Thrift shopping

white and black cooking pot on brown wooden shelf

From my personal experience, thrift shopping often involves 3 essential steps that a mutually connected. It is very important to follow these steps into consideration if you want to get the best deals. I always do my best to keep them in mind every time I go shopping in a thrift store. It has served me well and I was able to get some pretty good deals. Indeed, thrift shopping is divided into the following stages:

  • What to Do Before You Go Thrift shopping
  • How to Navigate a Thrift Store
  • How To Clean Your Thrifted Items

What To Do Before You Go Thrift Shopping

Thrift shopping is like a treasure hunt. You never know exactly what you are going to find. That is why it is important to prepare for your shopping experience. Usually, before going thrift shopping I will do these:

Clear my schedule

I typically make sure that day is dedicated exclusively to shopping. Keep in mind thrifting takes time. Indeed, thrift shopping requires patience and in some cases, you will visit more than one store in the row before laying your hands on what you are looking for. Notably, if you are looking for a specific item. So, don’t be in a rush. In addition, because you are dealing with used items you want to make sure you have enough time to inspect the items thoroughly.

Locate thrift stores in your city

Make a list of all the thrift stores around you. Be sure to understand their strengths, restock days, and the amenities offered. For instance, some stores do not have a fitting room. Others are doing well with furniture or pieces of jewelry. Actually surprisingly enough, if you do your due diligence you will find out that thrift stores are not all equal. Finally, if you are like many that care about specific social causes, then you should gravitate around thrift stores that support those initiatives.

One of my best strategies is to find thrift stores that are located in affluent neighborhoods in that case I am sure to find good deals or new items with labels.

Set a goal

As I mentioned above, chances are thrift stores around you all have their strengths. So you need to know what you are looking for. Also, prepare a budget and get cash in hand to limit your expenses.

How to Navigate a Thrift Store

Learn how to quickly scan the store

In essence, make your way through the store and scan each rack for pieces that catch your eye. However, to avoid taking defective items and items full of bugs home ensure you’re inspecting each piece carefully. Indeed, take your time and go over your finds and double-check again before making a purchase. Remember all purchases are final.

All purchases are final

Know What’s Valuable and What’s Junk

People donate all sorts of things. In the midst of those inventories, it is very common to find extremely valuable items. Notably artwork. That is why stories like this are not exceptional. As a rule of thumb, I always google how much an item’s really worth? 😉 When I think I am onto something really valuable.

Bring cash

Not all thrift stores are equipped with payment terminals. So, it is wise to always bring cash when you go thrift shopping. Moreover, that would limit the total amount of money you can spend.


How To Clean Your Thrifted Items

It’s always smart to deep clean thrifted clothes before you wear them and sanitized furniture before you use them. Carefully, follow the instructions visible on the labels. Generally, fabrics like silk and rayon go to a professional cleaning service while with cotton, sturdy linens, synthetic polyesters, or nylons I use a washing machine at a normal temperature. Let’s expand the cleaning process

Furniture and other items

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A spray bottle
  • A few rags
  • A toothbrush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)
  • Dish Soap
  • White Vinegar

Cleaning Kitchen Items

Place all your kitchen items into the dishwasher for thorough cleaning and sanitization. Personally, I will run the dishwasher twice, just in case. If the items are made out of wood, I will carefully clean them by hand.


To clean shoes:

To clean thrifted shoes. You can follow these highly effective steps: Actually, you can apply some of those hacks with any of your dirty shoes.

Soak athletic shoes in diluted rubbing alcohol.

Remove the laces and toss the shoes in the washing machine.

If the shoes are leather, plastic, or delicately made, fill a bowl with warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar and gently wipe the shoes clean.

Why are thrift stores so popular?

Thrift stores have many benefits for the community and the environment

Save money

Thrift shopping helps you save a ton of money on garments, furniture, appliances, etc… Indeed, if done right and if you are lucky to find a good thrift store with relatively good or new items. It also helps those with limited financial resources get access to items. Indeed, at a thrift store you can find:

  • Designer clothes, beautiful pieces of jewelry
  • Amazing furniture and good electronics and so much more money at a discounted price.
Unique items

Thrift stores are full of unique and vintage items. People find very rare items sometimes in these stores. Whether is a century-old art or a limited edition of a popular item.

Discounted New Items

Not all thrift stores are equal. You will be amazed to find some new items with stickers at a thrift store. Notably, those located in rich, affluent, and wealthy neighborhoods.

Support charity

Normally, most thrift stores are the retail arm of a charity organization. The proceeds received from selling those items are channels toward funding social projects.


By accepting household items we no longer need, thrift stores fight against waste.

Treasure hunt

Many people scout thrift stores in search of valuable items that could be resold for more money on websites such as eBay or on auctions. People actually make a killing with that strategy. Over the years


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