Mistakes People Make When Thrifting
Thrift shopping, much like any other hobby or interest, has both professionals and amateurs. If you happen to be an amateur, we would like to welcome you to the fold! You’ve started on a path that we know you’ll grow to love in no time. The great thing about thrift shopping is that it can be quite different from shopping at your average retail store. Since your options change all the time, you never know what you might find.
Again, just like most hobbies, the professionals have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to thrift shopping. Many of these come from experience, but we’re going to give you the inside scoop on the mistakes people make when thrifting so that you can avoid them and become a pro yourself.
Buying Fast Fashion Brands
One of the biggest draws of a good thrift store is usually selecting available clothing. You can find all sorts of fabrics, textures, and brands in the racks of a well-maintained thrift store. However, it’s essential to know what you’re looking at. Some brands engage in what is known as “fast fashion.” Fast fashion involves creating intentionally low-quality clothes so that they break down faster and need replacing sooner. You can easily avoid these brands by doing a little research into their backgrounds and points of origin.
Shopping During Busy Hours
Some timeframes are just flat-out better for coming into one of our thrift stores. Many people who don’t thrift shop often will come in on their days off to find what they need; this means that weekends are usually the busiest time for thrift stores. If you want to avoid the crush of people scrambling through the store to find the best deals, your best bet is to come during less hectic times. Early in the morning is a great place to start. Weekdays are also great if you can make that work for your schedule.
Writing Off Older Items
Many thrift stores—2nd Avenue included—regularly get items that have seen their fair share of years in the closet. If something seems old-fashioned or aged beyond what you would typically pick up, we urge you to take a second glance. Certain clothes might be vintage brands that you can’t find anywhere else. You may even find a collectible that is worth quite a lot of money to the right person. These older items still have plenty of use left in them, especially as we closely inspect our donations to ensure they are in good shape before putting them out for sale.
Passing On Items That Need Small Adjustments
For those who regularly use thrift shopping to supplement their closets, one of the biggest mistakes people make when thrifting is passing on items that only need minor tune-ups to work well. Sizes can vary a lot on our shelves, but just because something doesn’t fit you perfectly, that doesn’t mean you can’t easily alter it to work in your favor. Remember, you’re spending much less money on these items than you would typically, leaving you plenty of room in your budget to have these pieces tailored the way you want them.
Buying Clothes That Are Too Small
A common thing we see a lot in our stores is that people will buy clothes that don’t fit them currently in the hopes that they’ll fit into them one day. While there isn’t anything wrong with this, per se, you need to be careful when doing this at a thrift shop. Before you know it, your whole closet could be overflowing with clothes that look great but that you can’t wear.
Only Coming In To Find Clothes
We’ve talked a lot about clothing so far, and that’s because it’s a massive part of who we are and what we sell. However, a good thrift store has much more to offer than just clothes. You can find all sorts of exciting knickknacks and items for your home at our stores as well. You might want to take home:
- An interesting used book to read
- A collectible for your shelves
- A new board game
- A piece of home décor
- A barely used chair or end table
Not Allocating Enough Time
Thrift stores are notorious rabbit holes where you can spend a lot of time looking for exactly what you want. The last thing you want is to miss a great item you would love just because you had to rush out the door. Try to plan for your thrift store visits, and tack on some extra time for yourself to look around and explore. Exploring is how you’ll find the great deals and rare items, so make sure you have enough time to do it!
Not Using the Dressing Room
Perhaps even more so than in your regular department store, using the dressing room will be an essential part of your visit if you’re picking up clothes. Because our selection is so eclectic and comes from all over, sizes can vary wildly, even if two different pieces say they are both mediums. Do not fall into the trap of getting home only to realize that your new clothes won’t fit you. That’s what dressing rooms are for—so you know exactly what you’re getting into when you buy something.
Not Engaging With the Staff
Our staff is always here to help make your experience at 2nd Avenue as fruitful as it can be. Don’t be afraid to approach any member of our team for help. Whether you’re asking about specific clothes you’re looking for, when the next big sale is, or to use the dressing room, we’ll be glad to assist you in any way we can. They may know how to find exactly what you’re looking for.
At 2nd Avenue, we always want you to leave our stores as satisfied as possible. The next time you’re looking for thrift stores in Philadelphia, give 2nd Avenue a shot—we won’t disappoint! We have plenty of locations that you can check out. Remember that, even if one thrift store doesn’t have what you’re looking for, a different location might have just the thing!