January 1, 2018

Thrift Tips/Shopping Secondhand

Buying secondhand is one of my main goals for the new year and I hope you will try to do the same. We have everything we need. There is rarely a need to buy new unless it's, like, toilet paper. I get many questions about thrift tips so here is my accumulated list. I may continue to add to this throughout the year.

-wear something easy to take on and off to make trying on clothes easy
-wear the right underwear so you can accurately see the fit of pieces
-get a cart or basket, you're going to want one.
-keep a list of things you need/want so you aren’t buying your millionth white tee and you can focus on certain sections of the store
-for jeans, look strictly at the tag/label on the back (above the back pockets) to find the right brand, then check tags for sizes and then look at shape. looking at shape of all the jeans first is overwhelming.
-give everything that looks like it has potential a try. even if it’s not your normal size, you never know. plus you can have things altered.
-check men’s, women’s and children’s sections.
-you can usually assume vintage through tags but if you’re unsure you can look things up online quick.
-don’t be afraid to dig. open boxes. plug things in. check that things have all the pieces and function properly. sometimes things are all taped up, I will remove tape to test things. no one has ever stopped me.
-don’t purchase something purely because it’s cool. have a clear idea of where you will keep it in your home/the use it will get. I get a lot of questions about controlling clutter while loving vintage. the thing is I don’t buy something unless I know I will get use out of it/know exactly where it will go. while I thrift a lot and find a lot of cool things, the percentage that actually comes home with me is very small. be willing to turn things down.
-you don’t have to look at the whole store. it can be overwhelming. trust your gut. some days you will only look at appliances and books, other days you will only look at clothes.
-i have a hard time looking at every individual piece on a rack of clothes. instead I scan pieces from above and only look at the colors and patterns that catch my eye.
-my typical things to look through at estate sales: blankets/linens, books, christmas decor, kitchen appliances, office supplies, sometimes (but rarely) clothes.
-a lot of places have a classics section in their books, i try and find that for vintage copies of classics I like.
-I find out about estate sales online. often companies have email lists you can get on for upcoming sales. if a family is running their own estate sale they will often post it on local sales groups on Facebook or Craigslist.
-join buy sell trade facebook groups for your city. I have found a lot of gems this way. you can often even post ISO listings. I found a huge box of vintage magazines this way.
-the trick to shopping secondhand is consistency. the more often you go, the better luck you will have. and you will get better at it. practice applies to thrifting.


  1. Yes! My financial resolution this year is to not buy any new clothes, and if there is something I "need" or want, to find it secondhand. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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