Everyone loves a good bargain, so there’s nothing more satisfying then picking up a killer vintage piece from your local thrift shop. However, if you are new to buying second hand then finding hidden thrift shop gems can be a total nightmare! So without further ado, here are our top 10 tips to help you be crowned the next second hand shopping queen.
10 Ways to Find the Best Thrift Shop Bargains:
1. Choose your area
Thrift shops reflect their surrounding area, so choose your location wisely! Head to upmarket boutique areas for second hand designer clothes, and hipster hangouts for trendier vintage pieces.
2. Time it right
One hot tip is to go shopping in thrift shops at lunchtime on a Monday; most people will donate over the weekend, so by the time Monday comes around you can cherry pick the best bargains before anyone else gets their hands on them.
3. Go out of season
Looking for a summer dress in January or some rain boots in June? Thrift shops are the place to go! Out of season stuff might not be on display, but you can guarantee they will have some in storage as people clear out their wardrobe for the next season.
4. Shop unisex
Thrift shop rails might be organized by gender, but you can guarantee that people won’t always put things back in the right place. Check the men and women’s section to scout out hidden treasures.
5. Get to know the staff
Getting to know the workers in your local thrift shop is invaluable when bargain hunting. Not only will they know where the good stuff is, but they might even keep some gems back for you when they come in- take advantage of that insider knowledge!
6. Imagine things out of context
Let’s face it, thrift shops are not the most visually appealing places, with rails of sad looking beige slacks and dusty ornaments. But don’t let this put you off! Hold up each item and imagine it out of context, like in a chic store window, and you might see it in a whole new light.
7. Root around
Thrift shops are not the places to go to if you are shopping in a hurry- those bargains won’t find themselves! Instead, take your time to dive into tubs of scarves and bags, and don’t forget to try out all the stores in your local area.
8. Avoid shoes
We all love cheap shoes. But whilst shoes in thrift shops might be cheap, more often than not they are not worth the money. Yellowing, scuffed and out of shape, you are better off buying a new pair.
9. Check the label
The best thrift shop bargains are beautiful goods at an affordable price, so always check the label and try to buy good quality designer clothes- ideally 100% wool or 100% cotton. Don’t bother with second hand high street clothes unless they are greatly reduced- you can pick up plain t-shirts for a similar price in a regular store.
10. See the potential
A little bit of customizing can go a long way when bargain hunting in thrift shops- broken zips can be fixed and buttons sewn on. And since people don’t tend to wash their clothes before donating, always put them in the machine after purchase- no one wants to smell like someone else’s perfume (or worse!)
Do you have other tips to find the best thrift store bargains?
Chloe is currently living in London and living the twenty-something dream. When not shopping for bargains she can be found blogging about money saving for www.savoo.co.uk.