thrift store finds :: tips for shopping second hand.


I love thrift stores and it's so nice to have more than just Goodwill up here. I like going through the racks, finding pieces that I'd never be able to buy before they wound up in the aisles at Value World. But sometimes prices can still be high, especially for "better" brands. And sometimes I just don't want to spend $4.00 on a sweater- I'm here looking for dirt cheap stuff anyways!

So my excitement was through the roof when my apartment delivered the Sunday paper along with a coupon for 50% your total purchase at Value World. One good for March, one good for April. I'm fairly certain it's their way of cleaning out the excess winter clothing they have, but I'm all for it because I'm definitely a sweater lover.

The prices underneath the pictures are the prices before the coupon!

GAP sweater 4.40 | Lane Bryant cardigan 4.00 | Lane Bryant sweater 4.40

Avenue sweater 4.40 | Daisy Fuentes top 4.80 | Massini top 5.00

The original total would have been $27, but with my 50% off coupon plus the fact that almost all of these were red tag items (and red tag items were 50% off that day), I only spent $7. I don't think even one of these items would have been that cheap at full retail price. 

I've been watching a lot of Youtubers that DIY their thrift store finds (hey, The Sorry Girls, coolirpa, and Annika Victoria!) and it's put me in one of those "I can literally DIY everything" moods. Give it a couple days for that fantasy bubble will burst and I'll be back to watching other people do what I wish I could on Youtube! But back to the reason you're here: 

My Super Top Secret List of Thrift Shopping Tips™ 
  (not actually copyrighted, but it definitely should be).

- Pay attention to tag sales. Thrift stores will almost always have a certain color tag be discounted each day!

- Driving a long distance somewhere? Check out the thrift stores in the area. I've been going to a lot of concerts lately and I always arrive about 6 hours too early. Instead of sitting in the car, I've been trying to check out that town's thrift stores. To make life easier, check the town's zip code on The Thrift Shopper before hand to see what's nearby!

- Shop when they're clearing out the current season's items. It's late March, so the stores around me are trying to push out the last of their sweaters and winter coats. These items are usually the discounted items of the day and the stores are sending out coupons to clear out inventory.

- Figure out the easiest days to shop. This one might take some time, but if you've found a thrift store you really enjoy, it's worth it. There are 2 Value Worlds near me and each have their pros and cons. The one in Ann Arbor ($$$ town) is empty  on weekday mornings, but packed on weekends and weekday afternoons. This is because most customers there are parents (busy in the morning with children and work) and students (probably asleep in the mornings, but free on weekends). 

- If you don't love it, don't get it. This applies to any store really, but definitely with thrift stores because you can't return items generally. If you feel it's just going to take up space in your closet, leave it for someone else who might love it. 

- Don't get in over your head. You might be like me and have watched too many "thrift this, sew this, instant beautiful outfit" videos. Don't overestimate your talents, time, or motivation. As much as I'd love to be a sewing master, I know I'm not and don't have the dedication to be. 

- Don't buy things just for the sake of buying them. Yes, if you leave something it might be gone by tomorrow morning. But just because the tag says J Crew or you saw Taylor Swift wear something sort of similar once, it doesn't mean you should buy it. Will you wear it? But will you really wear it? More than once? Go for it. If it doesn't fit right or the color looks bad on you, donate it again. Those are things that you can't always asses in stores that don't have changing rooms. But don't buy it just because!

Thrift store shopping can be frustrating and you don't always find what you want, but when you do you feel like a champ for finding a beautiful piece at a great price. Like this super silky slip that only cost me $2

What's the best thing you've scored at a thrift store?


  1. I always get my Levis at the thrift store. Why pay $30 or more when I can pay less than $5. I love digging thru the racks you never know what you will find.

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  3. I've been wanting to get more into thrifting but didn't know where to start. Thanks for the link to The Thrift Shopper!