Trips to thrift stores and consignment shops can end in victory or disaster. With these nifty, thrifty tips, you won’t walk out looking like Macklemore.
1. Go in with an open mind and a skinny wallet.
Shopping is what you make it.
If you expect you will come up empty, you will. Especially when shopping in gently-used clothing stores.
Approach stores with little to no expectations for the best outcome.
2. Think about outfits, not articles.
Individual clothing articles may look silly hanging on the rack but might be the perfect accessory to a stylish compilation.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Make yourself at home in the store and pick an area to lay out possible outfits.
This will help you utilize your time, money and wardrobe space by having a purpose for each article.
3. Gender doesn’t matter.
Girls, you never know what jewels are hiding in the men’s section.
Guys, don’t let your manhood get in the way, and check out the girls section for nifty T-shirts and costumes for socials and swaps.
Options expand when gender limitations are dropped.
4. Try on anything that might be promising.
While scanning the racks, you may come across something that is iffy.
Pick it up and take it to the dressing room despite small reservations.
It’s easy to fall into styles that lack pizzazz, so trying on clothes that aren’t your forte can broaden your style.
5. Go through every rack, every shelf, every table.
Thrift stores and consignment shops are often unorganized.
It’s important to understand your future favorite shirt could be in the children’s section. Your future antique lamp may be in the floor under the men’s pants.
Long story short, tear the place apart, within reason.
6. Know when stores receive new shipments.
It’s first come, first purchase in thrift stores. Next time you are in your favorite shop, ask when the shelves get filled and rotated.
Knowing this valuable information will put you in the position to get the best items from the weekly rotation.
7. Every price is up for negotiation.
Don’t be shy. Utilize your backbone and think about what’s in your wallet.
In many situations, you will run across obviously over-priced clothes.
When you are checking out, graciously ask for a lower price. Remember not to be too pushy, rude or confident. But don’t simply give up.
The chances of someone else trying to buy what you picked up are slim, and the owner is most likely aware of this fact.
8. Don’t second-guess yourself. Buy it.
More often than not, thrift stores have only one of every item.
Something you walk away from one day might not be there the next.
Before you let that little bit of doubt kill the purchase, think about the different uses for what is being considered.
Lily can be reached at community@ThePlainsman.com.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman