Going to thrift shops can be very fun and satisfying if done right, meaning, getting you best value out of your items and finding unique pieces that cannot be found anywhere else. It takes a skill and a lot of patience to do this kind of shopping and that’s why a lot of people don’t even go near thrift shops. I’ve always enjoyed secondhand shopping for multiple reasons. First is thatI love traditional shopping in stores and I don’t mind spending time on looking for that perfect find. Also, shopping in a thrift shop makes me feel like I am doing something good about the environment and the my valet, of course. That’s why in this blog post I wanted to share my experience and teach you how to get the best out of you second hand items.

1. The $20 rule

My golden rule is: Do not buy the item if it’s over $20. Of course this rule has its exceptions for goods that designed by high-end brands and also goods like leather and winter jackets. Brands like Forever21 and similar fast fashion brands made for teenagers and young adults are cheaply made and sold , so don’t waste your money on something you can buy brand new in a store. I personally have sold a set from Forever 21 to a thrift store for $15 that I purchased $4 on sale. Yes $4!

2. Look for items with original tags

I am not sure how these brand new items end up in thrift stores, but buying an item that has never been worn before for a price that is lower than its cost  feels pretty good. These items are hard to find but not impossible.

3. Do a quick research of the brand before buying the item

When I see an item I like the second thing I look for is the brand. I am familiar with a lot of brands and their average prices, but every once in a while I’ll come across a brand that I have to look up. I found a jacket that retails $400 for $20. How lucky, right?

4. Do not impulse buy

It is easy to make a quick decision and run to the register just because an item is cheap. Before you make the buying decision ask yourself these two questions: Does it fit properly? Remember items come in one size only in thrift shops. Does it fit your style? Thrift shops collect different styles so shopping there is different from shopping in your favorite brand that you are familiar with their styles. Make sure the style represents you even though is a thrifty find!

5. Check the condition of the item

Check for stains, wholes, zippers and smell of the item. This is very important because thrift shops do not wash  or repair donated or purchased items before they put them on the rack. Most of these stores have a non-refund policy so don’t let that happen to you. This feels like detective work but it’s worth it!

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This whole outfit was purchased at a thrift shop in New York. The top is H&M from their studio collection and the Skirt is Zara Basic with the original tag attached. The whole look was $37!