What You Need to Know Before Your Next Thrift Store Visit - Glam (2023)

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What You Need to Know Before Your Next Thrift Store Visit - Glam (1)


VonRobyn lied|December 13, 2022 5:25 PM EST

Although it may not be for everyonethe beneficial experience—that is, shopping thrift at your local stores and/or stopping by thrift stores when you travel—can be the solution to many problems. The Art of Saving can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint while supporting your economy and local community. Indeed, as he points outbenevolence, Frugality is also sustainable and environmentally friendly because you don't contribute to the demand for new goods.

Although thrift stores and charity shops have been around for decades, even seasoned shoppers sometimes have trouble navigating them. After all, organization isn't exactly most thrift stores' forte, and it's easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of merchandise and the inconsistency of products between shelves and shelves. Anyone who has ever browsed a particularly random retail clearance rack in a big box store understands how similar the average thrift store experience is. But like everything in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to saving. So what can you do to become a better second hand buyer?

Bring a shopping list with you

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Have you ever walked into the store intending to grab a soda but ended up walking away with a week's worth of groceries you didn't know you needed? Shopping at a thrift store without a plan is pretty much the same as going to the market on an empty stomach. Just because the concept of a thrift store is a little different doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare before you go inside. Take it from those who fell for the thrift store trap: you can get too much of a good thing. "As a protective mechanism, I've tried to do my shopping within the last 30 minutes of store hours to limit myself, but that hasn't stopped me from taking home at least one bag of things every day," said the former savings banker. . collector Lana St Clair said thatdaily mail.

It's easy to want to buy everything when prices for perfectly functional clothing and merchandise are lower than at the dollar store (or $1.25 store). But it is precisely this kind of logic that leads to dangerous buying habits. If you know you tend to spend money out of boredom or other triggers, be aware of the fact that things add up no matter how little they cost you. In the long run, finding space to store excessive overbought shipments can drain your time, energy, and resources.

Stay Away From These Potential Hazards

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Page Light Studios/Shutterstock

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An unfortunate problem at larger thrift stores is that recalled clothing or merchandise can accidentally end up on the sales floor. For example, New York state banned drawstrings on children's clothing in 2003. Although most retailers have been able to circulate new stock and comply with the ban, thrift stores have struggled to prevent drawstrings from reappearing. prohibited items. More than a decade later, investigators found the offending garments were still for sale at various New York City thrift stores.CBS.

While it's illegal to sell recalled merchandise of any kind in states like New York, the unfortunate truth is that items occasionally go unnoticed due to the sheer volume of donations being vetted by thrift store associates. "Many consumers and thrift store operators may not be aware of current recalls, bans and safety standards for products offered for sale in stores," said Ann Brown, former president of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in aCSPCrelease. Therefore, you should always be careful and inspect used children's clothing, furniture, and toys for potential hazards or product recalls before purchasing.

Don't make the mistake of taking damaged items home.

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Tatiana Foxy/Shutterstock

It is one of the most disappointing experiences a bargain hunter can have. Picture this: He enthusiastically makes the perfect purchase, only to discover moth holes, stains, or other annoyances when he safely gets it home. With natural fabrics like silk and wool, it's imperative to check for signs of pests before you head outside. "It's not the moth that's doing the damage, it's the worm. You know a hole is moth-related when there's also gritty fecal matter and cocoon material," says entomologist Jennifer Brumfield.consumer reports. Finding bugs isn't always easy at first glance, but there are a few ways to lessen the likelihood that you'll develop terrible regrets about being frugal.

A useful strategy is to make your choices before paying. Find a quiet, well-lit area of ​​the store and carefully inspect each item inside and out. Common problems with coats are loose buttons, shedding of fur, and broken stitching on the inner lining. While minor things like buttons can be easily pushed, larger repairs like skin restoration can cost more than the item is worth. Watch out for frayed hems, broken zippers, and pilling on dresses, jackets, and jeans. If you don't have trouble fixing these or any other issues, that's fine, but if you don't, be careful not to take a project home with you.

Make sure you take home the perfect fit

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Another unfortunate situation for the frequent second-hand buyer? Falling in love with something unique that fits terribly. Always try on your clothes, even if you quickly throw something over your outfit to see your silhouette in the mirror. It's hard to spot deal breakers like unpleasantly baggy shoulders, undersized hems, and misplaced zippers without first trying the pieces on. One thrift shopping trick everyone should know is the Bund test. To try it on, simply wrap the waistband of your desired pair of jeans or skirt around your neck to get a good idea of ​​how they will fit around your waist. Just keep in mind that this short cut doesn't take things like inseam into account, so it might not work perfectly for all styles.

And don't forget, the same goes for shoes – it can even be dangerous to wear shoes that show age or previous use, so be sure to look for pairs with minimal signs of wear. “[Shoes] can stretch to the point where they no longer hold your foot in place while you walk. This can cause the tendons and muscles to balance, leading to overuse injuries like tendinitis," says podiatrist Dr. Diane KoshimuneSchuh-News.

Saving can be a great way to get gifts

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It's always fun to buy things for yourself, but collecting great gifts for your loved ones feels even better. And if you're struggling to find the perfect gift for the person who has everything, there's no better place to find inspiration than at your local thrift store.

Whether you're shopping for birthdays or the holidays, you'll find items you won't find anywhere else in thrift stores. "They can find more unique gifts and have spent more time choosing the perfect gift - time is a gift money can't buy," says shopping expert Monica Mills.Independent. Also, you can combine second-hand items with modern touches to enhance your gift. For example, combine vintage candle holders with modern taper candles or use an old ceramic pot as a stylish planter. Another great way to repurpose loved goods? Look for classic cut glass or crystal plates to create amazing cookie or charcuterie plates for your friends.

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Item shortages mean savings can be competitive

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Margaritas Margaritas/Shutterstock

Any shopper can relate to this scenario: You choose something flashy, but start to wonder whether or not you can do without it once it's in your cart. In most retail stores, putting something back on the shelf and returning when feelings change won't be a problem. But saving is a completely different story.

Some items may not last more than a few minutes on the floor before other customers pick them up, so please think twice before dropping them off. You don't have to commit to buying everything in your cart, but watch out for the parts you can't live without to avoid headaches. But don't worry if you lose sight of something precious in your frugal efforts: there are always other treasures to discover. "I don't think we're ever in a place where we don't have things. Part of our culture in America is that we're consumers and substitutes," said Greg Tuck, assistant secretary for national development and community relations for The Salvation Army USA. USAThe Wall Street Journal.

Try this rule to balance your savings habits

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Estudio 22Images/Shutterstock

Getting sales is one of the joys of saving—when prices are already low, it's hard not to stock up during in-store clearance events. "I'm doing everything I can to remind my community that the most sustainable option is what's already in your closet. Don't replace a fast-fashion shopping addiction with a thrift addiction," says sustainability influencer Judy LimónWell-informed person. To avoid excessive accumulation, there is a simple strategy you can employ to maintain a sense of balance.

When you're cleaning out your closet, keep a donation bag near your closet and fill it up throughout the month. Then stow these items in the trunk of your car, ready when you go shopping. By routinely doing this, you can minimize excess clutter by offsetting future purchases and giving other thrift shoppers new finds to enjoy. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.

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Before buying, consider the composition of the clothes.

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No matter what look you're going for, comfort should be a top priority when looking for secondhand clothes. Fabrics like nylon and polyester are perfect for sportswear, but may not be the best choice when it comes to everyday clothing. "Synthetic fabrics tend to not breathe as well, release microplastics into our water system, and don't hold their shape well or last long," says fashion blogger Saraid Claxton.consumer reports. Many contemporary pieces on thrift store floors are made from synthetic textiles, but you can still find clothing made from mixed materials or natural fabrics if you search hard enough.

Another factor to consider is the amount of life left in your secondhand finds. For outfits to be truly sustainable, they must stand the test of time. Look for clues to higher quality construction, such as: B. Hand-sewn, and check labels for information on materials used and care instructions.

Stay up to date on vintage cookware and cookware.

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Unfortunately, old cookware and cookware was once made with hazardous materials, from lead-colored exteriors to BPA-filled plastics. At the time of their manufacture, the effects of these substances were not well known. However, since many of these products find their way into thrift stores without detailed information on the label, it's best to be careful when buying older cookware, appliances, and food storage items. “Lead is typically found in highly pigmented paints and varnishes or sealants used on ceramic tableware. A lead-painted piece of china or pottery can be indistinguishable from one painted without lead," said Diane Calello, medical director of the New Jersey Poison Information Center.consumer reports.

Even if an old item appears to be in good condition, it may not be safe or healthy to use. For example, according to a recently published study, a single scratch on a nonstick pan while cooking can release millions of microplastics into food.science of the whole environment. "We must be careful when choosing and using cookware to avoid contaminating food," says study researcher Youhong Tang.flinders university.

Saving is not just finding clothes

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Most thrift stores offer more than just clothing and accessories. If you're looking for home furnishings, you'll find plenty at thrift stores and similar thrift stores. Of course, saving money is one of the biggest motivators for buying used items, but there are other benefits to buying used items for the home. "Old furniture is usually built to last, while new furniture in big boxes can break down in a few years and end up in a landfill, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions," says interior designer Rebecca Hay. .apartment therapy.

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Don't be put off by small blemishes like dents or water spots, as you can easily restore weathered wood. Bigger problems may require professional repair, but if you know you have a special part, it might be worth it. However, be careful when buying older lamps or electronics. Over time, the old wiring within it can deteriorate, posing a safety hazard.

Be considerate of your fellow savers

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Photograph by Lee Bryant/Shutterstock

It's no secret: online resellers and traditional antique dealers love thrift, and it's a very profitable game for them. But when these wacky vintage pieces were originally produced, the first thrift stores essentially had one mission: to provide consumers with goods they couldn't otherwise afford. It's a harsh reality that gets overlooked these days, but not everyone skimps on it for fun. Second-hand shopping is often necessary for those living on a fixed income or budget constraints.

Keep in mind that many shoppers have few (if any) options for finding suitable clothing, outerwear, and other products at affordable prices. Many thrift stores are raising prices across the board, disproportionately affecting low-income shoppers due to the impact of flippers. Despite the argument that there will always be more inventory, the researchers agree: Resellers have created a looming problem for shoppers saving out of necessity. "[Today] there are lesser quality items on the shelves of thrift stores for those who don't really have other affordable options, for example, to buy work clothes that could make the difference between making a good impression or failing at one. job interview," said oneBerkeley Economic Reviewstudy states.

Be sure to disinfect clothing, textiles, and bedding.

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Dekan Drobot/Shutterstock

Second-hand clothing often arrives in stores in a huge package, similar to a rubber band ball. Staff sort through these donations before they arrive at the store, but there's no foolproof way to tell freshly laundered items from slightly scary ones once they've been mixed up in the donation bins. Just because an item appears clean doesn't mean it's sanitary and ready to be taken off the shelf. In a recent study ofIranian Public Health Journalfound that nearly 3% of second-hand clothing tested by researchers contained transmissible parasites such as lice and scabies.

The truth is thatsecond-hand clothesthey are not inherently dirty, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. To avoid bringing unwanted guests home, be sure to sanitize clothing, bedding, and other fabrics before storing them in your closet. Laundry additives like borax powder and disinfectant are helpful in reducing the spread of parasites and bacteria. To clean used clothing, you can wash most items on high heat to protect yourself from potential pathogens. However, always be careful with delicate garments or those made with natural fibers such as wool and silk; These items may need to be hand or dry cleaned to prevent damage.

If you're serious about hunting for deals, be sure to check them out regularly.

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Unlike regular retailers, thrift stores have no idea what to expect from each shipment that arrives at their door. Every thrift store is different, but their inventory is typically generated from donations and sometimes generous contributions from name-brand stores with discontinued or outdated merchandise. Some say thebest time to go to thrift storeit's within the first hour after the store opens, so you can peruse what's new from the night before. Still, it's hard to say what's coming from day to day, and you'll want to visit regularly to check out the best finds.

Just like finding gold firsthand on a retailer's clearance rack, finding truly special items in thrift stores is pretty much the luck of the draw. "Remember that the FOMO feeling is short-lived," says psychologist Dr. Mindy WeinsteinGOBankingTas. Our best thrift store FOMO tip? Don't push yourself to the wall trying to be ubiquitous at your local stores, but do visit them a little more often if you have a specific item you're looking for. What should be will be, and it's worth noting that in many cases certain coveted items have a way of finding their way to the right owner.

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