ave you ever wanted to get into shopping second hand but know nothing firsthand? Have no fear, because this handy guide about thrifting will create you into the ultimate thrifting pro! Our guide includes everything you need to know about the exciting world of thrifting, including:

  • Why you should go thrifting
  • Tips on how to thrift like a pro
  • What to bring when thrifting

Why you should go thrifting

There are many reasons why you should implement thrifting as a source of shopping for clothes. Here are just some of the many reasons! 

 A rack of thrifted clothes in a thrift store.
Thrifting allows for you to find unique, one-of-a-kind items that will enhance your own fashion sense. Image courtesy of Pinterest.


If you are on a tight budget but need to increase your wardrobe without spending too much, thrifting is one of the best ways to do so. Plus, instead of paying for a higher quality item at full retail price, you can save a pretty penny and save your money for other necessities. 

Promotes individuality

You can find so many unique, one-of-a-kind items when thrifting. Doing so, can allow you to enhance your individuality when it comes to creating your own specific fashion sense. Whether it’s by finding a vintage piece of clothing or rare accessory, you can expand your individuality at a fraction of the cost. 

Plus, you have the chance to stray away from mainstream fashion choices and trends, then you can confidently express yourself in your own way.

Supports local communities 

Shopping at thrift stores will help support the community around you. Your contributions can go on to support local charities, businesses, or social services.

Promotes sustainability 

When thrifting, you are extending the use of a piece of clothing. Therefore, you are reducing the waste of that item and preventing it from ending up at a landfill. You are also reducing the demand for more clothing to be produced.

Thrifting also promotes conscious consumption. When thrifting used clothes, you are straying away from investing into fast fashion. You are also preserving water as it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one t-shirt! 

All in all, thrifting is an extremely helpful way to contribute towards a more sustainable future!

Tips on how to thrift like a pro

Woman sifting through a rack of thrifted clothes
Shopping in all sections of the thrift store will amplify your chances of finding the best items.

Find your select style

Think about your own desired fashion sense to get an idea of what colors, patterns, or fabrics you are looking for. When you keep your focus on finding particular items, it can prevent you from buying items you may not need or use. And though it can be harder than it seems, becoming a thrifting pro will help you hone in on the skill and potentially save you money and prevent overconsumption. 

Go Continuously

Sometimes you aren’t able to hit the jackpot on your first few trips to the thrift store. To increase your chances to find pieces to fit your select style, it’s best to go continuously. It will take time for you to become a pro but you’ll start to pick up more and more great finds the more you go. 

Scale out to other stores

If you’ve gotten tired of going to the nearest stores, spread out to other stores to expand your findings. For example, some people scale out to richer areas to find more high end brands in their thrifting trips. But even if you don’t want high end brands, going to other stores will allow you to support other stores and local communities. 

Create a budget

With the low, affordable prices, it’s easy to get carried away while thrifting. Try to create a budget for when you go, so that you aren’t overspending and can save money for more thrifting trips. This can be setting an exact dollar limit or even setting a clothing limit, like limiting yourself to buying five pieces or less in one trip.

Figure out when stores restock or have sales

Thrift stores typically have days where items are half off or at a marked price. Find out which day your thrift stores have sales so that you can save even more money thrifting. 

Also figure out when the store does their restocking, that way you have even better chances of finding the best stuff.

Talk with the employees

Talking with the employees can help you find certain styles or pieces you are looking for. And who knows, they could also be an inside man for you, and start hiding pieces for you in the back.

Learn all the best brands 

Becoming knowledgeable about all the high end brands will allow you to know which pieces are the most valuable. These are the high quality pieces that will have you saving the most money!

Shop in all sections

Take your time when going to the thrift store. You never know what you may find when you take your time, sifting through each section of the store. 

Even look through the changing room racks to see what people have put back. One man’s trash could be another man’s treasure, so don’t forget to flip through those racks!

Sift through all sizes as well, that way a misplaced item in your size can find a new home. Do be mindful of buying oversized clothing, so that people that actually shop in that size range can still have options suitable for them. 

Always check the condition

One of the worst feelings is coming home and realizing the new thrift find you just purchased has a large hole or stain on it. Be sure to thoroughly expect your pieces before purchasing, and unless you think you can fix it or salvage it, you should probably put it back. 

Learn how to upcycle

When you do find a piece you can’t live without but has a bit of damage, learning how to upcycle clothing can help you keep these thrifted finds. Whether it's learning how to sew, use patchwork, or deep cleaning methods, these upcycling techniques will help transform your thrift finds back into something new! 

Don’t be afraid to try your clothes on

To make sure you are not wasting money on items that are too small, too big, or unflattering, head to the fitting rooms to try your pieces on. It will help you shuffle through your stack of clothes to narrow down the ones that you want to take home. 

Bring a friend along

Thrifting can be even more exciting when you bring someone along with you. They can be helpful by giving you a second opinion on certain clothing pieces you aren’t too sure about.

Shop for certain items in the off-seasons

When you are low on shorts for the summer or winter jackets, try shopping for them in their off-seasons. They will be more in supply, so that you have better choices and aren’t stuck with nothing. 

Look through your cart before purchasing

Make sure to overlook your cart one more time before going up to check out. This way, you remind yourself of your choices and put back any pieces you aren’t sure on. 

Check out online thrift stores

Ebay, Depop, or Thredup are online thrift options to find even more specific items you are looking for. Be aware that some people might overprice their items, since thrifting has become such a larger trend. 

Make sure you are actually saving money

Sometimes you can go mindless when it comes to actually saving money on an item, especially since some thrift stores have also raised their prices. Be weary of the brand and their usual retail price to see if you are actually paying a fraction of the cost. 

You don’t have to buy something every time

Some thrift trips can be either hit or miss. It’s completely ok to leave without finding anything, because it’s better to save your money when a better find comes along the way and not on a piece that you felt iffy about. 

What to bring when thrifting

Two people exchanging a wad of cash
Make sure to keep extra cash on you when thrifting in case the store doesn’t offer other types of payments.


Not all thrift stores have card readers, so to ensure that you are able to purchase your unique finds, bring some cash with you. If possible, research the thrift store’s website to see if they mention which types of payments they allow.

Reusable tote bags

Bring your own tote bags to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags to help out the environment. Plus, they can hold a ton more items and remain durable for all your trips to the thrift store. Inspire others to do as well, so that you can make an impact on how convenient and helpful reusable tote bags are!

Hand sanitizer

Thrift store items can be extremely dirty, so it’s best to bring a bottle of hand sanitizer to use before and after you touch a bunch of pre-owned items. It will come in handy during sicker seasons as well. 

Happy thrifting!

Now that you know all the tips and tricks of thrifting, you can go out and become a thrifting pro! Your wallet and closet will definitely thank you in the long run.

Jul 7, 2023