11 Thrift Store Shopping Tips for Finding the Hidden Gems

(c) Envato Elements

Touch the material

Sometimes you have to ignore the brand and focus on the material, because if it looks fancy and expensive and the fabric feels good, then you should buy it. 

“Ignore the brands. Ignore the sizes, which are never accurate anyway. It’s all about the material,” says Mateo. “If the fabric feels good and luxurious, pick up the item and analyze it further. This is how you find hidden gems,” he suggests.

Many thrift clothes were made by famous designers, so don’t worry about the brand. In fact, the material (and its quality) is visible, not the brand per se.

“Never walk away from something you love. When in doubt, put it in your cart or take the sales ticket until you make your final decision,” urges Serena Appiah of ThriftDiving.com. “There will be ‘thrift store vultures’ waiting for you to walk away from that amazing find! With the item in your cart or the sales ticket in your pocket, you have more time to decide if the item should come home with you or not.”


(c) Envato Elements

Don’t expect the materials to be perfectly unused

If you opt for thrifting, it’s important to know that some items don’t look like they are new and you should look past imperfections. Even if they are made of quality materials, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have imperfections at all. Some stores may not know that something is damaged, so you can ask for a discount. 

“Sometimes, the really pristine pieces aren’t the true gems,” says Mateo. “It can be a really beautiful shelf that needs refinishing. Or a lovely skirt that needs to be re-hemmed. Just know your limits, and stick to projects that you know you can do,” says Mateo.

“Sometimes you may only want the solid wood legs to use for another project. Or maybe you buy an old sewing cabinet to use its solid oak folding top,” says Appiah. “Look at each piece and see what you can salvage, especially for unique parts and features.”

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1 thought on “11 Thrift Store Shopping Tips for Finding the Hidden Gems”

  1. Great article! I love thrifting but have not been for a long while now. I’m married, live in a condo which is “furnished” now and don’t have room for more treasures. I also have things in storage to get rid of, but you have re-sparked my “love of the hunt”! Maybe I can use this as encouragement to purge and renew! Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Face & Kisses!

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