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New England Vintage Chic: 7 Rules For Thrift Store Shopping

Friday, December 14, 2012

 

There are some amazing deals to be mined at thrift stores, but it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Here's how to work the racks.

You’ve always wanted to go into your local thrift store. But, the thought of the unknown has deterred you. Thrift stores can be overwhelming. Most are large, with racks and racks of clothing, shoes and housewares. When walking into one of these stores you need to have a mental game plan. Especially, if you’re a newbie at shopping thrift stores.

One of the biggest perks to shopping at thrift stores, is saving money. Most thrift stores offer very affordable pricing. Accessories such as ties, jewelry, scarfs and gloves range from $1 to $5, while clothing ranges from $4 - $10, and winter coats go for under $15. Talk about a budget friendly store.

While saving money is great, the very best perk to shopping at thrift stores, is the hunt. There is no bigger excitement than finding that one-of-a-kind 1920’s vintage dress. Basically, you never know what you will find. Never! This is the number one reason why you may soon love shopping at thrift stores.

So, to help get you started, here are my rules to shopping at any thrift store.

1. Have No Expectations

When walking into any thrift store, it is important to have no expectations. Go into the store with a carefree and easygoing attitude. Never have a pre-notion as to what you may find. If you do, you may end up disappointed.

2. Buy Quality Clothing

You may be in a thrift store, but that is no excuse to buy sub- par clothing. Inspect each piece of clothing for rips, stains, missing buttons and broken zippers. Check out the labels to understand where the article came from. For example: A sweater from L.L. Bean is going to last a lot longer than a sweater from Forever 21.

3. Try Things On

Most of the time, there is no return policy at thrift stores. Whether you bought the item for $5 or $105, if it doesn’t fit, you won’t wear it. Don’t waste your money - make sure it fits!

4. Ask About Sales/Discounts

Numerous thrift stores have daily and weekly sales. It is important to ask a sales associate and plan ahead. For example: At the Goodwill, on Mondays, all the blue tags are just $1.

5. Have Patience

Plan to go through racks and racks before finding that diamond in the rough. That one-of-a-kind piece is not going to throw itself at you. So get ready to hunt for it.

6. Shop Affluent Towns

Head to a town that is known for its wealth. Check out their local thrift store and you’re more likely to find quality clothing and designer items.

7. Get Creative

Have fun with shopping! Pick-up a festive belt to spice up that little black dress. Buy a pair of jeans and cut them into shorts. Purchase a stack of mis- matching plates and give an edge to your next dinner party. Take an old bread box and turn it into a new planter. The possibilities are endless!

Find a thrift store near you:

SAVERS - Visit www.savers.com to find locations near you.

The Goodwill - visit www.locator.goodwill.org/ to find locations near you.

The Salvation Army - www.salvationarmyusa.org/ to find locations near you.

Taylor Kloss lives for the hunt—to find that one-of-a-kind piece that no one else has and to put amazing outfits together on a tight budget. To share her passion with the world and encourage shopping at vintage, thrift and consignment stores, she blogs on New England Vintage Chic, a journey of her adventures, advice, styles, and reviews of local second-hand stores throughout New England.

 

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