By Lauren Rink & Sydney Watson | Echo
To many, thrift shopping can seem like an intimidating task. Endless rows of clothes and knickknacks sit in large, fluorescent-lit, musty-smelling rooms.
Once you gain some experience and know what you're doing, thrifting can be a very fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips and tricks for mastering the art of thrifting:
Scout out some locations:Before you go thrift shopping, it is wise to consider where you will actually go. The location of the thrift store will determine a lot about the contents inside. Thrift stores in downtown New York City will not offer the same array as clothing as your local Goodwill in Marion, Indiana.
When finding a thrift shop, always make sure you know a little about the area it's located in, as this will suggest a lot about the contents inside. You may have to go to multiple stores to find anything worth while.
"Thrift shopping is like a church potluck, you have to go in not expecting much. There is a chance you can get lucky though," said sophomore Keaton Clay. Patience is key while thrifting. Most thrift stores have seemingly endless rows of clothes organized by the specific clothing item and color.
If you have a specific item in mind, you can go directly to that section. But, if you don't have anything in mind, it's best to just start from the beginning. Set aside at least an hour. Finding quality items can be time consuming, but is worth it in the end.
Be Creative:Creativity is a good asset to use while thrift shopping. It's best to keep an open mind and again continue to be patience while trying on all the various clothing items you find. Most thrift stores will have some very unique and fun clothes that can be styled to actually look quite good. Keeping an open mind and being willing to try on various items will determine your success while thrifting.
Try things on:
Sometimes you just want to walk out of the store with whatever you think will work. This is never a good idea with thrift shopping though. Nothing fits the way it appears on the hanger. While it may seem a little gross or annoying to use the dressing rooms in a thrift shop, it will end up saving you from buying pieces that you won't actually use.
Take a buddy:
Thrift shopping can be intimidating. Take a friend along and ask them what they think of different things. This way you won't buy anything too crazy. Also, sometimes you find some hilarious stuff hidden in the aisles. Make sure you have someone there with you to laugh about it with.
"This advice not only goes for relationships, but thrifting too!" said freshman Grace Schmidt, a regular thrift shopper, "Never purchase anything if you don't see potential. You can always come back the next week when items have rotated and start again." If you are uncertain if you would actually use a piece, do not spend money on it. Just because something is cheap, does not mean you should buy it.
Check for sales:
You never know when there will be a sale at your local thrift store. For example, on the first saturday of every month, everything at Goodwill is fifty percent off. Most shops have a decent website and will advertise their sales online. Do your research before you go so you don't miss a sale.
Thrift shopping is a great way to build intentional community. Find a group of friends and go try on some fun outfits. With a little patience and effort, you too can put together outfits that look brand new at a fraction of the cost. You never know what you might find, so give it a shot!