11 Thrifting Tips to Boost Your Sustainable Shopping

We’ve spent a tremendous amount of time in vintage and thrift stores in the past year, trying to figure out the best thrifting tips while talking to owners and shoppers. Quite frankly, we weren’t sure if we were about to come across anything special. Is thrifting any different from any other type of shopping?

It turns out that thrifting is different! In this article, we’re going to share the best tips we’ve learned after talking to industry experts.

1. Find Your Selection of Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are very different. While some specialize in vintage clothing generally, others are targeting a specific niche, such as t-shirts or 70s dresses. It’s not a secret that a thrift store is generally managed by one or two persons.

Therefore, if you want to find great deals on clothes you’re fond of, the first step is to find a thrift store near you that offers a selection of the things you like. Probably you’ll have the same taste as its owner.

2. Check Out the Stock Regularly

With thrift stores, you never know what you find. Most stores update their inventory several times a week so if you happen to discover a nice thrift store in your area, visit the store at least on a bi-weekly basis. Great items don’t last! The more you visit, the more chances you have to find good things.

3. Get to Know the Staff

If you’re looking for a specific item, don’t hesitate to make a contact with store staff. The staff in thrift stores or vintage stores is different from people who work in fast fashion. These people are crazy about vintage and the better they know your taste, the more they can help you. As soon as they have a new arrival that matches your taste, they’ll contact you. This is especially important when you have a distinct taste for a specific era or category.

4. Keep in Mind Your Current Closet

Came across a unique sequin jumpsuit that caught your eye? Don’t forget to think of at least 3 occasions where you can wear it. If it’s a blouse or a skirt, think of at least 3 outfits that will match this piece. In this way, you’ll avoid overspending on things that aren’t actually your style. Exclusions are made

Thrifting tips will help you maximize your shopping experience
Thrifting tips will help you maximize your shopping experience

5. Challenge Your Personal Style

If you’re still trying to figure out your personal style, don’t hesitate to ask the staff what they see as a good fit for you. You’ll naturally find the thing you already prefer but thrift stores are a great way to abandon your comfort zone and try something unique. Their selection isn’t curated around current trends so trying on some extravagant suggestions is one of the greatest thrifting tips.

6. Bring a Measuring Tape

It may sound unnecessary, but it’s actually very handy in case the fitting rooms are overcrowded or you just don’t feel comfortable trying a particular piece on. And trying on a sequin 1970s jumpsuit might be a little uncomfortable.

7. Check the Racks Outside of Your Size

When it comes to garment production, there is no real sizing, especially considering the garment was produced several dozens of years ago when sizing charts and beauty standards were a far cry from those from today’s fashion. We therefore highly recommend shopping outside of your size range. If you are a size Small, take a look in both the Small and Medium sections. In such a way, you’ll maximize your chances of finding good things that fit you.

8. Check the Put-Back Racks

Put-back racks store gems. Located by the fitting rooms, not only do these clothes a usually have sale tag, it’s very different from the rest of the stock. Just because someone else decided they didn’t want it doesn’t mean it’s not a good piece! The eclectic selection in the back might surprise you.

9. Know Store Discount Days

Thrift stores often host sales a lot in order to clear out older merchandise. Whether it’s daily or on special occasions, get to know your store’s sale calendar so you can score an even better deal! Stores often have email or text message notifications that you can opt into so you stay in the know on all the latest updates.

10. Shop Off Season

This is one of the thrifting tips that are exceptionally good for any shopping.

A lot of vintage stores bring forward the racks with clothes for the season they are in or the next coming season. That is why major sections of the store can be overlooked. Check the put-back racks. If it’s spring, shop winter. If it’s winter, shop summer, etc. While everyone is paying attention to the items that align with the outside weather, you’ll have the chance to get awesome deals for the next season.

11. Check Clothing for Wear and Tear

Remember that you’re shopping for secondhand clothes, so paying attention to the item’s condition is critical to avoid any unnecessary surprises at home. Whatever the wear, make sure you’re ok with repairing the item. If you fall in love with something that is too far vintage, it’s a good reminder that stains can be lifted and other minor damage like holes or loose stitching can be repaired.


We have shared our best thrifting tips that you can use when shopping at a thrift store. Let us know in the comments which other tips you would share with your fellow thrifters!

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