DO bring cash. While most thrift store accept cards, some don’t. It is so disappointing to invest time in searching for the perfect item only to realize you don’t have a way to pay for the item you really wanted.
DON’T overspend or over buy. Sometimes it is really easy to get carried away with cheap prices so making sure you know what your closet needs is important! Sure the graphic t-shirts may be $1.99 each but do you really need ten similar shirts? Other times you will find the perfectly ironic coat/sweater/vest but it will be overpriced. My rule is if I can find something similar at a retail store (unworn) I won’t buy it no matter how ugly or sequined it is.
DO plan on spending a lot of time looking. Patience is a big part of thrifting! The perfect piece isn’t going to be the first item on the rack, searching and rifling are necessary when thrifting. Make sure you don’t have any other immediate plans, bring headphones, and rifle away!! It can be so therapeutic to tune out for an hour just browsing.
DON’T bring someone who doesn’t like or enjoy thrifting. Having someone tag along who isn’t enthusiastic about thrifting can become uncomfortable and overall a negative outing. If you don’t have a friend to go with- go alone! Sometimes going solo is the best way to thrift.
DO try everything on, even if it isn’t your size. Because the items have been previously owned, worn, and washed the sized are greatly warped. If it catches your eye, try it on!
DON’T buy something that needs mending unless you are serious about repairing it. I learned this the hard way; I had a pile of clothing I thrifted that needed hemmed, buttons sewn on, and other repairs ranging from minor to major. The problem was the pile kept growing and I never actually repaired any of the items I intended to- wasting my time and money on items I never wore.
DO visit frequently. The more often you visit, the more clothing you see! Usually quality pieces are picked up quickly so if you visit frequently you have a higher chance of snagging something great!
DON’T expect to find something every visit. Sometimes you can walk out of a thrift store with a bag full of great finds and sometimes you can walk out empty handed- and that’s part of the fun! If you don’t find anything don’t get discouraged, it just means you’ll find something great a different day.
DO look at the brand. Sometimes you will find something really cute, you look at the brand and OH MY GOD it’s a designer item and only $5!! Other times it’s a cute item, $10 and a target or H&M item. Checking the tags can help you decide if the item is a good deal or a waste of money.
DON’T bring a drink in or carry a bag you have to hold in your hand. You want your hands empty to be able to look through the racks and hold onto any items you will be trying on.
DO look in every department. I have found great items in both the men’s and children’s departments for myself. Don’t limit yourself to one department!
DON’T forget to ask about sales or the color of the day. Frequently, thrift stores tag their items a handful of different colors then choose one color each day to put on sale. The sale items are usually super cheap and a great investment!
DO have an idea of what you’re looking for. It’s easy to get caught up in searching the racks and even easier to come home with ten blazers when you needed a pair of jeans. If you have an idea of what you’re looking for it becomes easier to not waste money on unnecessary items.
DON’T leave behind something you love. Things go fast so if you really love something forget all the rules and grab it! I still think about the Michael Kors sweater dress I never bought.