Thrifty Tips

I am constantly being ask, how do I make the best out of thrift shopping and how do I know what to buy.

Well for those who are confused, look no further here are a few tips that I always love to share:

My Thrift Shopping Tips:

Where to Thrift

Since thrift stores tend to move into places with low overhead, the best ones are in the sketchier parts of town. Check the Yellow Pages of your local phone book.

How to Thrift
One of the best pieces of advice comes from Al Hoff, publisher of the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based zine Thrift Score. She urges beginners to shop the store, not the department. At best, thrift stores are in poor order, the best ones being the most disorganized. Between busy staff and inconsiderate shoppers, merchandise ends up in the strangest places: tennis racquets in women’s outerwear, games in kitchen appliances, etc.

When to Thrift
Once you find a store you like, stay loyal to it. Frequent visits will help establish what I call the “thrift cycle.” If you go to the same store often, ask when they rotate stock. Stores get new shipments regularly. Most also have extra stock in storage. If you become familiar with the owners, you might even ask them to keep an eye out for particular items.

Set a Budget
This is difficult at first — you don’t know how much things cost. But eventually you’ll be able to tell yourself, “I’m going spend $20 today”. It becomes a game to see how much you can buy for $20.

Discard your Prejudices
Some people consider thrift stores and used clothing shops nasty dirty places. Some are. Most aren’t. Explore your neighborhood. Find a shop or two that you like, and you’ll be hooked.

Examine What You Find
It sucks to get home to find your new shirt has a hole in the pocket. Or that the slacks you thought were a steal actually have a broken zipper.
Use the tags as a guide to find quality brands you like, but don’t limit yourself. Sometimes a brand you’ve never heard of can yield a favorite piece of clothing.

Watch for Sales 
Used clothing stores (and thrift stores) run periodic specials.

Take Your Time: Patience
At normal clothing shops, everything is neatly organized. Not so at most thrift stores. When thrifting, it’s more important to be patient, to browse the racks methodically.

But the best advice when it comes to thrift shopping is to buy what you like. It’s not what something is worth — it’s what it’s worth to you.