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The New and Improved Thrift Store

Some of our ideas about thrift stores are probably pretty dated. One can picture digging through mounds of garbage in a dusty room only to find one pretty cool vintage shoe or a book that may sound interesting but mainly just layers of junk. That, unfortunately, is true of some of the local thrift stores out there today. However, I have worked for consignment and thrift stores for the past four years and I am here to dispel what you might think is the truth about thrift stores. You can find so many wonderful and surprising things at thrift stores and consignment stores.

It is so much fun to get a great outfit knowing you paid less than a half tank of gas. Some may be disgusted at the idea of buying used items but if you wash them, there is truly nothing to be afraid of. Besides, who knows where new items are stored and what kind of conditions your new clothes go through before they arrive at a store.

First, I suggest looking up all of the thrift stores in your area and checking them out. Through my experiences as a thrift store maven, I have found that different stores have a “best of” category. Let me explain – one thrift store I may go to because I know they have the best jewelry selection, another may have the best book selection, and yet another holds the title for best clothing selection. Although I do suggest looking through all departments because the best thing about thrift stores is you never know what you might find. I have found for example Chanel sunglasses, Abercrombie clothing, Hollister clothing and what I love best about thrift stores is the ability to find affordable vintage clothes. I like to mix and match clothing from different eras and I have found some truly remarkable vintage clothes at – you guessed it – the thrift store I have deemed best for finding vintage clothes.

I cannot give out any pertinent information of the stores where I have worked however, I do have some savvy insider information that anyone can abide by. First, scope out your local thrift stores and find which ones you deem to be the best for you. Next, find out when they have sales. A lot of thrift stores have an end of the month sale or even a weekly sale where the already discounted items are more than half-off. You may experience long lines and chaos during these sales but get there early and know what you are looking for. I have seen parents buy all four of their children’s school clothes for the year for $100! True, you may not be able to find everything you need at a thrift store but you can afford to furnish your wardrobe for next to nothing and no one is the wiser. The next tip I can give you is ask when the store production is there. If production is off for the day there will be no new items coming out to the floor that day so you would probably want to be there about midday on a day when the production is up and running to find fresh items. So, I have a challenge for you – find your local thrift stores, see what you can find, and see if I was right…

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