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Top tips for the best thrift finds

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Are you intimidated by thrifting? Are you looking for tips to level up your thrifting game? You have come to the right place! Here are my top 5 tips for finding the best treasures while thrifting!

1. Go into the thrift store with an idea of what you are looking for.

Even as a regular at many local thrift stores and an avid thrifter, I still find some stores to be overwhelming with the amount of clothes available. If you go in with an idea of what you are looking for, such as a funky pair of jeans, or a trendy new workout outfit, the store becomes more manageable as you can focus on specific sections rather than tackling the whole store at once.

2. Scan the racks rather than flip through every single item

This tip comes in handy when you are thrifting on a time crunch. If you do not have the time (or the patience) to look through every single item on a rack, take a step back and scan for specific colours or styles that you might be interested in. For example in the leggings section it is easy to see which leggings are high waisted, then you can take a closer look at these specific items to see if they are the right fit for what you are looking for.

3. Load up your cart then pare down

Pro-tip: Always take a cart! This way both hands are free to flip through the racks!

Have you ever spotted an item while thrifting but were not 100% certain it was your size or that you loved it then gone back a few minutes later and can no longer find it? My tip to avoid this, is to put anything of interest into your cart. Before you head to the checkout or fitting rooms, find a quiet area and go through each item, decide if you like it, if you need to try it on, or if you have changed your mind and found something you love even more! Make two or three piles in your cart (yes/no/maybe), then head to the fitting rooms (if they have reopened) to try on your favourite finds. Make sure you put your discard pile items back in their proper places or on the “returns” rack by the fitting room so that someone else has the chance to scoop them up!

4. Always check over items before purchasing

While many items at thrift stores are in excellent condition, often items have been donated because they are flawed or stained. I find the best way to avoid going home with damaged items is to find a quiet area in the store with good lighting to make a final inspection of each item.

Make sure to check for stains, broken zippers, missing buttons, tears, worn patches or any other flaws. If you do notice any imperfections, assess if you want to to fix them and if it is worth your time and effort.

When checking over an item, think of areas that the item may wear out the fastest and look at these spots first. For example for leggings & jeans, inspect the inner thigh area and the bottom leg hem, for jackets look at the cuffs for wear or discolouration.

5.Go often!

Thrift stores aren’t like retail stores who might only update their stock on a monthly or seasonal basis. They are filled with unique items and treasures of all kinds. Most thrift stores restock regularly as new donations are dropped off daily. With frequent visits, you are bound to always find new treasures!

What is your favourite thrift find? Show it off below in the comments section!

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