As 2016 draws to a close, we begin to look ahead to the upcoming year. A new wardrobe is just the thing to kick off the new year on the right foot. But clothes are expensive! Don’t fret. The thrift store is the place to go for clothes on the cheap. Thrift shopping can often seem like a blind treasure hunt, but there are some strategies to get the most out of these second- hand stores.
Timing is key. The best items tend to show up at the thrift store in the spring and the fall when people are cleaning out their houses and preparing for the seasons to change. Donations pick up during the holidays as well. Keep an eye on your local thrift stores throughout the month of December.
Be patient and visit often. Inventory at these stores comes solely from donations. Sizes are about as random as they can be. Even if you find something that’s your size, the garment maybe sized wrong. Drop in every week to give yourself a better chance of finding that perfect-fitting thrift store gold.
Keep expectations low. Like the last post said, you can never predict what you will find on a thrift store treasure hunt. Looking for specific items often ends in disappointment. Go in with an open mind and take what thrift karma throws your way.
Inspect everything before buying. These are used clothes. Most of them have been looked over, but places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army receive thousands of garments weekly. There’s a good chance they miss a few things. Look closely at buttons. Examine every part of the garment for holes. Many men’s shirts will be frayed at the collar or the cuffs. Inspect before you buy to avoid the letdown of getting home with clothes you can’t wear.
Shop the sales. Thrift stores have sales too! As inventory fills up, stores will discount items up to 50%! Items that have been sitting on the shelf longest are more likely to get marked down.
Finally, make peace with the fact that you might not find a single thing worth buying. Thrift stores reward patience and persistence. While it may be frustrating, there isn’t a more cost effective way to freshen up your closet.