Thrift Store Shopping

As in all of life's experiences shopping can be quite an adventure. Perusing thrift stores can be fun, economical, and sometimes even profitable. Finding a great bargain or rare find can be very exciting.

If you have never considered shopping for clothing thrift stores before, give it try it. The day that you purchase your first designer outfit for $2.00 to $10.00 will be the day that you are as hooked on bargain hunting as many others are.

Most people appreciate saving money because those saved dollars can then be used elsewhere in their budget. Shopping Goodwill and other used goods stores helps make saving money just a little bit easier. Clothing costs can be cut by 70 to 80 percent off regular retail prices and that is very good news. 

In their hunt for collectible treasures quite a few people have grown accustomed to cruising thrift stores on a weekly basis. Some are shopping for antiques but in their travels they also discover that they are purchasing quite a few clothing items there as well. 

Saving money is nice but another aspect of perusing used clothing stores is the wide variety of vintage items available for purchase there. Many retro fashions have become quite fashionable again and some of these classic pieces can be quite costly if you purchase them at designer shops. 

Discovering those vintage fashions for a fraction of their value can be very exciting. For a mere couple of dollars and a little diligent searching you can purchase designer clothing that would otherwise cost well upwards into the hundreds of dollars range.

Quality fabrics, heavy weight weave, and designer styles. Old or out of date clothing are often packed away to keep it in good condition so these are quality outfits which then show up in thrift stores.

The accessories found on vintage clothing can be worth more than the few pennies spent to purchase them. Vintage uniforms, suits, and wedding dresses often have rare or valuable buttons, pins, beads, and other accents in their design. These treasured memorabilia can be quite collectible.

Another advantage is the wide selection of fashions available at the thrift store. Clothing in stores will generally flow with seasonal and consumer trends but this is not an issue in thrift stores. All manner of brands, colors, patterns, and sizes of clothing are available year round no matter what the current fashion style dictates is the in thing at that time.

Most used clothing that is for sale is also in relatively good condition as the store employees are generally required to sift through and set aside damaged or stained items to be recycled into rags. This ensures that the store offers up only good quality clothing for sale on their racks. Each piece is sorted to insure its condition is acceptable for resale.


It is important to visit often to insure that you get the best selection of garments. The issue I have found with shopping for clothing in thrift stores is the narrow scope of sizing per style available. Most items available in a thrift store are of course one of a kind so the correct sizing may not be available in the garment you would like to purchase.

This is where scouring the local thrift stores on a regular basis comes into play. To truly get the best selection for your size you need to frequent the stores on a regular schedule thereby increasing your chances of getting first dibs on the newest items in your size. I generally visit our local used store once a week and when possible try to stop by twice weekly. It pays off.

So how do you find the best bargains while out thrifting? Keep in mind that most thrift stores tend to receive an overabundance of items in the spring and summer months so they also tend to offer more incentive sales during those months to keep the stock moving.

Many Goodwill stores do not have a large storage area so better bargains can often be found as the seasons change. Clothing is sometimes slashed in spring and fall as the stores work to clear out the old stock in preparation for the new season's stock to get out onto the shelves. This of course means lower prices for you.

Most stores also hold special sales on specific days such as bag sales on Fridays or half price sales on Tuesdays. Another favorite savings idea of Thrift stores is "colored tag savings" to ensure that older stock gets cleared out. Clothing received during different time periods are tagged with different color tags such as red, blue, yellow or white tags.

The price of the clothing article drops in relation to the length of time that it sits on the racks. For example, red tags might be from March receiving and be full price, blue tags from February and be 10 percent off, yellow tags from January and sit at 50 percent off, and white tags from December's stock might sit at an amazing 75 percent off. Then this whole tagging process revolves around again.

The new stock arriving in April is then tagged with white tickets and the yellow tags revert over to the 75 percent off grouping. Clothing at used stores can be acquired at almost give away prices on some sale days. I can definitely boast that I have an amazing wardrobe that has cost me a fraction of the money that it should have.

A sewing machine can come in very handy to repair any small flaws or loose hems on a used garment. You can also use it to adjust the lines or size of a shirt or dress when necessary.

There is one further trick that can be used in acquiring and maintaining a thrift shop wardrobe. Use your sewing machine or glue gun to add little extras to the pieces you purchase. I call it value added.

Embroidery and embellishments work wonders to liven up basic clothing pieces. You can hand-sew on buttons, buckles, or other tiny jeweled accents to pretty up an otherwise plain piece or use these to hide a tiny stubborn stain that just won't come out. It is actually quite easy to turn ordinary into absolutely fabulous.

While you are cruising the store don't forget to keep your eye out for accessories such as hats, scarves, jewelry, and shoes. There are literally thousands of vintage accessories which can be not only beautiful but highly collectible as well.

I recently attended a wedding where I was complimented numerous times on my attire. It was a flowing royal blue rayon dress with a matching cloak and I had to chuckle knowing that the outfit had cost a mere $5.00.

Finding a rare item at the thrift store can be a profitable venture. I have found some amazing items at the thrift stores and relish each time I discover a potential treasure on sale for a dollar or two. If you have never visited a thrift store put it onto your to-do list. The day that you purchase your first steal of a deal will be the day you'll be hooked.


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