How to Score the Best Thrift Store Deals

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With the cooler fall air comes thoughts of a new wardrobe. I always tend to want to update with a cozy new sweater or trendy pair of jeans. But let’s be honest, fall fashions can be hard on the budget! It doesn’t have to be that way! This is my very favorite time of the year to find the best in thrift store bargains. Sweaters, coats, boots and jeans – all those items that can cost quite a bit new are a fraction of the retail price at the thrift store. Here, I’ll offer you a few of my favorite thrifting tips so you too can find just what you need to update your closet and get it ready for fall!

Go Alone

I know you love your spouse and your children and your time spent with them, but trust me on this one, your best thrift store experience happens alone. You won’t have distractions, melt downs (from your spouse OR your children!) or someone asking to leave early. You can take as long as you like and that’s important when you are shopping thrift. So what if you find a great new pair of jeans but want a second opinion? That’s the beauty of cell phones. Snap a quick pic and send it to your bestie. She will, no doubt, be happy to offer you her honest opinion.

Allow Plenty of Time

This is a big one. Thrifting takes time. It’s fine to pop into the store when you only have a little bit of time just to see what they have, but if you are looking for key pieces to update your wardrobe, you need to allow plenty of time. Take time to look through each rack because you never know where your next bargain is hiding. It really is the thrill of the hunt! There are many treasures to be found, but sometimes you have to go through a lot of stuff you don’t want or need in order to find the one item you do. Take your time and view your shopping as an adventure, not just a quick stop.

Shop Multiple Sizes

This is something I’ve learned through the years. I always check the size above and below what I am currently shopping for. Sometimes items get moved to the wrong place by shoppers. Also, different brands fit differently so it never hurts to look at a size other than what you actually think you need.

Research the Trends

Because the selection of clothing is normally so vast, it can become overwhelming if you don’t have a game plan before you arrive. Look at a few fashion blogs and articles before you leave so you have an idea of what the current trends are and what you might want to recreate for your own closet. I am always shocked at the number of on-trend items I find. Go with an open mind and be creative. You might be surprised!

Try Everything On

That $4 shirt isn’t such a bargain if it just sits in your closet. Make sure you try every piece of clothing on. That way you know you love it even before you’ve purchased it.

Pay Attention to Sales

At Goodwill Industries of Kansas, you can save 10% on every item purchased with your Preferred Customer Card. That number jumps to 20% off on Wednesdays. They also offer half off all items with a certain color tag each week. One of my favorite purchases at Goodwill is a skirt I found for only $1.75 because it was on sale. That’s less than $2 for an item I can wear multiple times, multiple ways. Pay attention to these types of offers and sales, and you’ll save even more!

Give Back

Clean out your closet regularly and donate your gently used clothing. Your unwanted item may be someone else’s new favorite bargain! Goodwill does so much to help give back to the community through their programs for people with disabilities and other employment barriers. What an easy way to support a great cause. And you can write it off on your taxes – just ask for a receipt!

Now, go check out your local Goodwill store and see what bargain is waiting for you! Happy thrifting!

by Cristy Harder

Cristy Harder is a Goodwill Fashion Consultant. Check out her “Fashion Friday” post every Friday on Instagram. Cristy lives in Newton with her husband and six daughters and loves to write, decorate and workout in her free time.