The Art Of Thrifting

By | January 17, 2018

Who said living life king size was only for the selected few? Here are a few tricks and techniques you can employ to become a thrift king/queen.

The Art Of Thrifting

We all prefer saving money wherever we can. One of the most efficient ways of achieving this feat is through ‘thrifting’. But, what is thrifting? While it can mean many things, depending on the context, when it comes to saving money it generally refers to shopping at places such as thrift stores, flea bazaars, garage sales or charitable auctions to procure items at a discounted or cheaper price.

These shops offer products at a very cheap price compared to the more commercial places. Thrifting can be taken up as a hobby since it can be a very lucrative activity once you get acquainted with the technical nuances. Usually, such stores offer products which are one of a kind and not available in bulk.

People undertake thrifting for various reasons. Some hope to make a hefty profit from it, some prefer it to commercial shopping in order to safeguard the environment, while others pursue it for its own sake. It is something which is followed by everyone around the globe.

You can enhance your personal style, your seasonal wardrobe, or decorate your house in a very small budget. It’s a unicorn amongst the shadows when you want to look and feel your best without draining your finances.

Additional Reading: Six ways to curb impulsive shopping!

In this article, we will discuss about the possible tricks and techniques you can employ to become a thrift king/queen. Who said living life king size was only for the selected few?

  • Make a List But Keep An Open Mind

Generally, when we plan to go shopping we tend to make a ‘things to buy’ list. It helps us remain focused so as to achieve the task in a set amount of time. However, thrifting is a totally different ball game. It is flexible and provides a window to go all out without going bankrupt.

The key to this method is to keep a mental list ready. It is equally essential to note that you are your own boss. You may find yourself inclined towards specific clothing, a colour, or even obsessed with accessories. Before undertaking the hunt for unique pieces you must decide your criteria for purchasing.

Once you have done that you can either choose to stick with it or decide to play a freehand. A make-shift list lets you keep a keen eye for the merchandise that you are interested in. It is a usual practice to keep off-season clothes on extreme discount rates.

This leads to more savings and you get a gorgeous piece to add to your collection. So remember, the key is to keep your eyes and your mind open when rummaging at a thrift shop. More often than not people end up discovering items which are not only unique but also dirt cheap.

Additional Reading: Your Financial Bucket List For 2018
  • Dressing For Thrift Shopping

Thrift shopping is a huge rage amongst people of different ages and background. Therefore, it becomes important to dress for the activity. The stores are usually crowded because of the discounts on offer so you need to be prepared to handle the growing multitude of people during the peak hours of a sale.

So, get into your comfy clothes and do not put on extra clothing. Chances are that the trial/fitting rooms will be swarmed with people and you might have to wait for hours in line. Wear something over which you can try on clothes without wasting any time.

This way you can save time and explore more! Wear something like a tank top and leggings to go with it. They will provide the required comfort and functionality.

Another critical tip is to never go without your socks. As it often happens, many people try the same shoes to get the correct fit. Keeping your feet covered will ensure hygiene and you can feel more relaxed while playing Cinderella looking for those perfect shoes.

It may be possible that you might have to race your opponent shopper in order to score that amazing piece. So be prepared to be athletic and practice those stretching exercises.

Additional Reading: Smart Ways To Save Money While Shopping Online
  • Do Not Go Overboard

Shopping today has become so convenient that we do not even need to carry money with us while we are out buying stuff. The easy act of swiping Debit or Credit Cards has everyone hooked. However, this changes when you are out at garage sales or thrift shops. Merchandise at such places is always priced quite reasonably and this creates the illusion of not spending too much.

We think we are well within budget only to later realise that we have exceeded the limit. For instance, you had previously decided to buy two shirts, but the price tag motivated you to buy four instead. You do not feel that you have stretched your budget since the shirts were so cheap.

So, take care when paying by cash or even swiping your card. Just because everything seems inexpensive doesn’t mean that you should spend without a care in the world.

Additional Reading: Six Ways To Curb Impulsive Shopping
  • Establish A Rapport: Get Acquainted With Your Favourite Stores

All stores have a different way of functioning and hence it is a clever idea to get acquainted with the way they work. They have their policies and dates which determine the period of re-stocking, opening hours, expected sales and other such details.

Ask around and talk to the salespersons. Enquire when they get new items and when they start sales. Look for memberships because members often get discounts which are not available to the general public. Similarly, sale dates are also revealed first to members.

If you are friendly with the crew and employees then they might even let you in on little secrets such as massive sale dates, best hours to shop and awesome new inventory. A little human interaction can save you some big bucks.

Additional Reading: Shopping With A Credit Card Has Benefits
  • The Buddy System

It is wise to have your friends or family accompany you. You can even plan and fix a thrift shopping day with them. This way you can feel safe while covering unknown territory and they can double up as help to assist you in your quest for the best deals possible.

They can guard your exploits while you go try on more clothes and act as a substitute to stand in the queue while you go explore some last minute sections.  Your buddy can help you cover more ground and assist you in unearthing the treasure. Patience is the key while you are shopping at second-hand clothing outlets.

  • The Most important Tip: Have Fun!

Thrift shopping is all about having fun. You get to explore new places, meet new people and save money while doing all this. We often get involved with account keeping and monitoring expenses and tend to forget the real purpose of the activity.

Soak in the environment. Take pleasure in the activity itself instead of focusing on the end results exclusively. It only takes a moment to enjoy the aesthetics of your surroundings, so go ahead and do it! Even if you do not find your perfect match you will at least have the satisfaction of having had a fun day. Do not let it turn into a monotonous task. Enjoy the music the store is playing, talk to the other customers, ask for advice, give feedback when asked and enjoy yourself.

Additional Reading: 6 Online Shopping Mantras To Make the Best Use of Festive Offers

Thrift shopping is a fun activity and in order to maintain the recreational aspect of it keep the abovementioned tips in mind. Do not go overboard with your budget, but also keep an open mind.

You are more likely to find an exceptional item in a thrift store than a commercial bazaar. Often, merchandise is only available in a small quantity. This gives you an edge and you can flaunt your unique style for the entire world to see.

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