And so the day is almost upon us, National Thrift Shop Day is Sunday! A day where I can brag about the Kate Spade purse that I got for $1 or my $20 pair of Citizen Jeans. Thrift store and consignment shopping has become an art to me. Slowly picking though the racks finding those unbeatable prices for gently used clothing. With all the “good” mixed with the “bad” sometimes fingering though the rack of endless clothing can get frustrating. Here are some tips for you Foxes to help get though the good and bad on this wonderful day.
Get the RIGHT Price
When people hear thrift store, they think of extremely low prices, and while this is true, always ask is it worth it? Really look at the piece of clothing. Look for holes, wear, and stains. Look at the price, is it 40% or more off? Stores have sales all the time, anything less than 40% off is just not worth the “used” price (unless it was limited edition and that’s just a whole new category). Getting over-excited about the low prices is an easy way to overspend and buy junk. Before you commit, look at the piece and try to picture at least three outfits that it will go with.
Find the good stuff
Some second-hand stores have no idea about the treasures they hold. To find them you have to be patient and have a good eye. I personally push all the clothing on the rack to one side and flip through each piece, takes like 30 seconds for each rack. This lets you see everything, even the pieces that are not designer and more vintage. Some excellent thrift shops around the area include; Plato’s Closet in Pleasant Hill, Way Side Inn Thrift Shop in Lafayette and of course the local Goodwills and Salvation Armys always holds a few surprises.
Do it yourself….. There are so many ways to make a $2 shirt look like it was $100. It is just a matter of how. With the handy Internet you can look up how to dye, cut, and sew almost any piece of clothing into runway-worthy fashion. Don’t be afraid to let your inner designer out. If you’re not creatively inclined you can always look too Pinterest or another one of my favorites High on DIY, both give detailed explanations on “how-to” and keep to new and upcoming styles.
Different from thrift stores, which usually carry donated items, consignment stores carry select merchandise that they sell on behalf of the owners, who get a portion of the sale in exchange. The curated items here are a great alternative if you don’t like going through the racks of a thrift store. Items are priced 30% or more below the retail price. These shops are in almost every town and always carry big name brands. If you’re near us in the East Bay, North Main Street in Walnut Creek holds many excellent consignment shops such as Labels, which carries luxury designers such as Louis Vuitton, Manolo Blahnik and Burberry, along with many others. Other options on Main include Main Street Rags and Consignit Couture.
Go on the right day
Here’s the trick; go on the weekends. The weekend is when these small stores plan for the most traffic and will offer the best deal in hopes that the customer will buy more. Also, make friends with the staff, or at least small talk and keep it extremely friendly, sometimes you can smile yourself into an extra 10-20% for “early sale item”.
Re-sell stores are the answer for us shopaholics. Giving us stylish clothes at a great price. Though I only mentioned a few there are a ton of re-sell stores in almost every city, so have fun exploring. Remember to be patient and don’t get overwhelmed! Happy hunting Foxes!