…I look incredible. And so will you! If you shop at that thrift shop down the road.
Thanks to the popularity of “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, people are finally recognizing the awesomeness of shopping at thrift stores. If you want to pop some tags, but you’ve never stepped foot in a thrift store before, here are a few basic tips to try and stores to shop:
Thrifting For Newbies
1. Give yourself time to dig. Big shops, like Savers in Bloomington or Unique Thrift in New Hope will take you hours to sort through all the merchandise. If you only have an hour or less, try a more manageable store like ARC Valu Village in Richfield or the CHAP Store in Burnsville.
2. Determine what you need before you go. Don’t waste your time shopping in every department – most thrift stores are divided into easy-to-shop segments, especially Savers thrift stores. They break departments down into very specific categories. For example, Women’s is broken down by sleeveless tops, short sleeve tops, long sleeve blouses, sweaters, pants, skirts, blazers, 2-piece suits, etc.
A great item to shop for now is winter coats. Just like department stores, winter coats are on deep discount. And since winter will still be here for a few more months, you still have time to wear your new-to-you item.
3. Consider the thrift store “gateway drugs.” More than one experienced thrift-er has told me they got into thrifting by shopping in the two most non-threatening areas of the stores: house wares and accessories. These items are either washable, or never touch your bare skin.
As you gain experience, branch out into the areas that offer the best bang for your buck: denim and blazers. When you’re hunting, be sure to try on jeans at least 2 sizes up and one size down. And men’s blazers are often tailored to fit, so be sure you try it on and not rely on the labeled size.
4. Remember, one item in, one item out. Before you hit the stores, sort through your closet for donations. Many of the Savers thrift stores will give you a coupon when you donate that you can use during your visit. Also, those coupons tend to have a long expiration date, so if you donate and you don’t have time to shop? Save those coupons!
5. Search for sales events. Holidays equal sales days at most thrift shops. For example, Savers offers 50% off on Labor Day, President’s Day, and Memorial Day, to name a few. And the Salvation Army in Minneapolis has 50% off on New Year’s Day. If you want a store with a handy list of sales event on their website, look no further than ARCs Value Village.org.
Speaking of ARC, they have weekly sales events, too. Every Sunday, the items stocked in the stores the week before go on sale for 99 cents a piece. Check the tag color to know what’s on sale.
6. Join the club! Literally. ARC Value Village and Savers have discounts clubs you can join to receive their rewards cards. Check out their web sites to register today.
7. Last, but not least – don’t be squeamish! You, and everything you buy from the thrift store, are washable. Remember, when you donate and shop at a thrift store, you are going green. And being environmentally friendly is as trendy as liking Macklemore.
One Last Tip! If you thought you couldn’t thrift online, pump your brakes mister. YOU CAN. At ShopGoodwill.com. Check them out from the comfort of your pj’s.