Thrift Store Hacks: 5 Ways to Get the Best Value from Second Hand Shops

Money The List
By: Jimmy Rhoades Posted: 3:14 PM, May 11, 2018 Updated: 2:39 PM, Jul 5, 2018

Thrift stores have great deals. But like any other kind of store, there’s a best way to shop. We met fashion expert Elyse Johnson at a Goodwill store to discover the dos and don’ts of thrift store shopping.

1. Take Risks

For starters, be open to taking risks! “Say you find a jacket or a pant, and you’re not sure how you’re gonna style it,” offers Elyse. “Get it! If you come back, it’ll probably be gone.” Resellers comb through thrift store racks to find stuff to resell on Etsy or eBay, so even if you’re a little unsure, follow your gut and pounce on one-of-a-kind items. You’re only risking ten bucks used, as opposed to hundreds new.

2. Don’t Live with Your Mistakes

Next up – don’t live with your mistakes. “Most stores have a return or exchange policy,” Elyse reveals. “Even at consignment shops, [they’ll often] let you resell it on their sales floor.” Good to know!

3. Ignore the Hem on Jeans

The third tip on our list? Ignore the hems on jeans! “Make sure they fit in the waist and the bum. But, if they’re too long, don’t let that deter you,” advises Elyse. It turns out raw hems are en vogue! “You simply just cut it, put it in the washer and dryer, and then you’re done.”

Men’s jeans should start out too long. “For men, make sure they’re not too short, because you really don’t want to do a cropped jean,” adds Elyse. Cut just below where you want the fray to appear. “Make it a half inch longer than where you want them, because the fray will eat into the length.” Thanks for the tip, girl!

4. Don’t Ignore the Hardware

When picking out those jeans, don’t ignore the hardware! “If it’s got a broken zipper or a broken button, [and] if you have to take it to a pro, it can offset you,” warns Elyse. Eek!

5. Don’t Be Grossed Out by the Shoes

Finally, don’t be grossed out by the shoes! Some of the best deals in the thrift store can be on the shoe racks, so refurbish those bad boys! Elyse offers a few tips: “You get an insert – these’ll run about eight dollars. Stick that in. Next, some shoe polish. Four dollars! Rub this on, and they’re good to go.” Bam! For just $12 dollars, you can make second hand shoes as good as new.

But be careful about more substantial repairs. “So you do want to pay attention to the sole, because this would have to have a whole sole, which would be sixty bucks,” informs Elyse. “But something like this, you could just replace the heel, and that’s $15.”

6. Look for Resale Finds

Ready to make some dough from your thrift store treasures? Watch the video below to learn the dos and don’ts of flipping your finds!

Spring time is the perfect time to go thrift store shopping. Now you know a few ways to be fashionable without breaking the bank. Happy thrifting!



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