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7 tips for shopping thrift

December 11, 2012
huntersville, grand opening, shopping, thrift store, shopper

Shoppers check out the merchandise at our recent Huntersville grand opening

Do you know what you spend on clothing and toys for your children each year? Children grow so quickly that it’s often hard to justify purchasing expensive clothing for them to wear for just one season. And we all know how expensive the latest toy can be.

Have you considered shopping thrift?

Some may think that thrift stores carry nothing of value. While there certainly are some dismal thrift and consignment stores out there, we work hard to make sure that our Goodwill stores are clean and well-organized. We weed out the broken, filthy, and unusable items before putting merchandise on the sales floor. And parents are beginning to catch on – not only has thrift shopping become socially acceptable, it’s also becoming a trend to find out who can land the best deals.

New to thrifting in Charlotte? Here are 7 tips that can help you stretch your budget and become a thrift shopping star.

  1. Plan and map out your trip. There may be thrift stores close to your home that you aren’t aware of, or stores that might be worth the extra few miles for a great deal. Goodwill has a store locator on their website, or you can click here to find a list of Charlotte-area stores. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a running list of items you are looking for. Need a lamp for your guest bedroom? New books for your classroom? Your list will help guide you if you decide to stop by a store.
  2. Check labels. Often you can find brand-name clothing at thrift stores, if you’re willing to dig a little. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for your favorite brands, so you can feel confident that you are getting a good deal on quality pieces that will last.
  3. Make it a routine. Many thrift stores receive donations every day, so they are able to make new merchandise available throughout the day. Stopping by once a week is a great way to spot bargains and pick up the best merchandise at your favorite location. (Bonus if you’re a senior – Tuesdays are discount days at Goodwill!)
  4. Keep an open mind. Thrifting is an art, not a science. There may be items that are a great buy, but if you skim over them too quickly you could miss out. For example, if you’re shopping for clothing, don’t forget to look through the furniture or home goods so you don’t miss out on a great deal.
  5. Think long-term. Your kids may not have need for swim trunks or t-shirts right now, but by next summer they will likely have grown out of last year’s clothes. If you have the space to store a tub of clothing, then consider your family’s long-term needs when thrift shopping.
  6. Get creative. We love that people are getting more and more creative with thrifted finds with the help of sites like Pinterest! Spot an old brass lamp? A little spray paint goes a long way. For those who have basic sewing skills, a ladies’ skirt or even a tablecloth can easily be turned into an adorable dress for your daughter. Keep your eyes peeled for fabrics that appeal to you.
  7. Give back. Keep your wardrobe from overflowing by practicing “one item in, one item out.” Keep your closet organized by donating unwanted clothes or household items to the store you just purchased from. Help yourself while helping others!

Thrifting is fun, helps your family save money, and it often provides funds for nonprofits like ours that help people in our community. It also keeps keeping perfectly usable goods out of landfills and incinerators – the ultimate recycling practice! What are your thrifting tips?

One Comment
  1. December 14, 2012 9:42 am

    Some of my favorite treasures I have found at Goodwill! From furniture to decor to clothing items, you can find so many cool things if you go often (like you said) and think outside the box. A little paint covers over a multitude of sins!

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