Learning how to shop for thrift shop clothes can mean all the difference in the world to your wallet when money is tight. Thrift shopping is a popular way to buy used goods at exceptionally low prices, and it is a common form of bargain shopping for many. Shopping for thrift shop clothes, however, isn't the same as shopping at regular department stores. In fact, because all sales are final in thrift shops for the most part, you'll need to know what to look for and what to avoid in order to get the best bang for your clothing buck.
- Know what you are looking for. Before you start shopping for thrift shop clothes, it is important to know what you are shopping for. Because of the random nature of thrift shopping, you'll either love the chaos and treasure hunt feel of the experience or you'll want to throw in the towel as soon as you start. Knowing what you want will help to keep that latter feeling at bay and keep you on course for what you seek.
- Check for stains. Don't find yourself surprised by a nasty stain after you've already purchased and taken home your new thrift shop find. An important step to remember when learning how to thrift shop is to check for stains on the fabric of the clothing. These can be sweat stains on the armpits or mystery stains anywhere else, but if you see one you might want to leave the item behind. An old, unidentifiable stain may be impossible to remove.
- Is it in good shape? While some thrift shop clothes may be new, the majority are not and may have holes or tears in them. Look over any item that you are considering buying and inspect it for major and minor rips or tears, missing buttons or faulty zippers.
- Give it the sniff test. Your mind might rebel at the idea of putting your nose to clothes last worn by someone else, but it is important to give thrift shop clothes a quick sniff. Although they may be a bit musty, what you're checking for are any odors that are deep in the fabric, such as cigarette smoke. If a chain smoker has been wearing that shirt that you are contemplating buying, and has worn it for years, there's a good chance that smell is there to stay.
- Try it on for size. Just because it is marked in your size doesn't guarantee that it will fit. After an article of clothing has been washed and worn repeatedly it can stretch or shrink from its original size. The only way to be positive that it will actually fit is to try it on.
When buying thrift shop clothes, remember that the money that you spend goes in part to the charity that is represented by that thrift shop.