Resale Shopping Tips by Jlee

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone say “I love that ____” and I’ve said, “I got it at a resale shop!”

I know I’ve bragged in the past about being a fashionista, and I’m not recanting that statement (despite some readers’ opposition), however, my fashion has changed.

Don’t worry. I still love Juicy Couture. I still carry Juicy Couture handbags. I still view the site daily and make wish lists.

But, I also love stumbling upon obscure finds. And I’m not talking about stumbling upon fabulous vintage pieces that celebrities brag about. I’m talking about finding the obscure find that was made for you. Whether you’re big or small, whatever the cost is – you find this piece and you must have it. That’s what I’m talking about.

Vintage-Jewelry
Photo courtesy of http://www.middbeat.org

Usually the next sentence after “I got it at a resale shop!” is “I can never find anything at resale shops!”

So let me give you my tips for your next resale shopping adventure.

1.      Frequent the Resale Shop

I generally only go to one or two resale shops in my area. I’ll occasionally stop by a random shop I’ve not been to before, but I don’t generally find good pieces in them. I find the best pieces in the shops I frequent. That means you have to go in once a week. That’s what’s so great about resale shops – items come and go – and you need to stay on top of the merchandise. You should frequent a shop so often that you know what pieces have been sitting there for some time and which pieces are hot!

2.      Carve Out Time

clockAs a mom of a toddler I’m telling you DO NOT go resale shopping with your child. This is something you do for you. It doesn’t have to be an 8 hour event. Don’t make it a chore! Working mom? Go on your lunch break. Stay-at-home Mom? When your husband gives you time to run to the gym without the kiddos grab a coffee and hit a resale shop on the way home. Whenever, wherever you need to go alone.

3.      Search High and Low

So while you have this time to yourself take a breath. You can’t possibly run in and out in five minutes and expect to find the perfect piece. You need to look at every rack, down every aisle and even in the wrong size! I once found a pair of Seven for All Mankind jeans in the men’s section for $9.99.

4.      Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

0504_GoodwillSome resale shops are super cute on the outside. Yes, of course you have to check those out. But, the not so cute ones can be just as great. Those $9.99 Seven for All Mankind jeans – I found them at the local Goodwill.

 

5.      Go With Your Gut

I’ve found pieces and been like, “Do I really need this?” Or I’ve not had time to try an item on and thought, “Will this fit me?” Most resale shops have a return policy. If you’re on the fence get it! You can always return it. Anytime I’ve had something I almost set down because “do I really need this” popped into my head I’ve later thanked myself for the smart buy. And very recently I put back a pair of jeans that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. I went back today and they were gone. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!

6.      Become a Consignor

Your local Goodwill will only take donations, but most resale shops will take your items and sell them for you paying you a percentage of what the store makes. What a great way to make sure you’re continuously frequenting the store if you’re going there to also drop off items (clothes, jewelry, handbags, accessories) and to pick up money. 🙂

Do you have any great thrift shop finds?

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