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Top Tips for Buying Thrift Store Clothes

Thank you for sharing!

Thrifting and shopping at second-hand stores is a great way to buy things you need, find vintage treasures, find clothes to transform and add to your retro look. When I go into a thrift store I am looking for a great deal. Here are my top tips for buying thrift store clothes to save you lots of money and find vintage treasures.

How to Buy Thrift Store Clothes

Know What Days the Stores have Specials and Sales.

Often the bigger Thrift Stores like Salvation Army & Goodwill have days where a certain tag color is 50% off, this is a good day to shop, however, make sure to arrive early, as a lot of other people wait for this day to shop too.

Try Everything On.

If it doesn’t fit, don’t buy it, I have many clothes in my closet that I have brought for when I lose that 10 pounds and 6 months later they are still there taking up closet space.

If the Item is Damaged- Don’t Buy It.

If you don’t immediately see how you can fix it or you don’t have the materials to fix it, keep moving on. If you have simple sewing skills you can fix quite a few things like missing buttons, broken zipper, etc. Avoid stained items as you don’t really know the origin of the stain, therefore, it is harder to treat.

Set a Budget.

Set a budget of how much you can spend at the thrift store. You can also make a list of the items you need or want. You can overspend even at a thrift shop.

Use Google. 

A lot of times with vintage and retro items the person pricing the items has no clue what an item is really worth. Sometimes they price the item too high because they think everything old is valuable or to our advantage too low. If you find an antique or vintage item that has a year, brand name, or any markings on it try googling the brand and/or item. You might be surprised to find you found a steal!

Wear leggings or shorts and a T-Shirt.

Sometimes changing rooms are not available. If you are wearing comfortable clothes that are a little more form fitting you can easily slip items on and off without using a changing room.

Bring a Friend.

Other than the fact that shopping with a friend is lots of fun, a friend can suggest items that will look great in or be there to let you know if an item it just not flattering on you.

Look for Brand Name Items

Usually, brand name items mean better quality. The fabrics and materials are built with more care and can last longer.

Check your Closet

Before you head out to the thrift store check your closet. If you already own 4 black skirts, buying another won’t bring new looks to your wardrobe. See what is needed and make a list. If you are using thrift stores for Disneybounding, check Pinterest for different looks and see what you are needing.

Think Outside of an Items’ Intended Purpose.

If you see a pretty sheet, that can become material for a skirt or dress. Flowers, broken children’s toys, odd game pieces can be used to make pretty fascinators.


Most thrift stores are run by non-profit organizations and your donations help them help others. If you have items you are no longer using consider donating them. Since I have been practicing minimalism I have donated many, many boxes to my local thrift store.

Looking for more shopping tips that save money, check out these posts!

What has been your best thrift shop score? Let me know in the comments.

Top Tips for buying thrift store clothes

Thank you for sharing!


Monday 8th of July 2019

helpful hints to share