10 Things You Need To Know About Thrifting/Charity Shopping

1.       Locate all the thrift stores/charity shops near you.
When I go to the town where I shop in thrift stores, I have a mental checklist of around 7 different shops I can go to, and I go to them all. Go on Google Maps to find all the thrift stores near you.

2.       It takes time.
You need to be dedicated if you want to be a successful thrifter. You have to be prepared to be disappointed; there can be a lot of junk in thrift stores, so if you only take one glance at a thrift store, you could be forgiven for thinking its all junk. If you take your time to look through it all, you can strike gold.

3.       If you want treasure, you’ll have to dig.
As I said, there can be a lot of junk. (worn out, outdated, ripped or stained pieces) Unless that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for, you’ll have to dig deep to find the real treasure. Thrift stores can be sprinkled with little treasures (vintage dresses, really cute handbags, antiques, basically new jewelry). To find these hidden gems, you have to look everywhere. Check the womens racks, check the mens racks, look at every bag and shoe on show, hunt through the jewelry. Who knows what you could find there? A checked shirt in the mens rack that could easily be made to look like an oversized womens shirt? A brand new pair of shoes?

4.       Dress prepared.
Thrift store changing rooms are often small places. Also, even though most thrift stores wash their clothes before putting them out on sale, who knows how many people have tried on the same garment you wish to? If you want to try things on, the ideal thrifting ‘uniform’ would be leggings and a tight, short sleeved top. That way you can keep these on when you try on your possibly perfect thrift store find.

5.       Lists,lists,lists.
Lists when thrift shopping can be a hindrance and also a help.  First, you can’t go into a thrift store and expect to find specific things. But lists can also help you from buying random things you don’t need. Lists can stop you from buying just for the sake of finding a find. Buy from a thrift store only if you really love the item.

6.       Keep a creative and open mind.
That granny skirt can be pulled up and a belt can be added for a cool floaty dress. Boring denim jeans can be cut up and DIYed for some cool shorts. Little teacups can store earrings and other jewelry you have. Things can also be altered if they don’t fit with a little help from a sewing kit or tailor. Think outside the box.

7.       It might be an idea to bring friends.
Thrifting is a pleasurable experience I often want to keep all to myself when I’m out shopping, but having a second opinion from a friend can stop you from buying “that plain black t-shirt” because you can “never have enough of those”.

8.       Don’t always be restricted by sizes.
You may be a UK Size 10, but a certain dress could fit you in an 8. You might want to go for a baggy look on a top if you’re usually a 6 and go for a 10. Also, there could be items in the store that are from years ago, when a size 10 wasn’t the same as it is today!

9.       You get some you give some.
If you buy something from a thrift store, donate an item from your own wardrobe that’s neglected but could be much happier in someone elses belongings.

10.   Enjoy yourself.
Thrifting can be so fun and rewarding, and almost addictive. The thrill of the thrift means you never know what you will find on your next visit to the thrift store! Once you’ve seen how cheap things can be in a thrift store, you’ll realise how extortionate retail shop prices are. Getting a bargain can make you feel so good, so don’t be sucked into the stereotype that thrift stores are full of dirty, used clothes for old people. It’s not what you’ll expect. 

Enjoy it!