Thrift store shopping is a great way to save money while also helping out worthwhile causes, since so many thrift stores are affiliated with charities. There are also lots of ways to hunt more efficiently so that you can make the most of your shopping experience. Here are a few tips for thrifting with the best of them.
Learn the schedule
Many thrift shops offer special discounts on special days, from half-off sales for senior citizens on certain days to seasonal sales. Most Goodwill locations, for example, will offer 50 percent off clothing with certain colored tags every day of the week. Learning when something will be on sale can help you maximize your savings.
Also, know the best season to thrift. ApartmentTherapy.com recommends going during springtime, when people tend to clean out their closets and donate their unwanted apparel to local thrift stores. Meanwhile, the lead-up to Halloween is the worst time to try thrifting, as the stores are overrun with people looking to create makeshift costumes.
Thrifting can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but don’t let that discourage you. Just because a store is messy or unorganized does not mean there is nothing worth hunting for—it just means you may have to look harder. Even if clothes are supposedly arranged by size or color, it is easy for them to become unorganized, so be sure to go through the entire clothing rack to make sure you are not missing anything.
Make some friends
One of the great things about the thrift store shopping is the sense of community that exists among frequent shoppers and employees. BensBargains.com recommends getting to know the people who work at your favorite stores. Not only is this a nice way to make new acquaintances, but it could also end up helping you shop more efficiently, especially if a cashier becomes familiar with your interests and thinks to tell you when some great new items arrive. Employees will also be able to tell you when the best off-peak hours for shopping are.
Don’t let the bedbugs bite
There are many pros to thrift store shopping, but one of the few cons is the risk of getting an item with bedbugs. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can play it safe when thrifting. For starters, be sure to inspect all clothing for stains before purchasing, and of course wash and dry them as soon as you get home. Similarly, be sure to inspect all furniture for bedbugs, which often clump together and appear as brown stains. And if you do buy furniture, leave it in the garage for a few days before putting it in your house, and use Lysol or other cleaning products to disinfect before using.
Though we all dream of finding the perfect fitting clothing item, thrift store donations are far from bespoke. Rather than fret about the lack of ideal options, though, take the opportunity to get creative. The fashion blog “Thriftanista in the City” is filled with quirky tips on transforming something from shabby to chic; including wearing oversized men’s clothing as a dress, turning a girl’s dress into a cute T-shirt and wearing tank tops from the sleepwear section with jackets or sweaters. Your imagination and sense of daring are the only limits.
Thrifting gives you the opportunity to find the perfect outfit, or awesome piece of furniture, at an insanely reasonable price. Hopefully these tips will increase your chances of finding what you are looking for—or what you didn’t even realize you were looking for!
This article is presented by Parks Lincoln of Tampa in Tampa, Florida.