11 Thrift Store Shopping Tips To Help You Score The Best Stuff

We’ve rounded up 11 thrift store shopping tips that will definitely help you score the best stuff the next time you’re going to Value Village.

At StyleDemocracy, we love smart shopping and know how to get the best value at your favourite stores. Hidden offerings, insider secrets and the ultimate savings…every week we share with you our favourite shopping tips and tricks to help make your next shopping trip as smooth as possible.

This time we’ve rounded up 11 thrift store shopping tips that will definitely help you score the best stuff. Check them out below:

Take your time

Inventory in a thrift store can be extremely overstocked, and messy. It’s important to go through items carefully, so you don’t miss out on any hidden gems that you may have blown past otherwise.

Instaram/ @vancouverdigs

Keep your smartphone handy

You never know what might be worth something substantial— so always keep your smartphone on you. Google will be your best friend when it comes to thrift shopping. With just a quick search, you’ll be able to weed out the junk, easily.

Keep in mind that alterations can be made

If you spot a pair of designer jeans that would be the perfect addition to your wardrobe, but are five sizes too big, just remember you can always take them in to be altered— and this goes for almost anything else; dresses, sweaters, jackets, pants, and so on.

Know what you’re looking for

Having an idea of what you’re on the hunt for, before you even show up to the store is usually a good idea. This way, you’ll walk in with a mission in mind, instead of sifting through endless styles hoping by chance you find something you like. If you have a plan, you can find exactly what you’re looking for plus a few extra goodies you picked up along the way.

Instagram/ @thriftedthis

But don’t rule anything out

Thrift shopping can be exhausting, because most of the time, things won’t just jump out at you and grab your attention. It’s important to keep an eye out for things that could be salvageable, or secretly valuable.

Know which stores to shop at

If you’re looking for a real treasure hunt, you should avoid places like Value Village or Salvation Army, and look at more independently owned consignment shops, vintage boutiques, and antique yard sales— that’s where you’ll find the good stuff!

Ask when new inventory comes in

Don’t be afraid to ask an employee when they receive their new shipments, because that will more than likely be the best time to shop— before everyone’s already had a chance to clean house, and leave you with slim pickings.

Instagram/ @thriftedthis

Learn how to haggle

Haggling wouldn’t be a very useful tool at places like Value Village, Salvation Army, or Good Will, but it will if you’re shopping smaller out-of-town consignment shops, vintage, or antique yard sales.

Wash it when you get home

This kind of goes without saying, but since the items are used— and you really don’t know their history—it’s best to give them a good wash before wearing them. Plus, it will get rid of the infamous closet smell that thrift buys inevitably have.

Get there early

The earlier in the day you get there, the better. You can beat the crowd, the store will be freshly organized, and best of all, anything new that has been put out overnight, will be yours for the taking.

Instagram/ @thriftedthis

Don’t be afraid to go thrift shopping while you travel

This one is very important. Limiting yourself to thrift shopping in your own city only, is going to cause you to miss out on some real winners. Thrift shops all have their own very unique inventory, so the further out you branch, the more opportunities you’re giving yourself to hunt down the best of the best. Try exploring rural areas near you— their consignment stores are nearly untouched —and if you’re ever travelling to foreign countries, be sure to keep an eye out for consignment boutiques, or thrift markets— this will be the best time to test out your new haggling skills!

Featured image: Instagram/ @thriftedthis

Posts you might be interested in:

The Best Consignment and Thrift Stores in Vancouver
8 Places to Score a Winter Jacket for the Best Value in Toronto
Our 6 Favourite Furniture Consignment Stores In Toronto
10 Things Every Value Village Shopper Needs to Know
The Best Resale Websites to Shop Secondhand Right Now