10 Reasons to Love Thrift Shopping

Thrift shop clothing: black, white, and hot pink short-sleeved sweater, navy blue, purple, and white strappy summer dress, and black and white floral v-neck tank top

One of my favorite things to do with my family is thrift shop. Although we’d seen movies like “Pretty in Pink” several times growing up, we didn’t start thrift shopping until buy, sell, and trade companies popularized in the 1990s. We found that it just makes sense and over the past decade, it has become our thing to do. Have you ever thrift shopped? If not, here are ten reasons to love thrift shopping and tips on how to get the most out of your thrift shopping experience.

Pin of clothes purchased at the thrift store: black, white, and fuschia floral print short sleeved sweater; navy blue, purple, and white strappy summer dress, and black and white floral v-neck tank top

1. Saves Money

This is a no-brainer — and not a no-brainer. You can save money on an individual item, but you can also lose money buying more items than necessary because of the temptingly low prices. Before you know it, you’ll have an arm-full of things and need a shopping cart! It helps to make a list in advance and stick to it as much as possible. Try not to purchase extra things that you will have to declutter later. You may be able to bring in items to sell or trade, too.

2. Reduces Waste

I’m not an expert at reducing waste but rather a learning advocate. Although there are several ways that thrift shopping reduces waste, the most obvious is that it gives old, reusable things a new home. This lessens the accumulation of garbage and the need to process it.

3. New with Tags

Sometimes, you can find high-quality brands that are still new with the tags on. Some clothes still have the extra buttons and thread attached!

4. Discontinued Items

Other times, you can find items that were discontinued, such as the “My Little Pony” dress that sold like hotcakes or your frosted glass-and-nickel table lamp that broke.

5. Unique Items

Unique items, such as nostalgic or novelty items, can be found. You may question certain clothes and home decor at first, but with the right styling, you can make them work! There may be items that were originally purchased in other states or countries and are not available in any other local stores.

6. Special Occasion Items

Thrift stores are great for finding holiday, seasonal, or other special occasion items, such as costumes, decorations, and props. They’re also great for finding affordable travel or vacation clothes that are perfect for anticipated climate differences or for your site seeing photo ops.

7. Upcycling Materials

You can find materials to embellish, modernize, or transform into something else. For example, you can find an outdated or a plain piece of furniture to flip, pictures from an expired calendar to make bookmarks, or tiles to make coasters. Walk around and get your creative juices flowing!

8. Fun Pricing System

The thrift store may have a fun pricing system in which the tags are color-coded and the colors of the day drop prices even further by 25, 50, or 75 percent!

9. Fun Music

The thrift store may play fun music — songs that span the decades, from the 1950s to the 1990s.

10. Community

You get a sense of community. People of various backgrounds and ages share the common interests of getting out, listening to music, and shopping for great deals. It’s fun to see people sing or dance to songs and get excited about their finds. Some may strike up a friendly conversation.

Thrift Shopping Tips

thrift shop bundle bags full of art and office supplies
  • Keep an ongoing list of things to look for on shopping trips.
  • Budget. Set aside a cash allowance.
  • Find out when the store gets new arrivals and is least busy.
  • Block out enough time to peruse and get inspired.
  • Make efforts to look for hidden treasures; examine bag bundles.
  • If hoping to sell or trade items from home, consider calling the store beforehand to confirm that they are accepting items for sale or trade.
  • Check clothes for any possible holes, tears, missing pieces, marks, or stains, and try them on — even if they’re only ninety-nine cents.
  • Ask employees to show you that items requiring electricity work. Don’t be shy to ask or afraid to say “nay.”
  • Check items for manufacturer insert or label instructions. If purchased, clean or re-clean them as soon as you get home.
  • Be sure to minimize the risk of contagious disease for yourself and others. Follow general guidelines to cover your nose and mouth, wash or sanitize your hands, and distance yourself socially.

Thrift shopping can provide retail, creative, and social therapy without breaking your wallet. Do you go thrift shopping? What do you like or love about it? What has been one of your greatest finds? Comment and share this post below.

Pin of items at the thrift shop: multi-colored toaster, golden unicorn head lamp with white lamp shade; dark blue, light blue, and white ceramic egg; black and pink floral dress brand new with tags; pink poppy painting in a dark-brown wooden frame, powder blue metallic sewing machine, cartoon printed summer dress, frosted glass and nickel table lamp

Published by Scout

Resourceful day-to-day living and entertaining. DIY Upcycling, Easy Eats, Pandemic Life, Tasty Trips, The Great Indoors, Mind Body Spirit, Make Money Save Money, and Music Music Music.

12 thoughts on “10 Reasons to Love Thrift Shopping

  1. Thift shopping for the win! I love that you mentioned Community as a reason to thrift shop. My local 2nd hand store is run entirely by volunteers (mostly sweet retirees). The funds they collect from sales are donated directly to our local hospital to pay for medical equipment. Everyone wins.

  2. Great article, I agree with most things! Now, if only I could find new with tags items in my local thrift shop, that rarely happens..

  3. Thanks, Diana! It’s true – there definitely aren’t as many items that are new with tags as there are old items without tags. Our local thrift store is pretty big and new items with tags are a pleasant surprise to find. Maybe try going when new items arrive (if not already doing) or another local thrift store? New items with tags may not be available at all depending on one’s area 🙂

  4. Great post, and I love a good thrift shop buy. I’ve found many good quality bargains for really low prices. Plus it.helps the fight against ‘fast fashion’ 💜

  5. Thrift shopping is a great cycle. My family buys everyday kid items like clothes and toys for a good price. I also go there when I am looking specifically for items to alter for a project. Can make very unique and charming home décor. Then, when we have gentle used items we donate or even some stores give a percentage back on items sold which everything helps. And that cleans out our clutter too. Just love love love thrift stores the opportunities they produce.

  6. I love thrift store shopping. Probably my favorite thing about it is the thrill and excitement I get from finding something I would love to own, especially out of production items or odd/unusual things.

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