Today is National Thrift Shop Day, a day where we celebrate the incredible art of thrifting. For the uninitiated, thrift shopping is a fantastic way to buy used clothes, furniture, books, and so much more from stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army. For many, thrift shopping is more than just buying awesome items for cheap prices; it’s a way to give back. Often, the money you use to pay for your thrift finds goes back into your community—Goodwill, for example, donates money to help fund job training which guides people toward successful careers.
But how do you find the best deals on your thrift shopping journey? I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you maximize your thrifting potential.
1. Google is Your Friend
Don’t just wander out of your house with one thrift shop in mind. Take some time to look up all of the thrift shops in your area and map out a route where you hit up at least two or three. Every thrift shop is different and has different items, and you’ll increase your chances of finding a gem if you widen your scope.
2. Come with No Plans
Have no plans? Excellent. Thrift shopping is optimal when you’re in a very patient and relaxed state. Just go in, put on podcast or some sweet tunes, and let yourself roam.
3. Not Everything is a Steal
Look, I know the feeling: you find something that’s got a small blemish and you’re tempted to forgive it because the price is just oh-so-good. Don’t fall for the temptation! You’re probably going to take it home, realize you’ve made a massive mistake, and shove it in a drawer somewhere to hide your shame.
4. See the Potential
Of course, not everything is salvageable. The beauty of thrift shopping is allowing yourself to imagine the potential everything in the store has; you can dye a cute shirt that’s an ugly color, or paint an old chair to give it a second life.
5. Shop Off Season
The best time to look for winter clothes is in the summer, and the best time to look for summer clothes is in the winter. This is true for any store, but especially true for thrift shops where people are getting rid of their unwanted clothes and items at the end of each season.
6. Take One, Give One
Thrift shopping is great, but don’t just keep buying clothes without getting rid of some, too. Twice a year, I look at everything in my closet and have an honest conversation with myself: do I still want these clothes I wore once or twice and then never wore again? If the answer is no, I give it back to my local thrift shop in need.
Ready to go thrift shopping? Make sure to check out your local Goodwill finder to locate a store near you.