Thrifting Tactics

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Spotting the quality rags

1. Study up. As your career as a thrift store shopper progresses, you’ll learn which local shops are best for what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking for sweaters, you’ll generally find the best prices at the Deseret Industries in Provo. But if a new pair of shoes is your goal, it’s a toss up between Savers in Orem and the Deseret Industries in American Fork.

2. Wait for discounts. Depending on the day of the week, you can get items tagged with a specific color for half off or for fifty cents at Savers. Savers does this every week, to keep inventory flowing through the store. Unfortunately, Deseret Industries does not offer discounts to the general public.

3. Ignore the stigma. Don’t be afraid that people will judge you for wearing thrifted apparel. Because really, you have the leg up on them. Think of your new/old item as something with a history, something recycled, rather than damaged goods.

4. Be creative. Don’t limit your purchases to things you’re comfortable with. Because chances are, you’re not going to find many of the things you’re used to. A good tactic is to force yourself to try on things that would fit, but you can’t imagine yourself wearing. Sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

5. Try on everything. When possible, ignore the rule disallowing you to bring in any more than six items at a time into the dressing room. The more you try on, the more likely you are to find the perfect item. So when planning a trip to the thrift store, allow yourself plenty of extra time.

6. Check the tags. It’s not rare to find vintage designer items at thrift stores. Also, you want to be comfortable with the fabrics you choose. Make sure you only purchase items you’re willing to clean according to the instructions on the tags. Vintage items are far more likely to require special attention than new ones.

7. Be persistent. You’re not going to find an entire perfect wardrobe in one visit. All of the local thrift stores update their stock daily. Be picky with your purchases, because there is always next time.