Today I'm sharing my top 5 thrift store shopping tips! I've posted several of my thrift store shopping trips here, and here, and here, as well as some thrifted outfits here and here. In real life I get asked lots of questions about how I find the good finds. I hear "I just couldn't find anything!" or "I didn't even know where to start," all the time!
I'll be following this post up with tips on what kinds of things I always look for, how to recognize quality, and what not to buy, but for starters here are my top 5 thrifting tips!
1. Go. Often.
If you really want to find the amazing finds, there is no other way to thrift. You have to go All. The. Time. A casual thrifter might find something cute if they're lucky, but if you know your stores and you go often, that's how you find the real, honest-to-God amazing deals.
|Brand new leather Fossil wallet for only $6! Tags still on this baby.|
If you go often, you also have the benefit of learning when the new merchandise gets put out on the floor, and what color tags will be on sale at what times. Which brings me to tip #2:
2. Know what the sale/color tag days are.
This is seriously valuable information! Some stores, like Savers, will have days where all tags of a certain color are only $.99. You can do a lot of experimenting for only $.99! Most stores will have color tags that are 50% off all week long, and sometimes stores like Goodwill, Savers, and Salvation Army will have days where everything in the whole store is 50% off! Knowing which days these are and getting there early will get you far.
|These Coach shoes were expensive for thrift at $30, but I got them on 50% off day for only $15!|
3. Know your fabrics and brands, especially fabrics!
|I didn't recognize the brand of this dress, but I recognized quality fabric. Turns out it was Anthropologie!|
4. Keep a (tentative) list of what you're looking for.
My list has practically everything from every department! Right now it includes a dining room table, a pair of neon yellow shorts, blue and white striped T-shirt, reading work books for my daughter, a red trench coat, shoes for my growing son (in every size), shirts for my husband, jewelry I can tear apart for the beads, and summer dresses. Whew!
I keep my list on my phone or in my head, and lately I've started a Pinterest board with my thrift shopping list. I find it's easier for me to remember those images then to simply write things down.
|A (small) part of my collection of jewelry for wearing and/or repurposing|
In the past I've had things like cowboy boots (real leather only!), jeans, classic leather shoes...you get the idea!
Your list doesn't have to be season specific, either. Some of the best deals come from finding off season clothing, so keep your eyes open for winter clothes during the summer months, and don't forget to look at the tank tops in the winter.
5. Look for things other then clothing!
You might never know it, but some of my favorite things to look for at thrift stores are actually not clothing! I love looking for toys for my kids, art work, books for myself and the kids, dishes, etc.
|Vintage Polly Pocket set for $.99. My daughter and I collect them together!|
Some other non-clothing items I always look at are dishes, mugs, plastic plates (there are four kids in my house almost every day!), books for myself and the kids, vintage bed linens, craft supplies, and the list goes on and on. If I have time, I try to at least glance through every department. Some of my best finds have been found outside of the clothing department! I once found a gorgeous 1930's end table whose table top had an inset vintage radio, for only $25. It was the perfect Christmas present for my dad, who collects old radios! I would never have found it if I simply limited myself to shopping for dresses and jeans.
Well that's it for starters, but I would love to hear some tips from some other seasoned professional thrifters. Do you have a thrifting tip that you consider invaluable? I'd love to hear it! Even though I've been thrifting literally my whole life, I'm still always looking to learn from other people who do it better then me!
P.S. Linking up with these amazing parties here, and at Huckleberry Love!