Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 Tips and Tricks For First Time "Thrifters"

     Let me confess something to you guys: I love thrift shopping. Like, literally LOVE it. From rummaging around Goodwill and antique stores, to the occasional splurge at specialty vintage shops, there is nothing more enjoyable for me than scoring a one-of-a-kind find, Except eating, maybe. I also really love to eat.
     I'll make another confession while we're at it here, folks: I used to be pretty grossed out by the idea of buying things second-hand. I couldn't tell you exactly what it was that turned me off about it, I just didn't find it appealing at all. Kids just don't appreciate a good deal or vintage Chanel, I suppose. Dorks.
     I have long since left this opinion behind, with nearly half of my wardrobe/belongings originating from a second-hand store of some sort. And, if you have never been or have conflicting feelings on buying things used, here are some tips to get you out into the world of vintage, bargains, and other treasures that thrifting holds. (Dramatic? Well, I did tell you I loved it.)

1. Get over the "Ick" Factor.
     When buying any article of clothing, one should wash it before wearing; whether purchased at Macy's or the Salvation Army. I mean, EVERYTHING has germs. The idea that your item of interest has been previously owned shouldn't stir any feeling of  disgust, especially if it's in decent shape. Just wash it. It's really that simple, people.

2. Have an Idea of What You're Looking For
     While it is important to keep your eyes out for any possible gem you may find, it is also necessary to have certain things you're searching for. A few items on my list at the moment include old Pyrex bake-ware, silhouette paintings/illustrations, high-waisted shorts, maxi-dresses, and a globe. That may sound like a strange set, but knowing what you want to find keeps you from going overboard with collecting too many random pieces. After all, you'll want to show off your finds in a way that is cohesive with your current belongings, be it apparel or decor.

3. Avoid Purchasing "Fixer-Uppers"
     There have been multiple occasions where I find myself buying goods that have holes, tears, stains, missing buttons/pieces, or the wrong fit just because of their low price. I always have the intention of fixing them or turning them into something else all together, but this is usually where I run into trouble. You see, in the end, I pay more fixing them than they would be worth new. And, that kind of defeats the purpose of thrifting. This isn't always the case, however. If the repairs are as simple as sewing up a seam or gluing something back in place, please don't hesitate purchasing your desired piece. I've even seen Andy rebuild computers and cameras for nearly nothing compared to their retail value. A good rule to follow is just not letting the repairs out number the items actual value.

4. Learn About the Store and Go Often
     If any of the vintage shops in your area are like some around here, they have daily specials on items that are half to seventy-five percent off. These are usually based off of colored tags. Others have one day a month where everything is half-priced. A few of my favorite spots even offer military, senior citizen, and student discounts, too. Knowing what kind of specials are going on or what discounts you may qualify for can help you get more bang for your buck. Plus most vintage, second-hand, and consignment stores receive donations or new merchandise everyday, so it's important to make your rounds often. This will ensure following through on tip number two.

5. Don't Skip Any Ground
     Thrift shops are not always the most organized places on Earth. Things can very easily be tossed in the wrong place, or looked over if one only visits certain sections of the store. It's necessary to skim through the all areas. I can't tell you the goods I've uncovered by digging through bins or walking down isles that are seemingly not of interest. Remember, the search is half the fun!

                 Hopefully these tips inspire you to get out to your local shops. Happy thrifting, bloggers!
                                                                       Until next time,

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  1. Yes! I totally agree. I love thrift shopping. Not only can you pick up some decent clothes, but they're cheap, and the money's going to a good cause. It's a win-win situation.

    Jes | Naturally Jes

    1. I know, right!? Its like a treasure hunt. Definitely one of my favorite things to do.


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