The thrift stores seem much more busy these days. I went around Nov. or Dec. last year...the store was packed!! Okay, so it was the holidays. I went again; late May afternoon...packed! A couple days later, I went again (pre-noon); the parking lot was full yet again. Growing up, I don't remember seeing anything like it. Chalk it up to the economy, I suppose. It also seems that "thrifting" is somewhat popular.
If you're new to shopping at thrift stores & looking for tips, Read on...
• Go really early, or go really late...on a weekday.
If you don't mind the crowds, go anytime. If you do, go when they open, or a couple hours before closing time. If you choose the latter, beware that the store may be in a disheveled state.
Weekdays (as with shopping most brick-and-mortar stores) are generally less busy. Generally.
• Don't go hungry, but don't drink too much.
It's never a good idea to shop hungry. If you're like me, you're irritable & all you can think about is food. It's an even worse idea to thrift shop when you're hungry. It takes much more time to comb through the boatloads of scraps to find the hidden gems, so don't do it on an empty stomach.
Eat & fill your belly before you go, just take it easy on your beverage of choice. Not all thrift shops have restrooms.
• Don't be a rack-cutter.
If someone else is looking through the rack that you are about to approach, be courteous enough to see what direction they are combing towards. It only takes a second, maybe two. Just one glance.
Okay, you got it now:) They are clearly going left on the rack, so, don't cut in 2 blouses ahead of them & start combing left. It's just not nice. Instead, go on the other side/behind them. It's CTSC (Common Thrift Shopping Courtesy); or at least it should be.
• Look out for specials & promotions.
Most thrift stores have weekly specials. Perhaps Wednesdays are Buy 1 pair of pants, Get the second half off.
Maybe Mondays are Half off all items with a Yellow Tag.
Check & see what promos are happening in your local shop.
• Don't expect to find exactly what you are looking for.
The nice thing about thrift stores is that you never know what you're going to find. Each trip is like an adventure! Sometimes you find exactly what you're looking for. Most times, you find something close. Often times, you leave with nice stuff you weren't initially looking to find. Other times, you leave empty-handed.
With a keen eye, the latter rarely happens.
• Put it in your cart.
If you like something, even just a little bit, put it in your cart. Don't leave it behind & expect it to still be there after you've walked around the store a few times, trying to make up your mind. You can sort through your cart of finds, try things on & put things back, and make some really tough decisions, all before heading to check out.
• Wear a thin layer of clothing.
If there aren't any dressing rooms, it just makes it easier to try stuff on. If you're concerned about germs, you can consider it a layer of protection.
• Have fun!
Do not go thrift shopping with people who aren't into buying second hand stuff, or people who don't like to spend a long time in stores, for that matter. They will hover around you with this look on their faces of "Aren't you ready to go yet?".
Don't do it, it's no fun.
Go with fellow "thrift-shop-a-holics", or go alone. It's much more enjoyable when you can take your time & not be worried that someone in your party is bored.
If you're a thrift-shopping aficionado...what tips did I miss?
Feel free to share in a message below!