Thrift Shopping Tips for Beginners


I love thrift shopping and I love Macklemore for writing a song about it. I've always been the gal that loves digging through bins and racks at resale shops like Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill. Even as a kid I thought it was cool to wear my mom's and grandma's vintage t-shirts and dresses. I don't know if I actually looked cool but I thought I looked awesome.

Fast forward 20 years or so and here I am back to being obsessed with thrift shopping. I've never really liked spending a lot on clothes. I'm convinced you can look cute and fashionable without spending a ton of money. So I started shopping at resale shops. When I lived in Texas I would stop at Buffalo Exchange every Friday night to buy a new outfit for the weekend. Usually spending less than $10 for a top or dress or whatever random items I could find. 

I started getting back into thrift shopping last fall. I wanted to find "hidden gems" in NYC that I could either keep for myself or resell online. So I started hitting up Goodwills and thrift shops in Manhattan. I even went to the insane Goodwill outlet in Queens. I might need to do an entire blog post on that experience alone. It involved a lot of running, yelling, pushing, shopping carts and the purchase of my favorite sequin jacket ever.

This post might not be for you (as you're gonna have to dig and literally get your hands dirty) but here are some tips on thrift shopping I've picked up!

Goodwill - I usually never buy anything full price at Goodwill. All the clothing at Goodwill has different colored tags on them. Some Goodwills pick a color of the week and those colored items will be half price. Some Goodwills pick a color or two for the day and they will be half off. Again, you're gonna have to dig and sort through a bunch of racks to find the specific color that is half off. I always make sure they're aren't any holes or stains. I make sure the zippers and buttons work. I also make sure to look for popular brands. You can do a Google search or look on an app like Poshmark to see what brands are popular to sell/buy. I've noticed here in Orange County, CA Target loves to drop off brand new items to the Goodwill. These new items are usually marked with a pink tag.

Resale/Consignment Stores - Resale stores seem to be popping up all over. These stores are usually more beautifully curated than the Goodwill or Salvation Army. Most of these stores will have deals of the day. I've found resale stores a great place to find jewelry and accessories. 

Online Resale Stores - If you don't want to actually get your hands dirty you can shop online. Poshmark has been my favorite place to buy and sell gently used clothing. I set up a store last November and have had quite a bit of success selling my own clothing and clothing I found at thrift stores and resale stores. You can pretty much search anything on the app and with thousands of users you should have good luck finding whatever you are looking for. eBay is another great place to find vintage dresses and clothing. 

Hopefully this post has inspired you to check out your local resale shops. You never know what you're going to find. Plus when you buy from Goodwill or a local resale shop the proceeds usually go to a specific charity so you're helping others at the same time!

Good luck and happy thrifting!

- Jessica