9 Tips for Thrift Store Shopping Success

Thrift store shopping sales figures are up. That’s no surprise. What is surprising is how much thrift shops have improved, making a thrift store shopping experience not that much different that a retail shopping one. Thrift shops have fitting rooms, sale days, designer clothing and return policies just like any other store. The biggest difference - the price.

If you haven’t checked out your local thrift shop, I strongly encourage you to do so. Judging from the number of high end luxury cars and new minivans in the parking lot, your neighbors already are. Next to garage sales, thrift shops offer great value for your hard earned money. Here are my top 9 tips for getting the most from a thrift shop visit.

1. Know your Numbers

Have a list of everyone’s measurements with you, especially waist and inseam sizes. Bring a tape measure. Thrift store shopping can be hit or miss, so the more you know, the better your chances for finding the perfect fitting item.

2. Be Patient

Not all thrift shops are shopper friendly. Shopping racks are crammed full, and not organized by size, like the stores at the mall. Take your time. Look at each item until you find something you need.

3. Think ahead

Even at thrift stores you can shop for out of season items and face less competition. In the summer, shop for holiday dresses, school uniforms and winter coats. In winter, look for bathing suits.

4. Develop Tunnel Vision

It is easy to get distracted at the store. Know in advance what specific items you are shopping for. Write it down if you have to. Stay focused on that item, until you find it.

5. Look Closely

Be sure and examine your item before purchase for any tears, stains, missing buttons or malfunctioning zippers.

6. Become an Insider

Learn everything you can during your visit. Are there special sales days? When does most “new” merchandise hit the floor? The employees can be a great wealth of information, so be sure and ask. Use this information to plan your next visit.

7. Try it on

Visit the fitting rooms to make sure your item looks as great on you, as it does on the hanger. Proper fit is so important.

8. Hunt for Labels

Certain brands hold up better than others. Pay attention to which brands fit you great, and hold up well. Thrift shops can be a treasure trove for expensive name brand stuff, if you know what you’re looking for.

9. Return the Favor

Think about donating your unwanted items to your local thrift store.

That's it! That's 9 ways to make your next thrift stop visit a success.

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