Opinion: A Mag’s Do’s and Don’ts of thrifting

Payton Moore

Secondhand shopping is a world of its own that many of us have embraced with tight wallets and open minds. Thrifting offers an (often overwhelming) world of possibilities to the frugal shopper (ahem, us). Are you a “thriftaholic,” or does the idea of wearing used clothing make you cringe? Fret not, A Magazine offers our biggest tips and tricks to scoring the perfect ‘fit.


Know the discounts. Oftentimes, thrift stores have deals by color tags or even student discounts. Call in advance, or check with the clerk manager to see what offers are available. We’ll never say no to saving a dollar — even when it’s already a dollar.

Double, triple and quadruple check. There is nothing worse than finding a vintage designer item, taking it home to show off and realizing it’s damaged. Sizing on these items may stray from what you’re used to. Returns are pretty much a no-go at all thrift and consignment stores. Try-ons are a must – make sure the item you’re purchasing is in good condition, unless of course you plan on upcycling!

Accessorize. Leather belts at department stores are worth the cash — but we can totally see you rocking a vintage leather belt that’s just as nice, and a whole lot more affordable. Accessories at thrift stores shouldn’t be overlooked. Right now, we’re scouring every rack possible for vintage neck scarves and beaded hand purses. Shopping discounts means you can try out trends at a lower cost.


Settle. It’s cheap, yes, but it’ll also take up sacred space in your closet. Just because it sort of fits, it doesn’t mean you’ll never find something better. Thrifting should be done often and with an open mind – don’t buy it just because it’s close enough, or at a ridiculously affordable price. Your treasure awaits! Maybe just not today.

Skim. Give yourself at least an hour to look through everything. Or if an hour of shopping makes you scoff, make a day trip with a group of friends to analyze through multiple sets of eyes. It’s a process, but worth it. Thrift stores coordinate by color, size and style. Looking through the colors you wear most often will cut down on time perusing. Standout fabrics and textures are easy to spot – we encourage experimenting with something new since thrifting is inexpensive, and this takes time.