10 Terrific Thrifting Tips for Saving Money
If you spend time and money shopping for school or work clothes, you may have discovered a few thrifting tips and places to go second-hand shopping. You may be one of those who have considered thrifting but need to figure out the quality in those stores. This is a $96 billion industry. Thrifting is a hobby but also a skill to discover fantastic finds.
Many people go through their closets annually to determine what they have taking up space. Maybe that New Year’s resolution is paying off. You’re losing weight, and now those pants are falling off, so time to get a smaller wardrobe. Those former clothes become prime candidates for second-hand stores and charities.
Those laundry baskets full of unused clothes in your house also become new threads for others to put into their closets. Please pay it forward (and get a nice tax write-off in the process). There isn’t much to thrifting–you visit the store, see something, try it on, and buy. Right? Well, if you ask some experts (my wonderful son, whose thrifting addiction inspired this article being one of them), there are some secrets to finding what you want that you should know.
Here are 10 terrific thrifting tips for saving money in second-hand shopping.
Check the fitting rooms
You would be amazed at the treats waiting in the fitting rooms or the generous pile of clothes in the dressing rooms’ entry. That shirt you want for working out or living in could be in a bundle that has yet to be put on the shelves. Among the terrific thrifting tips, this is the most overlooked. Get back there and search for your buried treasure.
Ignore the display cases
Thrift stores are no different than retail stores. They all want to feature that “top quality” merchandise ensconced by mood lighting and a glass case. Remember this when you pass one: The trinkets and clothing, in that case, are what someone else considers high dollar. You will find plenty of keepsakes on the rack (and in the fitting rooms, see the previous tip).
Discount cities are small towns
Wait, what? How is this among good thrifting tips? Shouldn’t big cities offer the best merchandise? Yes, but the odds are the best stuff is picked over because you weren’t there when restocking happened. Those charities and thrift stores get less inventory in small towns. In a smaller location, there could be just as much good stuff to buy but less competition to buy them.
Try-ons are a must
Remember, this is second-hand shopping. Many things on those racks have gone shrink-wrap size because they have been run through the washer and dryer a few dozen times. A medium on the label may mean a “smedium” on your body. Trust this one among the thrifting tips. Take those clothes to the dressing room and discover what we mean.
Furniture and baby clothing are the best things in a thrift store. The cherished stand-alone dresser and eclectic lamp combo could be sitting there (albeit in two different sections) waiting for you. And how many times have you handed off or rolled your eyes when giving away baby clothes that your child never wore? Well, you’re not alone, and thrift stores are the premium spot to find baby clothes still on the hanger.
Two for one
Don’t make the mistake of buying items specifically to only wear with specific colors or accessories. Instead, focus on purchasing essential clothing items that can be worn in multiple ways. If you have a knack for sewing, you can make outfits with the materials in your closet.
If it’s summer, thrift stores are the same as the incoming foot traffic you find in the mall. Everyone is shopping for a new outfit to wear on vacation or the family BBQ. If you want to discover an absolute bargain, find the leather bomber jacket or long heavy coat for pennies on the dollar. Be disciplined because you’ll have more clothes than you budgeted in your cart if you’re not careful.
Get on the mailing list
Thrift store merchandise goes on sale, like anywhere else. Considering how well-discounted second-hand goods are already, a deal makes it better. Those larger index cards with smiling faces in your mailbox (yes, those still work) or email newsletters prepare you to save up to 85% in some places. Get your spare change and have some fun.
Summer fun for furniture
If you’re in the camp that secondhand furniture isn’t an optimal buy, tell that to a college student furnishing an apartment (or the parent who is doing it for them). The best time to visit every consignment or secondhand store for furniture is during the summer.
Think about when most garage sales happen–when the weather is warmer. People move in the summer. They also donate in the summer. Lastly, stores need to clear floor space for the incoming surplus and guess what they need to sell–furniture. Don’t miss out.
Remember the stash
If you are prepared to make a haul from your local thrift store, ask to see the items that still need to be stocked. Thrifting is always “finders keepers” rules. If they still need to stock it, odds are they still need to price it. If haggling is your superpower, get your shopping on. See, it makes their job easier if they don’t have to stock that item in the first place.
There are always more secret thrifting tips to equip your shopping prowess, but those should help point you in the right direction. May the thrifting odds be ever in your favor!