Podcast, show notes, thrift shopping tips, thrift store finds

Twenty Things You Hate About Thrifting (And How To Hate Them Less)

We get it, there are a lot of reasons why people avoid going to the thrift store. Some are myths, misconceptions, and even truths. So in this episode of the podcast, we share twenty things you all told us you hate about the thrift experience and we talk about ways to hate them less.

The smell

Ah, that thrift store smell. To avid thrifters, that’s the scent of deals. To newbies, it’s good old fashioned body odor. You simply have to go often to get used to the smell or limit the amount of time you spend in the store so the smell doesn’t overwhelm you and cut your shopping trip short.

Can’t find things that fit

We heard this from people of all sizes. It’s there, you just have to go often and know where to look. Ask the staff at the thrift store how they organize their sizes. If you cringe at the fact that they are all intermingled, don’t! Having separate size sections actually restricts you from finding great gems. Also, try things on! We can’t stress this enough. Sizing is inconsistent with secondhand clothes. You won’t know until you try!

The prices

Secondhand shopping is on the rise and soon the prices will soon follow suit. Some thrift stores are so expensive now that it’s sometimes cheaper to shop on eBay or at bargain stores like TJ Maxx. But generally speaking though, it’s still much, much more cost effective and eco-friendly to shop secondhand. Make a list of your go-to stores that haven’t dramatically increased their prices, go on sale days, and take advantage of coupons.

It takes too long

Thrifting doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. In fact, we’re smarter shoppers when we “power thrift.” Here are some great tips on how to make time for thrifting.

Thrifting with kids

We can relate. Thirfting with kids can be a challenge. Designate a small amount of time to pop into a thrift store without kids once a month if possible. If they are old enough, engage them in the process as much as possible. Check out this article for some tips and we have a whole series dedicated to thrifting for kids.

There’s just too much stuff

There’s no rule in the book of thrifts that says you have to hit up every rack at once. Take it one tiny section at a time. Spend 20 minutes in a store and only browse one rack. Next time, try a different rack, and so on. Try picking up a few “safe” things that you know you love and feel comfortable in, and then also a couple things you don’t typically wear so you can begin honing your “hunting” skills.

No dressing rooms

This is becoming a thing of the past, but for those that still don’t have fitting rooms, come prepared. Dress comfortably, know your measurements, and get ready to try on things over your clothes.

Stores & clothes are dirty

Most thrift stores aren’t dirty anymore and clothes are inspected several times before they hit the sales floor. Trying on clothes at the thrift store is not much different than trying things on at Target. Many people wash their clothes before donating them and we always see dry cleaning tags on dresses, suits, and blazers. Use your best judgement!

Someone died in my clothes.

I mean, maybe? But highly unlikely.

Lice & Bedbugs

Thrift stores follow a certain protocol before items get placed on the sales floor. Everything is inspected several times and items with stuffing are disinfected. Use your best judgment.

Poor quality

This is a huge misconception. People donate all sorts of stuff from luxury brands to items with the original tags attached. Just browse this blog for examples of things we find all the time!

They don’t have the eye or luck

Use whatever existing shopping strengths you have now and apply them at the thrift store. Are you good with fabrics? Brands? Toys? Housewares. Start there. The more you go, the more you will build your thrift “muscle.”

It’s for hoarders

We are huge advocates for buying things you actually need. Make a list, and stick with it to avoid unnecessary purchases.

No patience 

Take it one section at a time. Limit your time at the store and go often enough to where you can build a tolerance for it.

Thrifting is for “poor” people

This one makes us cringe and sadly, it’s one we hear ALL the time. Both donating and shopping makes an impact in the community, especially when you shop at nonprofit thrift stores. Plus, thrift stores receive thousands of tons of donations (literally) so there’s enough stuff to go around for everyone.

You can’t find designer clothes at thrift stores

Yes you can! If your local stores don’t carry a lot of designer brands, try other stores nearby. You can also thrift luxury and designer resale online.

Pricing is confusing

Ask someone who works there! All thrift stores are different but the pricing is usually very straight forward.

Can’t find things on trend or in season

Some thrift stores put out 7,000 pieces a week so you’re bound to find something on-trend. You have to go often to find the good stuff. Also, make old things new again! Fashion is constantly repeating itself and the thrift store is the perfect place to get creative with preloved items.

Can’t take your cart into the fitting room

If your store has a policy against that, take the good stuff in the dressing room with you.

I wander around aimlessly

Instead of wandering around aimlessly, ask a staff member where things are located as soon as you walk in the door.