Tips for Shopping Secondhand

Is saving money one of your goals for the New Year?  I am always looking for a way to save a few extra dollars for our family.  Shopping secondhand is one way to do this!  I often have good luck finding items for our daughter, and she and I love to go on a hunt for some bargains!

Ten Tips for Shopping Secondhand Stores to make your dollar stretch even more! #thriftstore #savingmoney #secondhandshopping

When the twins were younger, I always had good luck finding clothes and shoes for them at secondhand stores!  Having two littles, and needing multiples of everything at the same time, I learned that secondhand stores could be a huge budget friendly way to dress my kids.  They are 17 now, but over the years, I have introduced our daughter to secondhand shopping as well, and we often hit the local store to see what we can find. If saving money is one of your goals for this year, then keep reading!  Today I want to share my 10 Tips for Shopping Secondhand Stores.

1.  Consider where the consignment shop is located.  The two I choose to hit are in fairly upscale neighborhoods.  I choose these in hopes of finding some name brand, but still in good condition, finds.  I also think that by choosing the stores in this particular location that there would be fitting rooms {not all secondhand stores have fitting rooms} so I could try on anything I found. 

2.  If you’re going to pay for it-even if it’s secondhand-make sure you love it.  I say this because I am VERY picky about my clothes-fit, brand, and longevity.  I also have fallen prey to the mindset that “It’s only $3. It’s okay if I don’t love it.”  Then if I don’t wear something, or it doesn’t fit well, I wasted money and I feel guilty.  I have learned that it is SO important to try clothes on ~ for both myself and my daughter ~ before leaving a second hand store. Not all have fitting rooms, so be extra sure it is going to work before you take it home!

3.  Consider buying a size up and give it a good inspection.  I have learned-especially with buying children’s clothes-a size up is helpful.  By the time the item makes it to a consignment sale or Goodwill, it’s probably been worn and washed several times.  Also, I check the seams, zippers, and care labels to make sure they are in good working order, and I have the care information. As far as shoes, I always check the soles and the toes for scuffs or small holes.  If it’s not “nearly new”, it stays on the shelf.

4.  Don’t be afraid to walk away from a “great” bargain. Once, I tried on a pair of COACH canvas slip on shoes.  LOVED them!  They were only $22, and I badly wanted them.  However, they were a bit too tight in the toes, and I didn’t get them just because they were at a super inexpensive price.  I had to leave them behind because I wasn’t willing to pay for something that I wasn’t 100% convinced about.

5.  Look for brands you are familiar with.  I do this because it helps me to expect how the item will fit.   I generally go for Justice for my daughter, knowing it’ll fit her well.  We shop there enough with a good sale, that I know the size that will fit her, and I can feel comfortable purchasing it second hand.  If I’m going to buy second hand, I want it to be decent quality and last a little longer.  I often do well with particular pieces, too. Dresses work out 99% of the time for my daughter, hoodies or sweatshirts almost always fit the twins.  I know what fits my children well, and hunt for those first.

6. Give yourself plenty of time.  It can be a hunt through the racks to find what you are looking for.  And then, to think it over and possibly try it on. If it is something you THINK you will want, hold onto it! If you put it back, someone else may snatch it up!

7.  Have your phone handy. Pulling up your favorite store’s website, or Amazon, and searching for an item can give you an idea of its value.  Also, if you are unfamiliar with a brand, you can do a quick search on it. Knowing their value and quality from the store’s website may help you decide on purchasing it or not.

8. Look for the gaps in your wardrobe.  If my daughter is short on leggings or athleisure wear, those are the items I am looking for first.  We also hit the second hand store often for updated gymastics and dance leotards, and dance shoes.  I don’t mind getting these second hand, so that way I have more money to buy new things that are worth an investment such as nicer dresses or a good winter coat. I also find great deals on coats for her at the second hand store.

9. Know what not to buy.  I do not buy underwear, camis, socks, tights, or swimsuits for her at the second hand store.  Leotards are just above swimsuits in my mind, so I am kind of okay with those. I also don’t buy hats or mittens. 

10. Secondhand shopping is a great way to build a capsule wardrobe.  Finding basics such as denim, solid color shirts, and adding some fun pops of color is so easy at a second hand store. When you start with the basics, you have room to splurge and buy a few nicer pieces to round it out!

Secondhand shopping is much more than just hunting Goodwill for a costume or a white elephant gift.  You can easily create a lasting wardrobe, and even bring home some super fun pieces for a fraction of the cost!  Do you shop secondhand?  What tips do you have?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *