Guest Post by Miora Owens
These days, the thrift store is chic. Even though current consumer spending is up, many of us still have to watch our budgets carefully. And if you want to stick to a tight budget but still look great, shopping at your local thrift store is a fabulous way to do it.
Thrift store shopping does take time. After all, you have to sort through all the piles of granny sweaters and mom jeans to get to the great fashion finds. And finding items in your size can be a little difficult. But with determination and time, you can save a fortune on a wardrobe upgrade at a local thrift store.
Making the Most of Your Local Thrift Store
Making the most of your local thrift store starts with finding the right store. You can check out national thrift store listings at TheThriftShopper.com, where you can search for stores by zip code and even check out reviews of local stores.
If you have a bit more money to spend, a consignment shop might make your job of shopping a little easier. Consignment stores actually check their merchandise and only take what’s in good condition. Yes, their prices are higher, but they may also offer more designer brands and clothing that’s in better condition.
Donation-based thrift stores, on the other hand, can be a great way to get a really good deal on clothing and accessories, all while supporting a good cause. You never know what you might find at a place like Goodwill or Salvation Army, so don’t write them off!
Once you’ve found a couple of thrift shops in your area, use these tips to make the most of your thrift shopping time:
- Use Credit: Using a rewards credit card for shopping can get you some rewards, which you could then use to do even more shopping. You can find out more about different rewards cards here.
- Know Sales Days: If you really want to save, wait to shop thrift stores until their sales days. You can check out the sales dates for your local Goodwill online, but you could also call thrift stores to see when things go on sale. Also, even thrift stores are more likely to mark down items that are out of season, so shopping a season ahead can really help you build your wardrobe on the cheap.
- Be Open-Minded: Sure, you can walk into a department store with a specific purchase in mind. But it doesn’t work that way with thrift shops. Instead, you’ll need to dig around for anything that might be of interest – even if it’s currently out of season.
- Make Sure You Really Want It: If you aren’t careful, thrift shopping can lead to a vicious cycle of shop-donate-shop-donate. It’s not bad to donate things to a non-profit thrift store, of course. But you also don’t want to buy something only to decide you don’t like it – and then donate it right back. Make sure the items you buy are those you really want, which means trying on all clothing and checking carefully for stains, tears, and other potential problems.
- Shop When the Shopping is Good: Most thrift shops have a set day on which they roll out “new” donated or consigned merchandise. If you shop on this day, especially early in the day, you’ll get the best selection. Even if you don’t shop on this day, you do need to shop often – once every couple of weeks, at least – to make sure you’re finding the best thrift store fashions before someone else does.
- Use Some Imagination: If you’re willing to be a little creative, you can make your thrift store bargains go even further. Spray paint a lamp to make it match your other home décor items, or put tucks in a shirt to make it fit better. Be realistic, and stick to projects you know you can handle, but be willing to take risks on items that need a bit of tweaking.
Shopping at a thrift store is an excellent way to save money while still looking fabulous. By following these tips, you’ll get the most out of your thrift shopping experience.