Five Tips for Thrifting Beginners


Eva Clarke

It is no secret that high school students do not have a lot of money; between busy school days, sports, clubs and extracurriculars, it is hard to find time to get a job to earn money. So when it comes to saving money on shopping, the thrift store can be the perfect place to find good clothing for the best deals.

Thrifting is an easy way to find antique, unique or rare clothing for a low cost. Also, thrift shopping can be a way for people to revive older styles of clothing, as we have seen in recent years with trends that characterized the years from the 80’s and 90’s popping up in retail stores today.

Beginners or those who just have trouble finding success when thrift shopping should follow these simple shopping guidelines to have a successful trip.


Know what you need to get:

When planning a visit to the thrift store, it is necessary for a shopper to keep in mind what they might be looking for, or even make a general list of what is worth trying to find. On a strict time frame, shoppers must utilize the time they have, so stores like Savers have labeled sections by type of clothing to make your shopping trip easier.

Yet, what some stores lack in organization, they make up in affordability. For example, St. Vincent de Paul Society in Stoughton has one dollar deals on color marked clothing. Having a general idea of what to buy will facilitate easier decisions when deciding whether or not it is worth it to buy items certain items.

“I keep a list [on my phone] of items that I need or want and write it down when I see someone else wearing something I would want to buy, so that when I actually go to the store I know what to look for and where to look,” senior Emma Alosi said.


Look for name brands:

Many aspiring entrepreneurs thrift shop to find items from big name brands like Levi’s and Adidas that sell for top dollar, and then post them on apps like Depop and Poshmark to make transactions easy and quick. However, if shoppers are just looking for stylish clothing for their own closets, thrift stores—most prominently Savers—will price clothing by its condition, not its original price.

So while they could buy new items like Nike sweatshirts at retail stores that sell anywhere from $50-$100, shoppers have the option to save money and buy the same brand or article of clothing for around ten dollars. For a stylish high schooler on a budget, the thrift store can elevate anyone’s style for a cheap price.


Look at accessories:

When searching through thrift stores, it is always good to glance at the selections of accessories. Usually, thrift stores will carry belts, purses, sunglasses and jewelry like necklaces and watches. Finding beautiful and unique items can be a once in a lifetime chance, so if a shopper stumbles upon an item that interests them, they should put it in their cart and debate whether to get it later before checkout.


Try something new:

While fast fashion companies like Forever 21 offer trendy items for a low price, Savers will likely have similar items for even cheaper. This way, shoppers would not only save money, but they are also are being environmentally conscious because they are not buying the pieces new.

It is okay for shoppers to change up their personal style once in a while. Sometimes staring into a closet full of old clothes brings upon a state of frustration, leading to the infamous “I have nothing to wear” excuse. When shoppers want to experiment with new trends or a different style, thrift stores are the perfect place to switch up their style without breaking the bank.

“With thrift shopping, the clothing is generally cheaper than buying something new. Therefore, I like to buy things that I would only wear once or twice that are a bit out of my comfort zone, because with retail prices, wearing something once or twice doesn’t seem justified in my opinion,” senior Lily Ahmed said.

Although buying items that are not name brands may be out of many people’s comfort zones, the most unique and interesting items usually come from brands that are not as common, and they are a way for shoppers to stand out among their peers.

“Thrift store items usually have more character than retail ones do which makes them more interesting,” senior Jenna McDonald said.


Scan the selection:

It is difficult and time consuming to go through every rack and aisle of the thrift store. So, when restricted for time, shoppers should scan over the racks until something catches their eye, while keeping what they need and want in mind.

Look at color, style, material and patterns to get the full effect. If shoppers are still struggling to find what they desire by scanning over the selection, they can then go through the racks item by item.