Many of our staff and volunteers here at FROM are avid thrift store shoppers! We asked our Marketing Communications Intern, Liz, to share her top tips for how to find treasures and snag the best deals on your next shopping trip.
Thrift shopping is one of my favorite activities. There is always a big rush when your next favorite sweater appears in your life and you also got it for an amazing price. I picked up a number of these tips from my sister, who also loves to thrift.
Thrifting used to be so stressful for me. The crowds, the racks, and did I mention the crowds? My sister explained that the thrifting experience is more than buying a shirt and leaving, the fun part is looking through aisles, trying things on, and giving yourself the time and space to do so. It is a no-pressure time, so don’t add the extra expectation that you ARE going to find a Gucci bag, but that you COULD find one.
After getting into the right headspace and bringing a friend or two, I am now able to fully enjoy the experience and now it has become an activity to help me de-stress. What I love about FROM is that they’re always giving out deals to help make these finds a little sweeter. Keep reading below for some tricks to make your next trip overflow with treasure.
Shop on the Right Day
There is nothing worse than spotting an item and then watching someone else get it first. This has happened to me more times than I can count. The mourning process of what could have been is a hard one to get over. Finding the best day to shop can make or break your experience. For FROM, there is a line out the door almost every Monday, if you are an olympian on thrift shopping, go for it. However, if you like the peaceful atmosphere of a browsing experience, try a Wednesday afternoon or anytime later in the week when we tend to be less busy.
Shop Off-Season For Clothes
When checking out a coat in the middle of August, you might get a few looks of confusion or maybe even concern. However, when other pro thrifters see you you’ll get the nod of approval. Other thrift stores give a better deal for out-of-season clothing and materials and FROM is no different. Also, the coats and sweaters will be less picked though so a surprise find is basically guaranteed.
Know When Your Store Restocks
Restock day is like Christmas in the thrifting community. It’s the newest and shiniest toy under the tree. It will be a busy day but it will be worth it when you get to have first dibs on items. FROM restocks all week, meaning you can make visiting an occasional trip or a daily one. Either or, there will always be something new to find!
Dress For The Occasion
Some thrift stores will have changing rooms, while others might not. It is a dangerous game of guessing which is true. It would be a shame to see a dress and think, “yeah that’s so me” buy it, and then try it on only to see that green is not your color. Luckily FROM has some but depending on the day it could be busy. If you don’t have time to wait in lines then dress for the occasion with simple modifications. Are you getting a dress? Bring heels so you can test the length. Looking for a sweater? Wear a tank or a t-shirt so you can try one on. Wearing comfortable shoes is also a must, if you’re going to shop till you drop, make sure you don’t drop for a while.
Look For Items to Repurpose
Are you a repurpose expert? I give props to you then because I am still learning this impressive skill. FROM offers many items that can be changed to their full potential. We’ve got tables, chairs, and a bunch of promising items for you to start your next mission. We’ve seen people take old clothing and bring them to life through tie-dye, and many others who have created crafts out of old ties, and brought new life to furniture. The possibilities are truly endless at FROM.
Scan The Aisles
It can be really easy to spend hours looking at each individual piece of clothing on the racks. You might want to make sure you aren’t missing an item that would make all your friends jealous. Unfortunately, not everyone has hours to spend, if you train your eyes and mind to be able to scan the aisles for those pieces you’ve been looking for, then you’ll save so much time. Think of it like a 6th sense, a fashion sense!
Make Friends With Your Thrift Store Staff
Thrift stores don’t run on their own. They need a devoted staff and or volunteers to help keep them running. Most of the time, the people working there are just as passionate as you about thrifting. If you become friends or acquainted with the staff, they can help you find good deals, give advice, or let you know if that top you found looks good! Our staff and volunteers get to know many of our customers, and we’d love to get to know you too so we can help you find those unique items perfect for you!
Why Shop Second Hand
It can bring a thrill when you find an expensive piece for a great price. This feeling alone might be why many choose to thrift, yet, there is also an even better payoff from shopping second-hand. By giving cute tops and couches a second chance at life, you’re keeping them out of landfills. We’ve seen lots of people give clothing a second, third or fourth life by purchasing items through our thrift store. In fact, some people purchase from us, use it awhile and then donate it back to pass it along to someone else.
About Liz: Lis is a junior at Cornerstone University studying Marketing. She’s an avid thrifter and has been interning with FROM since May 2022.