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~Rural Style~ Tips for New Thrifters.... Part 1....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

photo: source
I get so many questions, online and off, about how to shop at Goodwill, Sal Val Thrift Stores, or other second hand stores. Most of the times its..."I can't find anything in there!" or "I won't find anything in there!" or "How do I find stuff in there?" OR...." I don't like used clothing."...."I don't have time to thrift!" and the list goes on and on...

One word...Excuses!! ( And don't get me started on the DEFINITION of EXCUSES!)
photo: source
#1 Thrift Stores, like Goodwill, Salvation Army and ones that are owned by non-profit organizations provide a need for the community or city they are in, such as food, shelter, assistance, and job training. Its not just a shopping destination but a community service. There have been many times in the last year couple of years that I have received assistance from the Salvation Army because of financial strain and life's problems. So I'm always delighted to donate as well as shop, so that others will get the help they need like I did.
photo: source
#2 When you shop at your favorite clothing store and you buy something off the rack, do you know for sure...if its NEW? Sometimes, you do... but I've worked years of retail where I've been told put returned clothes back on the rack, size 4 shirts that have been tried on a zillion times BACK ON THE RACK. That's as close to second hand as buying it at a thrift store.

photo: source
#3 Alot of items at thrift stores are NEW. Goodwill gets tons, tons of new off season Target items all the time. Just two weeks ago, my favorite Goodwill had Calypso St. Barths for Target dresses, caftans, bathing suits and tops for as low at $2. They also had a tons of home items from Target, with the tags still attached. I once had a suitemate in college who would donate new clothes to Salvation Army, simply because she had went shopping and bought newer clothes.

So, don't think you won't find anything in a thrift store...think of the great things about these stores and why everyone and their momma is shopping there now!!! I know that it will not be everyone's cup of tea. You don't need time or patience, just the will to walk in the door.

Here are some quick tips to get you started:

-Go in with an open mind and not a list.

-Try, try again. Sometimes you won't find anything that you like. Doesn't that happen when you shop at regular retail stores??

-Go in when you have an hour...Go in when you have five hours...some of my best hauls have been when I popped in a store for a few minutes. Don't restrict your time to shop.

-Watch You Tube Thrift hauls....I just found two ladies in the last two weeks that I LOVE plus they give you great inspiration to shop.


Tamara on 9:39 PM said...

I love this post! I find the most unique and one-of-a-kind finds at thrift stores. Over the past 3-4 years I've found 5 formal gowns , brand new and in totally good condition. im talking BEDAZZLING floor length gowns (and one with a train!). Being that I am PLUS SIZE too this was a real steal. (:

Jamie @ Rural Glamour on 5:05 PM said...

thanks!! that is a steal with the gowns!

Shalimar on 12:07 AM said...

Hey Jaime I just wanted to let you know, I went thrifting at Salvation Army and lord I have racked up. My biggest steal was a authentic shearling jacket (not the faux wool or leather) for 25 bucks. Do you know I have been wanting a shearling coat since I was a freshman in high school and that was over 15 years ago? I know I could have waited but some butthole kept ripping off the tag (from what the workers told me) and I might have to work on the discount days.

I also found some nice culottes (wool and vintage), several Banana Republic items and J.Crew. I also scored a Diane von Furstenburg blouse for cheap. The prices was pretty good for vintage. Much better than this other thrift store I used to visit with a friend of mine. I did see a sweet wool coat from the 70s but put it back because I have too many coats as it is.

I guess I learned that I have to go with an open mind and don't look for labels, focus on the quality of the clothes and the condition. I also learned that I need to expand my horizons and look beyond one chain of thrift stores and look in my own backyard.