The thrifting and resale market is hot in North Texas, so if you’re ready to shop, we’ve got a list of tips and tricks to navigate thrifting and shopping secondhand — online and in person.
Thrift shopping and shopping secondhand has so many benefits. You’ll spend less money than shopping at a traditional retail store. Since many shops are locally owned or benefit local charities and non-profits, you’re keeping money in your community. And by shopping secondhand, you’re helping to keep billions of pounds of waste out of the landfill.
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Now that you’re feeling good about going thrifting and shopping secondhand, here are some tips to help you feel great about your purchases.
10 Tips for Shopping Secondhand
- Ask questions. If you’re buying from an individual, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the condition of an item.
- Don’t dismiss something because of a bad online photo. Although good photos help an item sell, you can always ask the seller for more photos.
- Check every inch of an item, especially children’s clothing. Don’t assume the consignment store has vetted every garment perfectly. Bring items in front of a window to get a better view to check for stains and signs of wear.
- If you like something, move quickly. The chances of something hanging around, particularly online, are slim. If you like something, it’s best to snatch it right away.
- Check return policies with online consignment. Stores like Poshmark and ThredUp have different return policies. Sometimes, it’s not worth the risk of a garment not fitting when there’s a high restocking fee for returns.
- Budget your time and money. Thrifting is not for the faint of heart. It can be a real hunt to rifle through racks and racks of clothing. It can help to use a crossbody bag (or bring your essentials in your pockets), so you have free hands. It’s useful to have a list of what you’re looking for, so you don’t fall into the trap of overbuying because everything is “so cheap.”
- Sell your stuff first. A lot of thrift and consignment stores, such as Kid to Kid, will offer higher in-store credit than cash payout for clothing. Often, it’s worth selling your stuff first — and shopping while you wait.
- Don’t be discouraged after one go. It can take trial and error (and stamina!) to find gems. Sometimes, I walk out of thrift stores empty-handed, and other times my bags are stuffed.
- Think beyond Salvation Army and Goodwill. There are so many options for thrift shopping in North Texas.
- Learn to recognize quality. A Forever 21 sweater is still a Forever 21 sweater — it’s likely going to fall apart after a few wears. Thrifting is a great way to score high-quality items like cashmere, linen, and leather for a much cheaper price than average retail. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy the Zara dress or Target blouse, but there may be long-lasting beauties lurking in the racks.
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If you have secondhand or consignment clothes that you’d like to pass off to others, rather than inundating donation centers, consider joining your local Buy Nothing group. Buy Nothing groups are based on geographic location and operate as a gift economy, meaning you gift and request items for free.