As most of my friends and acquaintances know, I am obsessed with thrift store shopping. It has gotten to the point where I despise the mall and most retail stores. I don't even buy much-- as far as clothing goes-- at discount stores, because I know that I can pay the same price for a designer item in great condition at the thrift store. People ask me all the time for tips-- I have quite a few, so I decided to do a few blog posts on this topic. Here is part one!
1. Visit the thrift store on Thursdays. Most stores put out new merchandise mid-week, so if you go on a Thursday, the good stuff hasn't been picked over time and time again. Also, you avoid the horrible weekend crowds, but you get great deals--most stores begin their sales on Thursday and run them through the weekend.
2. Scout out sale items upon arrival. Most sales are obvious--for example, my favorite store posts signs stating which color tag is half-price that day. But what many people don't know is that stores frequently run "manager's specials" for frequent shoppers. Some stores also have a frequent shopper card that you can sign up for online, and then you will be notified via email about upcoming sales.
3. Research before you go. Take a peek at online websites that sell designer clothes. You will get a feel for which brands are popular and what price they currently sell for. Why would you want to pay $5 for pair of generic-brand jeans when you could pay $5 for a pair of jeans that retails for $200.00? Also, you can discover new and upcoming brands of clothing that some spoiled rich kid got from mommy and donated later the same day.
4. Don't be afraid to whip out your smart phone in the middle of the aisle. If I see a pair of shoes that look especially well-made, or see a dress with a label that looks expensive, I look them up on my phone if I don't recognize the brand. I once found a pair of shoes for $4.99 that I instantly discovered were up to $102.00 on ebay.
5. Don't pass up great items just because they aren't your style. The majority of my thrifting provides clothes for myself and my family, but every once in a while, I will find a great deal on an item that isn't my style. That item will promptly be purchased by me and put up for auction on e-bay or posted on Craig's List, and my shopping trip will be paid for by the profit I made on that one item.
Hopefully these tips will get you started on your thrift store adventures... I'll be back soon to share more!