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Shopping at second hand shops can be tricky. Donations can range from high quality items, to pieces you just wouldn’t. buy. ever. However, if you do it right, you can find unique pieces to update your wardrobe everytime you shop! Here are a few tidbits you can use the next time you feel an urge to go thrifting…

1 Be Selective

Just because everything is relatively cheap, it doesn’t mean you should grab everything! Take the same amount of care shopping here as you would anywhere else. Things to consider: does the item compliment my shape? Does it show signs of wear and tear? Will it be a great addition to my current wardrobe? If you can’t answer these questions positively, put it back.

2 Stop by the Jewelry Counter

Don’t overlook this! You can find some amazing vintage pieces here!

3 Try Multiple Stores

One great idea is to try the thrift shops in another ‘hood. You’d be surprised at the difference in donations! Take a Saturday to drive across town and visit the thrift shops there. While you’re at it, try a new restaurant on that side of town as well!

4 Ask About Store Markdowns

The next time you’re out, ask the employees there when/if the store ever marks down the items. Some stores, like Volunteers of America, will have a daily sale on certain items (50% of items with a blue/yellow/green tag, etc.).

5 Make a Trade

Plato’s closet and Uptown Cheapskate will take your gently used clothing and give you either cash or a credit on your next purchase! This is a great incentive to clean out your closet regularly. Rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in over a year, it’s time to get rid of it!

6 Don’t Get Caught up in the Cheap Prices

I recently bought a dress from Goodwill for $5 and thought it’d stay with me for a while…. But after just one wear, it was on its way back to the thrift store. Why? The store was having a “4 for $20” sale, and I wanted to grab something quickly. As with regular shopping, just because it’s a great deal, doesn’t mean you should buy it. I wasted time and money on a dress I really didn’t like. Do yourself a favor, and pause before you swipe that card. Only make purchases that you’re sure you’re going to wear indefinitely. Otherwise, you’re really just renting that dress!

7 Don’t Forget to be Nice

It seems like a nobrainer, but somehow, bargain shopping makes people forget their manners. I like this article on LifeHack.org. The author reminds you a) that thrift store employees usually aren’t paid very well, and sometimes not at all. b) to research the charities that you’re supporting by frequenting these stores.


Scarf from Plato’s Closet.