OK, I admit it...I love a deal! I am proud to call myself a bargain shopper. I very rarely pay full price for anything. I seek out sales and deals and I'm always happiest when I can find great quality at the least price. Which is why if you see me in a department store, I'll be in the back, that's where the clearance racks are usually located. I always look for sales first. Most of the time thought if I'm shopping, I am at the discount stores or my favorite, thrift shops. Goodwill, Consignment or Donation centers; no matter which, I can find the deals, the best quality, styles and name brands to create awesome and fashionable outfits.
I have been shopping at thrift stores for years, and have developed a few key rules and guidelines I always refer to that have helped me, and I hope they will help you too. I'm sharing my top 3 tips below.
The Dixie Pixie in action, at
my favorite thrift store.
But before we dive into the tips, I wanted to add a quick note about purchasing discount, bargain, or used clothing. Yes, I'll just come right out and say it, I'm cheap. If I can save a dollar, I will; but at the same time I love name brands and nice things. So what's a girl, who likes deals and saving money, but still wants to look fashionable to do...well, first you should research the internet for consignment and bargain/donation stores in your area. Do a general Google search or Facebook search, make a list of what you find and then do another search of the address and location each store. Pin point the stores that are located in the more affluent areas; they will be your best bet for name brands and clothing and goods that are in better condition. Keep in mind that consignment stores will offer more things in better condition since they are resale items that patrons are trying to make a profit on. Bargain and donation centers are going to be less choosy, and you will have to pay more attention to the items there for quality. Another point I want to make, is that while I admit to my "thriftiness", it by no means implies that I am placing less worth on myself because I purchase and wear clothing that is not always brand new or carries a hefty price tag. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and you are too. Just because your clothes may have come cheaper than someone else's does not place any less value on your worth.
Now, on to the tips...(these tips are specifically for shopping at consignment or donation stores)...
1) GO UP A SIZE (Or Two): Often things that are placed for consignment or donated to thrift stores have either shrunk in the wash, have a good bit of wear, or some other imperfection. So no matter what your size, it's a good idea to look for clothing that is a size or two up from your normal size. Especially if you are like me and don't want to try things on at the store, but would rather wait until you get home. Doing this does mean you are often stuck with the purchase without having tried it. Which is why going up a few sizes can benefit you in the end. Of course, there are always dressing rooms at the stores for trying things before you buy, and please do if you are comfortable with that.
2) SHOPPING AT A GLANCE: Pop through the hangers quickly. This is a rule I use no matter wear I am shopping, it saves time and helps you to not get overwhelmed by all of the styles, colors, etc. As you pop through the hangers be sure to focus on the labels you like (look for name brands you know fit you well or those you might not purchase if they weren't at a discount). Don't get hung up on style. You can look for colors you like too, but mostly, labels and size should be your main focus. Then as you come across items with labels you like, pull them out to check the size, style and color.
3) CHECK EACH GARMENT: I can't stress this point enough! Remember I mentioned above that if a garment is at a thrift store or consignment store it will most likely have some small imperfection. So take it off the rack, take it off the hanger even and check it inside and out, front and back. Check the cuffs, buttons, lining (if its a dress, jacket, or coat), check the hem of dresses, skirts or pants. CHECK EVERYTHING. Now if it has a small hole, tear or stain; you may be able to fix it. But be sure it will be a simple fix, and not something that will take a great deal of time or money, that in the end will make the savings of purchasing it at a discount not such a great deal.
So there you have it. 3 simple tips to help you make the most out of a shopping excursion to a consignment, thrift, or discount store. One more thing I'd like to add is to not get hung up on trendy looks, but rather to go for more classic styles and colors. You can add trendy fashion style to your wardrobe by popping in accessories and jewelry.
Check out my YouTube Channel for more great tips. I posted a video with these thrift store shopping tips, filmed at my favorite local thrift store.
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