By shopping second-hand, you have an opportunity to score brand names at low prices but thrifting can easily turn from a bargain hunting adventure to a frustrating waste of time. If you’re looking for tips to help you find the best thrifted treasures, head over to this past blog post: 10 Tips for Finding the Best Goodwill Treasures.

Here, we’re unpacking a few shopping strategies and ways to maximize your time in the store so you can have fun and walk away with new items you absolutely love.

  1. Shop when the seasons change. You can count on traditional retailers to have a continuous supply of inventory in an array of sizes and colors. You won’t find quiet the selection at your favorite thrift shop but you can up your chances of stumbling on a stocked store by timing your shopping trips, especially at stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army that depend on community donations. When the flowers start blooming or the leaves begin falling, people instinctively clean, organize and donate. As a shopper, you’ll have more clothing, accessories and household items to browse.
  2. Have a plan. Before heading inside, plan out in your head the areas you want to focus on. Never leave out sections of the store – part of the fun of thrifting is that you never know what you might stumble across.  Focusing on a section like shoes or kitchen items first allows you to put most of your time and effort into sifting through the racks and allows you not to become overwhelmed by the rest of the store.
  3. Give yourself a time limit. If you aren’t an experienced thrifter, you may find yourself wandering isles aimlessly. Give yourself at least an hour and when that hour is up, head to the dressing room if you need to try anything on. Finally, before heading to the register, evaluate each item and make any final decisions – the best part of thrifting is that everything is discounted. If you’re on the fence about an item, go for it because it likely won’t be there in a few days if you change your mind.
  4. Be open-minded and crafty. You may head out the door on the hunt for a classic black blazer and then spy a pair of sneakers with the tags still attached in your size! This is a major win – buy the shoes and keep searching for the blazer. You may also come across items that don’t fit perfectly or have small imperfections. You don’t want to buy items that need to be completely altered but play around with a belt on a dress that’s a bit too baggy or buy the designer blouse and swap out the missing buttons. Thrifted pieces are unique and these subtle changes to make something work will fit in with your overall eclectic and trendy style. Keep this philosophy in mind as you shop and you’ll find you will stumble across many things you love.