I’m back with some tips about my favorite way to shop: thrifting! Thrift shopping, be it at a brick-and-mortar store, online (thredUP or Poshmark, for example), estate sales, flea markets, etc. are my favorite places to find everything from clothes to accessories to home decor and kitchen items.
I wrote a thrift tips post back in 2012 (yikes, that was a long time ago) and I’m sharing even more today! I’d love to hear your additional thrift tips below!
I’ve said it many times but it bears repeating: look EVERYWHERE when you hit up the thrift store, estate sale, flea market, etc.
I found this gorgeous Tablots peplum dress in the men’s dress shirt section of my local Amvets.
I found this Banana Republic blazer in the kid’s section of a Goodwill.
I found this Polaroid camera hanging in between two skirts at that same Goodwill.
Even if you just take a quick glance around, it’s worth the time. You just never know where an item might end up when you’re thrifting (and that’s a big part of the thrill)!
In online shopping terms, I’ve seen items on thredUP that are mismarked, in the wrong category (ex. sunglasses in the dresses category), so, you never know!
This is a popular tip for thrift shopping but I like to reinforce it (and I still have to remind myself of this sometimes). DO NOT walk into a thrift store expecting to find a very specific item, because chances are, you’ll be walking out disappointed.
However, I do encourage keeping a generic list of items you’re on the lookout for. Example: cardigans, black leather purse, tall vase, etc. If you become really good at thrift shopping, others may start to ask you to keep an out for items, which is fun too!
This tip obviously goes hand it hand with the tip above. Could a fresh coat of spray paint transform those trinkets into something chic that could be sold at Anthropologie? Could the buttons on that dilapidated jacket spice up another item you already own? Could that dress be *just right* with a quick wash and some simple sewing?
Sometimes you have to think outside of the box when you spot something intriguing while thrifting.
Here’s an example. I love those adorable glass dome lights (like this one), but they can be quite pricey. So I purchased this lantern, removed the original nautical decor, popped out the bottom, added my own string lights and BAM! A super cheap DIY 🙂
If it’s a bit of a fixer upper, just make sure you love it enough that you’ll actually carry out your grand DIY plans.
I have the immense pleasure of living very close to a number of thrift stores, so I go often. Do I buy often? Nope. But it’s genuinely fun to see what I may find each time I enter a store.
Thrift store inventory changes frequently, especially around this time of year with people decluttering and donating. So just because you struck out a few weeks ago doesn’t mean you might not strike gold tomorrow!
It’s so effortless to get caught up in thrifting – especially the low prices. But just because you can buy a set of twelve mugs for $4, do you really need those twelve mugs?
I’ve bought and re-donated more items that I can count over the years, simply because they were impulse purchases. Clothing that didn’t fit quite right, decor that was trendy but not really “me,” books I thought I had to have, and the list goes on.
I know better now.
If I’m in the dressing room questioning how I’ll wear an item, maybe even searching Pinterest for outfit ideas on my phone…it’s clearly an item I should walk away from. If I spot a basket I really like but I’m struggling to think of where I can use it, why bother?
Just like with any purchase you make, make sure it’s something beautiful or practical, or (the best kind of purchase) both beautiful and practical!
So there you have it! My best thrift shopping tips learned over many years of shopping and shopping mistakes 🙂 Thanks for reading!