What to Look For When Thrift Store Shopping

antique furniture and decor

The rule of thumb when it comes to thrift store shopping is thinking twice. Those who engage in second had item shopping must be extra careful. This is because most items in thrift stores tend to have defects. With that in mind, thrift stores offer some of the best clothing and household items at throw-away prices. You can shop for products from your favorite brands at a fraction of their cost from such stores.

Keep reading to get a clear picture of what you should do when shopping for used items from a thrift store.

Make a Plan

The worst mistake you can make is going thrift-store shopping without a plan. Most people end up spending too much on items that they do not need. Without a plan, you are likely to engage in impulse buying and up purchasing useless products.

When making a plan, you should focus on determining what you intend to buy, how much you intend to spend, and the style you intend to find at the store. Having a clear plan in mind will help avoid impulse buying and help you purchase quality products.

Make Friends With Thrift Store Staff

The one trick that will get you the best items at a thrift store is being friends with the staff. Many people never buy new clothes but always look classy. These are the people who know how to dig out the gems from the cluster. Being friends with store staff will help you easily get the best products.

In most thrift stores, the good-looking products are separated from the rest. Some staff members even keep aside the good products for loyal customers. If you want to get the best deals, talk to the staff members, and you will be surprised how much value you will get for your money.

Sell Your Pre-Loved Items

The problem with thrift store shopping is that it often leads to clutter at home. Most people end up purchasing too many households, some that they do not need. To avoid spending too much or cluttering your home, it is advisable to shop from a store that buys and sells second-hand products. This way, you get to sell some of your old households before purchasing others.

ceramic plateware on a sale table

Check, Test, and Fit Before Buying

As already mentioned, you have to think twice while shopping for second-hand products. The first thing you must do is to check the item you intend to buy well. Inspect it physically to ensure that there are no breakages or tear. If there are damages, be sure that it is a problem you are willing to fix.

Once you are satisfied with the physical appearance of the product, it is time to test it. Testing the product includes wearing clothing, trying out shoes, testing electronics, etc. Try out anything you're not totally sure about to avoid a situation where you end up with many items you don't need.

Shop With Cash Only

Most people enjoy shopping with their cards for quick transactions. However, it is advisable to stick to cash, especially when thrift store shopping. Cash will help you avoid impulse shopping, which comes with credit cards.

This means that once you go out shopping for second-hand items, leaving your cars at home would be a great idea.

Scan The Aisles Before You Start Digging

Most people who shop for second-hand clothes know that digging deep into the rugs is the only way to land on some of the best products. Unfortunately, the digging job is not for the faint-hearted. If you will be thrift store shopping for the first time, it is advisable to try the scan and spot trick. In this trick, you should take a scanning look across the store to see if you find an item that grabs your attention.

When scanning the store, it is important to look for products representing your favorite colors and styles. For household items, try looking for those that resemble your home decor. This way, you will end up with items of value.

hands checking garment in thrift shop rack

Tailor Your Thrift Store Finds

If you have never tried thrift store shopping, don't be fooled to think that you will find perfect fits for your needs. As a matter of fact, those who thrive in second-hand shopping are prepared to make adjustments. On one occasion, you may be lucky enough to come across a product that is tailored for your needs. However, most shoppers have to make changes to the products they acquire from thrift stores.

For DIY enthusiasts, thrift store products present the perfect opportunity to try fixing and fitting products at home. Right from clothing to shoes, kitchenware to electronics, most products require some amount of fixing.


Shopping from a thrift store can be fun and a good way to find quality products at affordable prices. With the right strategy, you may end up revitalizing the look of your home. You can also use this opportunity to improve your closet and pump up your sense of fashion. While shopping at a thrift store is recommended, make sure you have a clear plan and follow the tips above to avoid making mistakes.