I'm a bit of a thrifting PRO. If there is a diamond in the rough to be uncovered, I WILL find it! I often spot luxury handbags, exotic skin boots, fabulous furs, and expensive antiques in thrift shops without much effort. Part of it is that I have a discerning eye thanks to my design career but also because I follow the thrifting rules. These are my own rules but valid just the same. :) I've used these guidelines to stock my own vintage boutique, PYT, 15 years ago and ever since.
Because I want you to be successful at thrifting as well, I will share them with you but if you would prefer the joy of a great vintage find without the digging through old junk, visit my new online vintage shop on Etsy, RICH HIPPIE VIBES.
I sift through the area's finest thrift shops, estate sales, etc for you and list new goodies every Thursday.
But without further ado...
10 Thrift Shopping Tips & Tricks
1. Go with a list... shopping anywhere with list keeps you on track when side tracked by other items in the store. Have specific looks or pieces in mind i.e leather skirt, printed blazer.
2. Shop at the smartest times. Find out the days and times your thrift store restocks its shelves to get first dibs on all the latest items. 3. Dress appropriately. Not all thrift stores have dressing rooms so be sure to wear tight fitting clothing so you can try on pieces over what you’re already wearing such as leggings, fitted jeans, fitted tees, etc. that will allow you to try on garments. 4. Shop with cash, in some stores the price are negotiable and if the credit card machine is out of order, you won't have to leave your found jewels behind. 5. Be hands-free. Wear an across-the-body purse or super stylish fanny pack. 6. Look carefully for damage. Be mindful of few things such as the ripped hems, holes in the garments, stains & odors.When purchasing garments you plan to have altered be mindful of time and additional cost and if it will be worth the alteration.
7. Ask for a discount. This might be more difficult at some of the larger thrift stores, but remember, all thrift shops need to get rid of items to clear the way for new inventory so it’s in their best interest to sell. If there is a defect, don’t be afraid to point it out and ask for a lower price. If they can’t change the price of that item, maybe they can throw in another small item for free. Cash in on deals and specials. Many thrift stores offer discounts to certain groups, including seniors and students. They might also have special days or hours where items go on sale. Some stores may offer a discount for paying with cash.
KEY: To stay up to date on the latest thrift store deals and promos, follow your favorite locations on social media.
8. Check the back racks. Unlike a traditional retail environment, thrift stores don’t typically carry multiples of an item. Some of the best pieces may be on the racks at the back of the store near the dressing rooms. These items have already been searched out and deemed valuable enough to try on. Just because they weren’t a good fit for the person who originally found them doesn’t mean they won’t work for you.
9. Consider the neighborhood. Thrift store inventory comes from the surrounding neighborhood, so shop in places where you admire the style. For instance, New Yorkers looking for hip and trendy should try Brooklyn, but for chic and classic, the Upper East Side of Manhattan will probably be a be
better fit for your tastes.
10. Go mobile! Use your cellphone to research vintage labels and its resale value when making a decision between two similar pieces.
The hunting isn't fun for everyone but I LOVE it! Visit my curated vintage marketplace to skip the hunt and go straight to stylin' on 'em!
Any tips you have that's not on the list? Please share in the comments!