3 Helpful Thrift Shopping Guidelines

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Thrift shops and second-hand clothing stores like the Salvation Army and Goodwill have been around for a long time, but have recently seen an increase in their sales. We can attribute this to economic hardship, of course, but let’s not forget Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop,” which has certainly opened the eyes of some previously hesitant second-hand hunters. Now trendy and economic gentlemen alike take to the thrift shop for their cheap yet stylish duds.

Here are a few helpful guidelines to follow, in order to preserve your money, time and hygiene.

Set a spending limit for yourself

First of all, try to keep your spending under ten dollars for any one item. This is very, very important. Why are you looking for a bargain and spending more than you would at the department store anyway? Always try to remember why you’re at the thrift shop in the first place. Conserve your cash and look for the best deals you can find under ten.

Have a plan and be prepared to walk away empty-handed

Next, remember that a lot of the stuff at the thrift shop will be junk. It’s unavoidable.

The key is to go into the store with an idea of what you want, such as a red graphic t-shirt or a navy blue sweater, and use that to zero in on the perfect pickup. Use various filters to separate the junk from the jewels.

Fabric, color and labels are a great place to start.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The easiest way to quickly sift through clothes is by feeling the fabric – you can immediately perceive quality and potential comfort by touching them. Color is also a great way to speed up the shopping process, as you should already know beforehand whether you want the blue or red cardigan. Not deciding beforehand and deliberating each time you come to an impasse can eat up a ton of your precious time. And above all, know your brands. Hugo Boss or Calvin Klein merchandise will definitely cost more outside the store, so capitalize on those finds and move forward.

Occasionally you won’t know what you want, and you can use those same three categories to ensure that you’re definitely getting a good bargain.

Some things should not be thrifted

Lastly, remember that there are certain things such as running shoes and pretty much anything that’s white that should not be picked up at the thrift shop. This one is pretty obvious, but think of the sweat stains.

And please try to remember than one man’s undergarments are not to be another man’s… anything. Leave that on the shelf, please.

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