We’ve talked a lot about the positive attributes when it comes to thrift stores: all the different environmental benefits, the money you can save, and the ways you can embrace your unique personality. Though you know this, and many people understand this intellectually, there’s still something that keeps certain shoppers from heading into the store. What is it?
Oftentimes, it’s the myths and misconceptions that keep people from stepping in. They hear people say how thrift stores are “dirty” or that it’s too hard to find something. These are the sort of tales that keep people shopping at department stores. Below we’re going to delve into some of the common misconceptions about thrift stores and debunk them. There are so many wonderful benefits of shopping secondhand, and that’s what we’ll showcase here!
“Thrift stores are dirty”
Probably the most common myth about thrift stores has to do with their cleanliness. People love to talk about how thrift stores are dirty, even if they’ve never been in one before. It’s the thought that since the clothes are used, then they must be dirty. But that’s not the case! Sure, every now and then there might be an outlier with a stain, and modern thrift stores run by well-known charities may not be the glitziest of places, but that is not to say that they’re not clean. In fact, many stores are putting even more effort into maintaining a clean and organized space to counteract that stereotype.
“It’s too hard to find something good”
You know this isn’t really true! Think about your coworker who always has the best pieces and who always looks incredible. When you ask them where they found a particularly cool item, chances are they’ll say, “The thrift store.” More often than not, those pieces that we’re most interested in are vintage, one-of-a-kind treasures found in thrift stores. Though thrift stores can be packed with items, that just goes to show how many good pieces you can find when you know how to look.
If you’re not sure where to look, then just take a breath and wander around! Most stores will have some sort of signage to point you in the right direction. But if they don’t, then it’s still not hard to find what you’re looking for. You just have to take the time. Even if sizes are messed up (which they may be because people don’t often put things back in the right space, no matter what type of store you’re in), you can still find something good on the racks!
“I can’t find anything in style”
Sure, you may find some funky pieces from the ’80s, but those can turn into the staples that help make your style more unique. The great thing about thrift stores is that they have such a wide variety of clothing that any person, no matter what their style, can find something they’d like. That neon polyester set may not look good to you, but there’s someone out there looking for something just like that.
It’s time to break out of the mindset that thrift stores only have outdated styles. The vast majority of a thrift store’s inventory consists of current styles in good to new condition. They don’t want to put things on the racks if they don’t think people will like it. Any thrifter can tell you about how many times they’ve bought an item with the tags still on. Hint…it happens way more often than you’d think!
“I’m only into high-end clothing, and I won’t find that in a thrift store”
Where do you think those designer clothes go when their previous owner has had their fill? Sure, some may give them to a friend, some may even put them in the trash (but we really hope they don’t), but a lot of the time they’re donated and end up at thrift and consignment shops. You can find so many beautifully made designer-label items at thrift stores, but you just have to look. At thrift stores, you can find designer bags at a fraction of the retail price. Those well-made clothes are the things that last—the things that show up on a thrift store rack.
“Thrift stores are unorganized”
One of the most common misconceptions about thrift stores has to do with their organization. Some folks think shopping at a thrift store and finding goodies will take hours of work because the stores are unorganized. Again, now and then you may find a thrift store that looks like a tornado just swept through it. But the majority of them are organized and grouped by color and garment. Since thrift shopping has become more of a “trend,” many stores are making it as easy as possible for shoppers to find their treasures and leave.
At 2nd Avenue Thrift Stores, we constantly strive to break down these misconceptions. We keep our stores cleaned, organized, and stocked with clothing items and home goods that you’ll find useful or stylish (or both). With the coronavirus pandemic, we’re taking additional measures to maintain cleanliness and safety for guests.
When you visit our thrift store in Columbia, MD, or one of our other locations, you’ll find all these broad misconceptions are false—especially in regard to our stores. So plan your shopping trip now, and see all the beauty of secondhand shopping!