you are looking for. You might not find what you are looking for either if it is super specific and cute. It really depends on where you live and who are the primary donators to the thrift stores that you visit.
Wait for Coupons
Coupons and sale days are common at thrift stores. I can always find days when certain colored tags are on sale, or there are discounts on certain areas of the store. If you are patient and learn the stores discount days, you can get an even better deal on things.
If I forgot something, let me know in the comments!