Thrifting is cheap, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or style. You can find unique clothes while thrifting if you know what to look for. I started thrifting when I was in college and looking for a way to save money on clothes. I was quickly hooked! I loved the thrill of the hunt and finding amazing garments for a fraction of the retail price.
Now that thrifting has become mainstream, more people are looking for tips on how to successfully thrift shop for clothing online. Here are my top tips:
Know Your Measurements
This is crucial when thrifting online (or really, anytime you’re shopping online). Many thrift stores don’t accept returns, so you want to make sure your purchase clothing will actually fit. Take note of your chest, waist, and hip measurements before you start shopping.
Usually, I’m a size 4/6 in pants and skirts and a small or medium in tops. When thrifting online, I always look for adjustable or stretchy clothing. This allows for some wiggle room if the item doesn’t fit perfectly.
Remember that clothes in thrift shops don’t come in set sizes like they do in retail stores. If you’re looking for a specific size, you may have to be more flexible when thrifting.
Set a Budget, Especially for Auction
I’m a sucker for a good deal, so it’s easy to get carried away when thrifting online. Opting for a thrift shop doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality. You can find great deals on clothing made with higher-end materials if you know what to look for. I once saw a beautiful cashmere sweater at a thrift store for less than $10!
However, I’ve learned to set a budget for myself before I start shopping. This helps me stay focused and prevents me from overspending. When bidding on items in an auction, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t bid more than you’re willing to pay. It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and overbid on an item.
Know What You’re Looking For
It can be overwhelming to sort through all of the clothing options in a thrift store, online or in person. I like to have an idea of what I’m looking for before I start shopping. This could be as specific as a plaid shirt or as general as a fall wardrobe.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, that’s okay! Part of the fun of thrifting is the element of surprise. However, if you’re on the hunt for a specific item, it helps to understand what you’re looking for before you start shopping.
Have a Few Shops You Check Regularly
There are so many great thrift shops out there, both online and in person. I like to have a few go-to shops that I check regularly. This could be a local consignment shop or an online auction site. I also like to follow my favorite shops on social media. This way, I’ll be the first to know about sales or new arrivals.
When I was a student, I had plenty of time to browse local thrift shops. Now that I work full-time, I don’t have as much time to thrift in person. That’s why I love online thrifting! I can do it from the comfort of my own home, and there are so many great deals to be found.
Check the Quality
One of the great things about thrifting is that you can find clothing made with higher-end materials for a fraction of the retail price. However, it’s important to inspect the dress for signs of wear and tear before you purchase it.
Look for holes, stains, or other damage that would typically not be present in new clothing.
I always check the seams, hemlines, and buttons to ensure they’re in good condition. Also, check the seams to make sure they’re not coming undone. If you’re unsure about an item’s quality, it’s probably best to pass on it.
Check the Return Policy
Many thrift stores don’t accept returns, so it’s important to scrutinize the clothing before you make a purchase. However, some thrift stores have a return policy, so it’s always worth checking. If you’re not satisfied with an item, you may be able to return it and get your money back.
The Bottom Line
Thrifting takes time and patience. You may not find what you’re looking for right away, but that’s part of the fun. The key is to relax and enjoy the hunt. Happy thrifting!