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Dos and Don’ts at the Thrift Store

Thrifting has quickly become everyone’s favorite pastime within the last few years. From social media personalities to YouTube gurus, thrifting is now an integral part of American culture--and with good reason. It can be a great way to give your closet some revitalization or create a fun outfit challenge with your friends. From looking for that vintage look to buying furniture, thrifting provides us with a fun and affordable way to spice up our lives. But what if you don’t know how to start? Look now further; here are a few do’s and don’ts for the thrift store!

DO: Go with goals.

With a vast variety of inventory, you will easily leave with fifty dollars worth of clothes and a vintage lamp you don’t need. I suggest making goals for what you want along with your spending limit. When you are really into it, spice it up and go in with a ten-dollar bill and see how much you can get. 


DON’T: Go unless you’re in the mood to look.

Thrifting is not for the weak. Even the most organized thrift stores have a lot of variation in their products, so it may take a bit to look for what you want. This is why you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself. I find thrifting best when I’m just listening to music and searching through aisles. Head empty, cart full.

DO: Go to physical thrift stores.

Typically, online sites like Depop or Thred-Up are marked up. I would also suggest for the best deals on essentials like basic t-shirts and jeans that you go to smaller thrift stores and avoid chains. Oftentimes chains, like Goodwill, have set prices. For example, while basic jeans may only be 3 dollars at a smaller thrift store, they will be more expensive at a store with set prices. However, when it comes to rare finds, its best to buy those items at a store with set prices. Due to the popularity of thrifting, stores are more likely to charge a lot more for things like Nike windbreakers.

DON’T: Buy things you don’t really need.

I know things are really cheap, but please do not go in there and buy five winter coats that you don’t need. Someone may need what you don’t, so it would be a disservice to others if you buy too much. If you can afford to buy a necessity new, buy it new.

DO: Try on and inspect the clothes.

Looks can be deceiving, and sometimes what you think will fit you will seem a completely different size once you get home. Also, triple check to make sure there aren’t any questionable stains on the item. Get your phone flashlight out if you have to!

Now that you are equipped with a few tips, go thrift! I hope that your experience is magical.

Omari Foote is a freshman journalism major at Howard University, from Atlanta Georgia. She is a contributing writer for Her Campus and aspires to write for a major magazine post-graduation. Her goal is to help in lifting the voices of marginalized groups of people. In her free time, she enjoys getting dressed up and exploring with friends, writing poetry, and community service.
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