At StyleDemocracy, we know shopping! We deliver the scoop on all things retail related including how to get the best value at your favourite stores. Hidden offerings, insider secrets and the ultimate savings… we’ve rounded up the 10 things every Value Village shopper needs to know. Keep reading for the top tips for shopping at Value Village.

Sign up for the Super Savers Club Card

Be sure to pick up a Super Savers Club Card the next time you’re leaving Value Village. You’ll get an initial 25 per cent off discount coupon after you register the card online, but you’ll also get information on special sale events, members-only coupons and birthday offers. By getting a club card, you’ll stay up to date on what’s happening at your local Value Village.

Donate!

When you donate items to Value Village, it translates into revenue for their 140 nonprofit partners across Canada, the U.S. and Australia. But of course there’s something in it for you! When you donate your gently worn clothes, Value Village will give you a coupon for a specified dollar amount off your purchase of $10 or more. This way you can feel good about buying more clothes.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Value Village is not a quick, in-and-out experience. It takes time to dig through all the racks of clothing and then even more time trying the clothes on and then deciding what to buy. Allocate yourself a couple hours to thrift through the store to ensure you find what you’re looking for. Grab your girlfriends and make an afternoon of it! They’ll also provide you with a second opinion on pieces you aren’t quite sure of.

Watch the Tags

The tags at Value Village are basically a secret sale code. The tags are colour coded to reflect when an item came in and each week a different coloured tag is on sale. Usually it is announced over the loudspeaker what colour tag is on sale, but the employees are happy to tell you as well. So ask away and start doing some major saving!

The Dry Cleaner and Tailor are Your Friends

Regardless of which Value Village you go to, there’s a certain smell that is bound to hit you at some point during your shopping experience. But don’t be afraid, because it’s just the smell of clothes that need a good wash. They’ll be good as new after a round at the dry cleaners so don’t let the smell deter you. Sometimes you have to endure that smell in order to find that perfect piece you’ve been looking for. And befriend a tailor, too! If you find a piece you love but, let’s say, the shoulders are too big or the legs are too wide, take it to the tailor! Investing an extra $10 in something you’ll wear time and time again is always worth it. 

Keep an Open Mind

When thrifting, you’re bound to find a few crazy items – it’s the nature of Value Village. But sometimes you find something that’s so crazy it just might work. It’s something you laugh at for being so out there but you feel guilty for not having the courage to pull it off yourself. Well put that item in your cart and give it a shot! Value Village is the place for taking risks; it’s a place where you can mix and match things you would have never thought possible. So keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to try on certain items.

Look for Problems

Now, don’t be a Negative Nancy or anything, but when it comes to thrift shopping it’s best to expect the worst. Say you find a gorgeous designer dress… but why did someone want to give away an article of clothing so seemingly perfect in the first place? Maybe there’s a huge stain on it. Or the zipper doesn’t work. Regardless, be sure to examine everything carefully. There’s nothing worse than getting a new item home and realizing it has an unfixable issue.

Shop Off-Season

Rather than heading to Value Village at the same time as everyone else, try shopping at non-peak times. Many off-season items are on sale during their opposite season, such as sandals in winter. They may not be marked on sale, but the prices are often lower than if you try to buy them during the season. You won’t get to wear them right away, but when the right season finally rolls around, you’ll be thankful you bought those sandals at half off when you did.

Know Good Value

Not every item you find at Value Village is going to be a home run. Yes, there are diamonds in the rough, but it’s a long journey through multiple racks of clothes to get to said diamonds. With practice, you should become familiar with what’s good quality and what is worth leaving behind. A polyester sweater isn’t going to hold up like a cashmere one. Pay attention, know quality when you see it.

Shop With a Goal in Mind

In need of more clothes for work? Shopping for staple items? Or just looking for a signature piece to add to your wardrobe? Whatever the reason, a great way to navigate Value Village is by shopping with a goal in mind. Don’t go in with your head in the clouds or you’ll be sure to get lost amongst the racks. When going in with a goal, you are more likely to find what you’re looking for.

Did we miss any Value Village shopping tips? Share yours in the comment section below.

Featured Image: Instagram/@Valuevillage_thrift 

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