Last Updated on by Buayifa Ojeogwu
Thrift shopping is a great way for resellers to find unique things to sell and make money.
But if you are new to shopping at thrift stores and need some tips, keep reading.
In this post, we’ll talk about 25 tips for shopping at thrift stores for resellers to help you make the best of your time and money spent there.
Hopefully, with these tips, you’d be able to thrift shop like a boss, resell, and make money from thrift store items.
Let’s dive in.
25 Tips For Shopping At Thrift Stores
1. Make a shopping list
First things first, make a list of what you intend to buy at the thrift store before leaving your house.
Having a list helps you stay on track and buy only what you need.
Else you’d get home and realize you bought stuff you can’t resell because nobody likes them.
2. Have a set budget for thrift shopping
Another tip is to have a planned budget for your thrift shopping. This will help you buy only what you came for and avoid impulsive shopping.
Also, if you’re thrift shopping to resell, you can easily calculate how much you spend on inventory when you shop with a budget.
Make sure to download a free sales tracker for your reselling business.
3. Dress comfortably for shopping at the thrift store
Thrift shopping is fun, so also think fun and comfort when dressing up for it.
My favorite shopping outfit is a fitted tank top with shorts or pants, and a crossbody bag.
This makes it easy for you to try on clothes and see their fit without needing to take off layers of clothes.
Of which most thrift stores do not have condusive dressing rooms.
And the crossbody bag is to make sure you have your money with you at all times.
You don’t want to go thrift shopping, get carried away, and lose vital items like your money or credit cards.
4. Have a hygiene kit
Since we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, most stores insist you wear a face mask before you enter.
So make sure to pack your mask, and hand sanitizer because you won’t be the only one shopping at the thrift store.
You don’t want to go all the way to the store and find you can’t get in because of a face mask.
Besides, you may come in close contact with people while checking the racks, and you want to be safe.
Also, you’d be touching racks, carts, and maybe your face, that’s where your hand sanitizer comes in handy.
5. Use cash more for shopping at thrift stores
Once you make a budget, get some cash for your shopping as some thrift stores do not accept debit or credit cards.
Also, the ones that do accept card payments may require a minimum spend.
So to be safe, use cash for thrift shopping.
6. Shop midweek instead of weekends
The thing is, thrift stores are usually very busy on weekends and that’s when everyone and their grandmas love to shop.
So you’d have to fight with other thrifters for gems. Lol.
Another thing to consider is that some people that donate stuff to thrift stores are usually occupied during the week.
So they prefer to drop things off on weekends.
And because of how busy thrift stores get on weekends, it is only normal that they’d restock beginning of the week or midweek.
That’s the reason some thrift stores don’t open on Mondays.
I guess they’re adding new items when customers are not in the store.
7. Thrift shop prices vary from store to store
I’ve made this mistake too before. I thought all thrift stores’ prices are the same.
The first thrift shop I ever visited, I bought tops for $2, so I thought it was the same everywhere.
Then I visited another store that sold similar tops for $5, and I wasn’t pleased. But I can’t do anything about it.
So prices would vary from store to store, and also the city you’re thrift shopping in.
Find the store that works best for you or be ready to make a compromise.
8. Be disciplined when you go thrift shopping
When shopping at the thrift store, focus on what you went there for.
Yes, you might find something that brings back old memories, which is sweet.
But you don’t have to buy it.
Stick to the plan, your shopping list, and your budget.
9. Browse the aisles
When you go thrift shopping, don’t spend too much time on one aisle.
Make the most of your time by browsing most if not all the aisle to see what you can find.
Because if you don’t have a set time to spend at a particular store, you may miss some rare goods while wasting time on just one section of the thrift store.
And before you know it, it’s time to go.
10. Learn what each store does best
Thrift stores can sell a variety of goods, but from what you buy, you may be able to tell what they do best.
Some thrift stores are excellent for furniture and home decor while some are great for clothes shopping.
When you know what to buy from a particular thrift store, shopping may become easier.
For example, Ten-up ministries thrift store is good for clothes shopping(for me), and Goodwill is my furniture place.
You may also like 7 Great Places To Find Items To Resell in 2021.
11. Explore online thrift shopping too
When you hear thrift shopping, you may think it can only be done at a store in your neighborhood or community.
But remember that you can thrift shop online too.
While online thrift shopping is much easier than going to a store in your area, there are some downsides.
You can’t try the items you’re buying, and also some don’t accept returns just like regular thrift stores, and even when they do, you’d be charged a restocking fee.
Now, don’t let that discourage you from online thrift shopping. I just want you to be aware of these things so there will be no surprises.
You would also love to read Can You Make Money Selling Clothes on Thredup?.
12. Be friendly and polite to thrift store staff
Thrift store staff work very hard to keep the stores organized so you can shop conveniently.
So the least you can do is be polite to them.
While some get little pays for the work they perform, others may be volunteers.
So treat them with respect, and maybe make friends with them if it so happens. There are benefits to it, I believe.
13. Learn when thrift stores restock
Talking about being friendly with thrift stores staff.
One of the perks is that they can give you vital information like restocking days, sales, etc.
14. Haggle prices for damaged goods
While I’d hardly or never buy damaged stuff to resell, I understand some people are fine with that.
So if you must buy anything that’s not in tiptop shape from a thrift store, negotiate the price and get a good deal.
Then maybe spend the difference to fix it before you resell it.
15. Be 100% sure before paying for items because returns may be unavailable
Most thrift stores do not accept returns, and some charge restocking fees for returns.
And the ones that do accept returns give only 7 days return window.
So what happens if you’re unable to go back to the store within 7 days?
That’s money tied down on stuff no one will buy.
So to avoid paying these fees or buying stuff you can’t sell, you must be 100% sure before you purchase that item.
16. Don’t buy underwears at thrift stores unless…
Some things you must not buy from thrift stores are underwears unless they’re new with tags.
Asides from the fact that it is just not hygienic to wear used underwear (no matter the brand), it may also be difficult to resell it.
But if you’re sure you can resell used underwears, then make sure you’re buying high-end brands like Victoria’s Secret.
Apparently, some Mercari Buyers are crazy about Victoria’s Secret underwears.
17. If you like it, don’t let it go
Thrift shopping is like a battle for some.
So if you find something you like, put it in your cart because the shopper beside you might be eyeing it too.
*in slow motion voice* And the moment you put it back on the rack, they’d quickly grab it.
So if you love that shirt, don’t let it go.
What you can do is, pick lots of things you like, then inspect them, return what you don’t like, then pay for the gems.
Also, keep an eye on your cart because some thrift shoppers would steal from your cart.
18. Open your eyes and look for brand new items
Thrift stores sell both used and NWT(new with tags) items, and sometimes the prices are the same across the rack whether used or new.
So I’d rather buy brand new and like-new items over good, and resell them for good profit.
And most buyers love to buy new with tags items, so your listings would sell faster.
19. Check out thrift stores in other neighborhoods
Don’t limit yourself to thrift stores in your neighborhood, visit stores in other neighborhoods too.
The first time I went thrift shopping at Goodwill, I wasn’t very pleased with what I saw there, so I bought only a few things.
Then I visited a not-so-popular thrift store and found new with tags clothes for $2, and I resold them for a good price too.
20. Sell your pre-loved clothings too
While you’re thinking of shopping at thrift stores to resell, also check your closet for clothing to resell.
You can sell your own pre-loved clothes on Thredup, or swap.com.
That can earn you some change to buy maybe one or two new things for yourself or your reselling business.
21. Don’t get too adventurous when thrift shopping
We all have that one or two times we found clothes at the thrift store and thought we could rock it or maybe sell it to someone adventurous that would pull it off.
Sometimes, it works but you don’t want to do that all the time.
You may never sell that crazy vintage stuff, and just have your money tied down, and you’d detest that item for a long time.
22. Visit thrift stores multiple times weekly
If you are a reseller, I think it makes sense to visit thrift stores several times a week.
You can even try visiting multiple stores on different days of the week.
Doing this would help you know when different thrift stores restock, so you can shop accordingly.
23. Give yourself a set amount of time to spend at each store
While it doesn’t make sense to dash in and out, also try to not spend forever at the store.
So give yourself a set time for shopping at each thrift store, and make the best of that time.
And if you have enough time, you can visit another store.
24. Clean your thrift clothes before using them
Whether you’re going to sell your thrift store clothes or not, it’s only sensible to clean clothes before wearing them.
And if they’re new with tags, and of course washing would ruin the tags, you can easily run them in the dryer.
Just make sure you are selling clean clothes to your buyers.
25. Don’t limit yourself to particular size clothes
Now, if you resell clothes in similar sizes, you’d likely find buyers that want to buy bundles.
But it doesn’t mean those buyers won’t buy other size clothes they like in your store.
So if you find fashionable clothes (whatever size) in great condition, buy them and see how fast they sell.
You may also love to read How To Start A Reselling Business.
Conclusion on Shopping at Thrift Stores
So that’s 25 tips for shopping at thrift stores for resellers.
I hope you find them helpful.
If you have any questions, please leave them below.
What thrift shopping tips do you have to share with us? Please do so in the comments.
Thanks for reading.
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