Shopping at a thrift store is like going on a treasure hunt and I have found some gems during my thrifting adventures. I shop at thrift stores, in addition to shopping at chain stores and boutiques, because I enjoy finding unique items for a great deal. For this post, I am sharing my tips on getting the most out of your thrifting experience, including what to buy and the best times to shop.

When to Shop

The earlier the better is my motto when it comes to thrift shopping. Second-hand stores, like Buffalo Exchange, place new items out daily. However, in my experience, it is best to shop earlier in the day before the racks have been rummaged through by customers. Earlier during the week is usually better as well, when the racks are newly stocked after the weekend influx.

shallow focus photography of clothes

Photo by Artem Bali on

What I Buy at Thrift Stores

Two words: Occasion Wear. Consider the number of times you’ve worn that wedding guest dress. Unfortunately, people tend to wear dresses purchased for special occasions only a few times before they end up in the section of their closet with all of the clothes that haven’t been worn in years. Fortunately for thrift shopping, this means that when purchasing occasion wear you are likely to find dresses and other formal wear next to new. For example, I spent days searching for the perfect graduation dress without success. I couldn’t find anything I liked and everything looked the same. I decided to look in some thrift stores and found the dress below at a fraction of the cost for dresses in other stores I frequent. It was completely different from everything I was finding in stores and online as well, so thrift stores are also great for finding unique items.


On the other hand, I do not typically purchase t-shirts at thrift stores. It has to be a pretty special find for me to buy it. T-shirts show signs of wear over time and it is easy to find brand new quality t-shirts at a low cost. Sweaters, however, hold up nicely, as well as, jackets/blazers, so these are items I look for in thrift stores as well.

How to Save More

Be sure to bring your unwanted clothes. Stores that allow you to sell your clothes will offer a higher trade-in value for your clothes than they offer in cash (For example, you may be offered 30% of the selling price for your items in cash, versus 50% of the selling price when you are applying the credit towards an in-store purchase). This is the perfect opportunity to clean out our closet (See previous post on spring cleaning your wardrobe). Finally, something along the lines of a broken zipper is an easy fix, so don’t count minor repairs out. In fact, let the store clerk know about the issue and you will more than likely be offered an additional discount for that item.

What tips do you have for shopping at thrift stores? Share them below. Happy Thrifting!


Outfit Details|| Both dresses featured in this post were purchased at Buffalo Exchange in Atlanta, Georgia.


5 Comments on “Thrift Like a Pro!

    • I go to Buffalo Exchange on Ponce most often. I like their selection the most. Rag-a-Rama and Lucky Exchange are also good and I’ve heard the Goodwill on Roswell, but I haven’t been there yet.


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