To Thrift or Not to Thrift?

A week ago, Value Village contacted me with some thrifting tips, with the chance that perhaps my readers and I would be interested.  Well, I never say no to a learning experience –especially as I am curious to learn more about the elusive ‘art’!  Thrifting has never really been my forte, and my successes on eBay (which I consider to be a kind of thrifting) have been very few.  However, so many of my friends thrift, that I just had to know –how do they do it? Without further ado, here are some top tips for shopping at secondhand stores like Value Village:

1.  Go often, you never know what treasures will be there the next day. Every Value Village store gets 5,000 new items every day.

As a regular browser at Winners (although they don’t sell second-hand items), I can attest to the fact that dedication and time is definitely required!  Don’t be discouraged!

2.  Never have an expectation for finding a certain item, keep an open mind. You might go in for a dress and come out with an awesome top.

How many times has that happened to me?  Countless!  It’s how I found my cute LBD (which I scored on eBay!) and a fantastic pair of Pelle Moda shoes at Winners.

3.  If you are wary about wearing secondhand clothing, many people find that books, housewares (specifically glassware) and handbags/accessories are a good entry-point. With more than 130 product categories at every Value Village store, there is much, much more than just clothing.

I have some reservations about wearing second-hand clothing as well, unless it is practically unused –so I wholeheartedly agree with this advice.  I’ve found some rare sewing patterns at Value Village –a successful treasure hunt!

4.  Give yourself enough time to shop the store. Why?  If you’re at a Value Village store, they could have more than 100,000 items on the sales floor at any given time, and products change every day!

5.  Don’t forget comfort! Wear something simple, such as flats, leggings and a tank top (I personally prefer flowy, feminine tops that are just as easy to take off…) so that you can try items on as you shop. You want to be comfortable and able to easily try on new things. When in doubt—grab it, and try it on. You never know!

6.  Have fun with shopping secondhand! Bring friends and make it a treasure-hunt adventure!

Friends can make you consider things that you normally would not try for yourself.  Be daring!

7.  When making a trip to a secondhand store, take some old items from home to donate. By shopping and donating to Value Village, you are doing your part to help the community, and Value Village donates to local charities –over $1 billion to date!

Items found at an actual Value Village store.  [Image Credit: Value Village]

On a parting note, perhaps a downside to thrifting is that if you live in a tiny town, (as I used to) the clothes that are donated to the local Value Village are usually run-of-the-mill mall clothes.  It’s definitely hard to find labels or unique garments in Comox!  So just be aware that second-hand stores will mostly be dictated by what the locals wear/have to offer.  However, in big cities like Vancouver, this could mean a shopping paradise!  So don’t be put off, and personally, if I wanted to increase my chances of going home with a fantastic find, second-hand stores in the big cities are the way to go. 🙂

So, my lovely readers – to thrift, or not to thrift?  Would you?

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