Guide to Thrift Shopping


Elizabeth Lovell

The first time can be intimidating, but really, most high school students have done it. Thrift shopping, that is. Clothes are often unorganized, messy, and falling off their hangers. Shelves are lined with antiques that look like they’d break in half in you touched them. Books and board games seem to be older than an elephant. Here, you’ll find some tips for making the most out of your thrifting experience.

Always keep an eye out for expensive name brands. Brands such as Target, Maurices, Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas are common finds. However, with a little luck and a good eye, you can find more name brand, expensive items for cheap. However, make sure to watch out for fakes. It’s usually easy to pick out a fake by looking at the tag. Some good clues to look out for are a completely different tag, a different font than the brand name, and no other indication of the brand. Most big brands will have a name or symbol on buttons, zippers… anywhere they can get a little extra advertisement out of you.

Check for tears and stains. Especially in thinner and knitted clothing, you always want to check for any loose strings, zipper malfunctions, or anything else that’s questionable. The best places to check are under the arms, near hems, and anywhere where two seams meet. On shoes, check for scratches and indents.

Make sure all pieces are accounted for in board games. It’s very common for board games at thrift stores to be missing pieces. Instructions are easy enough to find online, but missing pieces can lead to trouble.

Flip through books to check for scribbles or torn pages. Children can wreak real havoc on thin pages in books. They could also have notes from previous owners written in. However, thrift stores can be good places to find cheap college textbooks.

Always try on anything you plan to buy! Even if a piece of clothing looks perfectly fine at the first glance, more issues can arise once it’s on a person. Plus, you always want to make sure it fits well and you feel good in whatever you buy.

If you don’t wear some of your clothes, and they’re still in good shape, it’s always worth considering donating them to thrift stores. Some people really need to find things these things for cheaper, and it’s a great alternative to keeping them stuffed in your drawers or the back of your closet.

Thrift stores can be some of the best places to get cheap, but fashionable clothing, as well as old books, antiques and lots of other quirky trinkets. So go on. Venture into the world of the unknown, armed with your new knowledge, and find something new!