Top Tips for Thrift Store Shopping
If you think thrift stores, charity shops and consignment stores are where tired, worn out clothing go to die, think again. Many vintage store owners (both online and brick and mortar) source some of their amazing pieces from thrift stores. I love the look on people’s faces when they ask me where I bought a fabulous outfit and I shock them with a thrift store answer. Thrift shopping may require a little extra effort, but nothing beats finding a fabulous outfit at a bargain price. Before you hit the racks, here are my tips for expertly shopping thrift stores and consignment shops.
1. New merchandise drop
Many thrift stores have one or two days a week when they introduce all of their new merchandise. Charity shops often have volunteers sorting and tagging clothing at specific times. Consignment stores often accept new clothing on certain days. You want to be there when those sweet new pieces hit the racks. Ask the thrift store store manager when new items are introduced to the store. There will be other savvy shoppers who know this trick, so plan to get there early on new release days and be ready to head straight to your favorite section.
2. Everything is negotiable
Yes, you can bargain at a thrift shop. If you find something you like, there’s no rule stating that you can’t politely ask the store manager if they would be willing to do better on the price. Many thrift and consignment shops are looking to move inventory quickly, so if something has been sitting there or if the end of a season is approaching, they may be especially inclined to make a deal. Go ahead and ask! What do you have to lose?
3. Get friendly with your thrift store owner
Always on the hunt for faded jeans? Vintage purses? Vintage hats? Introduce yourself to your shop owner and let them know what you’re hunting for. Leave your contact info so they can reach out to you when they come across something on your list. Stores are looking to move merchandise and connect great pieces with happy customers.
4. Check social media
Most thrift stores, charity shops and consignment stores are on social media. They often post some of their best pieces and are often willing to reserve items, take payment over the phone and ship nationwide. Even though I no longer live in Washington D.C, one of my favorite charity shops, the Christ Child Society Opportunity Shop on Wisconsin Ave, ships nationwide. Check them out on facebook for beautiful designer clothing, housewares and jewelry.
My 1960s navy blue and cream houndstooth cape is a proud thrift shop find. Capes allowed me to get through an entire pregnancy without having to invest in a winter maternity coat. I found this beautiful 1950s white mink fur hat and matching fur collar at one of my favorite Florida antique shops. H. Hofheimer was an important American milliner, and I love that this set comes in its original box and slightly dusty tissue paper.