I have the most success at the thrift store when I’m thorough. Yes, sometimes I get lucky and find items quickly as soon as I get there or a gem will pop out at me from afar, but in most cases I have to take my time in order to find the best items.
I’m going to share with you some of the maybe not-so-obvious tips for sourcing at the thrift store.
LOOK THROUGH EVERYTHING
Okay so this is the common theme throughout this whole article. Don’t leave any stone unturned. When I look through items I don’t slide multiple hangers past me at a time, I like to look at each item individually. If the rack is overfilled and you can hardly move the items to see what they are, take a handful of hangers and hang them on the end cap or on the rack behind you. This will free up enough space so you can properly look through each piece. Yes, this does take time to do. On average, I spend about 1.5-2 hours per sourcing trip.
This works because, generally speaking, most people shopping at the thrift store are not going to look at every item. Most people will also skip past the areas that are messy or where hangers and/or clothing items get knotted together and a lot of the good stuff gets missed. I will gladly take my time to go through it so I can find the good stuff and take it home. I can’t tell you how many times I have sourced amazing items that were hanging on by one side of the hanger in between a mountain of other clothes. I would have easily missed them if I just skipped past the messy section and didn’t take my time to look at everything.
Don’t neglect the end caps! A lot of times shoppers will find things they like, hang on to them and then decide they don’t want it at the last minute. Then where does it go? You got it – on the closest rack to them, generally on the end cap. I almost always find things on the end caps that got abandoned at the last minute.
I also make a point to look through clothing piles left on couches, in between aisles, inside baskets tucked underneath racks, on random tables throughout the store, the list goes on. Give me all the piles! Similar concept as the last tip – people decide to leave their finds at the last minute, and I will come right behind them to swoop them up. If you see a pile, look through it! Every. Single. Time.
Fitting Rooms and the go back rack just outside the fitting room – solid gold. I will not leave a thrift store without searching through this area. I have found more hidden gems in these spots than I can count. I have no shame in my game, I will go in to every fitting room to look through what other people left behind. If you are skipping this spot, you are missing out!
AT THE REGISTER
Have you ever been to a store and when they rang up the price tag you decided you didn’t want it? Well this happens at Goodwill too! If I see a small pile or some items on the counter when I’m checking out, I will always ask the clerk if it’s on hold or if it’s reserved for someone. If it’s not I will check it out to see if there’s any goodies inside.
Thrifting is like a treasure hunt! You have to get creative and look in the spots that other people may have skipped over. Where is your favorite place to source at the thrift store? Tell me in the comments below!
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