The Secrets to Successful Thrifting

The Secrets to Successful Thrifting

OK so I’ve promised A LOT of you the scoop on my thrifting success, and I’m finally sitting down to write out the method to my madness {I’m a different person when I thrift fuh real}!! I haven’t blogged about thrifting since this post two years ago which is crazy because it’s a pretty relevant part of my life! It’s safe to say that at least a third of my wardrobe is thrifted at this point. I try to hit a local thrift store at least once a week. I live in Atlanta so I’m lucky in the sense that it’s as “fashionable” city. Most Atl city folks dress to impress from work life to nightlife, so that means lots of shopping and then purging from season to season to make room for new trends. People are donating and consigning anywhere from Goodwill to high-end designer resale boutiques {which I looove!}.

If you happen to not live in a fashion-forward city don’t give up on the idea of thrifting…incorporate it into your vacation planning and scope out good thrift shops in different cities using Google. This is especially fun to do while road tripping!

I recently shared on my Instagram a handbag that I scored at a thrift store for 10 bucks that’s actually the season’s most popular bag (Gaia’s Ark) and retails from $128-$298! I hadn’t bought it until now because to be honest it took me a little while to love the style, and then by the time I did, it had saturated the blogger scene and I didn’t want to follow the fad…#lestruggle!! Buuut for $10 I immediately caved in and bought it because it came along with a very special story…IMG_20170813_123843_344-01I speculate that mine might even be a vintage piece because of the story behind the store worker that sold it to me (and due to the look & feel of the bag). When I walked up to the register all excited with my new bag in hand, a petite, fashionable, salt and pepper haired lady put her hand over her heart and gasped…I’m thinking “lady please don’t tell me this bag isn’t for sale!”. She then proceeded to tell me that she purchased this EXACT same bag over 20 years ago in London {it was trending at the time}, and has held onto it over 8 moves around the world! She said that when she saw it come in to the store she immediately cried because it brought back so many fond memories from her younger years.

We went on to chat and laugh about how fashion trends always come full circle over and over again across decades! THIS is why I love thrifting so much!! No mall or online shopping experience could ever compare to the thrill of hunting for unique finds while interacting with cool people, and let’s be real…scoring designer labels that I could never afford at retail!

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Now let’s get into my tried & true thrifting tips that make my shopping experience efficient and successful!

  1. Do your research. Don’t limit yourself to your local Goodwill. Google thrift stores in your area. Often times there are pictures and customer reviews that you can view to determine which stores are worth visiting. Consignment shops tend to have higher price tags than thrift stores but may still be worth checking out…especially on sale days!
  2. Prep for your trip. Make a shopping list of “needs” just like you would when going to the mall. Time is of the essence when you hit that door because there are “pro-thrifters” to your left and right that will be strategically and quickly sweeping the store. If you need jeans for example, hit the jeans section first! This leads to my next tip….
  3. Arrive early. Matter of fact- arrive FIRST! The early bird catches the worm {in this case the gold!}. This is most important on store sale days because the regulars will raid the store early in the day. Plus, you’ll be able to get in and get out before the crowd builds up.
  4. “Eye” the racks. This is a learned skill and may take some practice, but being able to eyeball the clothes down the rack instead of touching every single piece will save you tons of time and frustration. For example– I’m drawn to stripes, lace/tulle/mesh, unique prints, and bold textures so I can quickly scan the aisles specifically looking for these types of items.
  5. Shop the free racks. Not the kind “free” you’re thinking…I mean the free-standing racks (and carts) that have just been brought out from the back to be put away. This is the best opportunity to get first dibs on the newly arrived items! But be careful, a lot of Goodwill workers will bark at you for touching before they rack the stuff! lol
  6. Pay attention to labels. Be mindful that not everything is a deal just because it’s at the thrift store. The better you know your brands, the easier it’ll be to determine what’s really a steal and when it makes more sense to buy it new at retail for the same price. For example- Old Navy shirts and F21 tanks!
  7. Inspect, inspect, inspect!ย After trying on, ALWAYS thoroughly inspect the items from top to bottom and inside out before heading to checkout. There’s no worse feeling than getting home all excited about yo purchases just to discover holes, stains and tears all over your new finds!
  8. Ask about prime times. While you’re shopping ask a store worker (or two) when are the best days/times to shop based on when they put out new inventory and/or have weekly/monthly store sales. Plan your visits accordingly!
  9. Sign-up for the newsletter. A lot of consignment shops have an email newsletter that you can sign-up for to receive notifications about store events, sales, and info on how to become a consignor {cause us thrift gals needs to purge seasonally too!}.
  10. Don’t give up!ย If you had a bad experience on your first attempt at thrifting, or if you just didn’t find any treasures…don’t write it off! Truth is, I don’t always find something worth buying. Visit different stores the next time around…maybe take a girlfriend…and just have fun with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you tried thrifting in the past? Do you consider yourself a pro? I’d love to hear your thrifing tips, and even your personal struggles with this unique activity {I’m sure I’ve been through it too!}.

Fashionably Yours,

Aliya

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3 Comments

  1. August 29, 2017 / 1:02 pm

    Such a great post! I live in Athens, GA currently and the thrifting here is AMAAAAZING! I’m going to start incorporating your tips and tricks into my thrifting routine!

    • September 1, 2017 / 2:34 pm

      Hi Chelsea! I’m glad you enjoyed this post! I’m definitely going to have to make a day trip to Athens to check out the thrifting scene! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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