The popularity of thrifting has skyrocketed in the past few years and I’m definitely a huge fan. Ever since I was a freshman in college back in 2012, I have loved turning to thrift stores and vintage shops to find unique, cool, and authentic pieces.
Everyone who thrifts says this, but it’s true that the greatest thing about shopping in thrift stores is that each thrift store has something completely new to offer so you have no idea what you might find. I’ve thrifted in tons of different cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Des Moises, and Los Angeles and found clothing items that will be in my closet for years.
If you never have any luck, but you enjoy having unique pieces in your closet, then take a look at my Depop shop where I curate street style and cool clothing items.
And if you like to be a warrior and stick it out, then continue reading for my tips on thrift store shopping because along with luck, there is definitely a formula to finding hidden gems at thrift stores.
How to Find Hidden Gems
1. Find your #1 location
This might take a while, but once you find a location where you always score cool pieces make it one of the thrift stores that you never miss when you spend a day thrift shopping.
Across the U.S. there are have tons of different options when it comes to thrift stores chains such as Goodwill, Value Village, Savers, Family Value Thrift, and Salvation Army, but my favorite is without a doubt Value Village’s.
If your goal is to score brand name and designer threads then Google upscale neighborhoods in your area and search on Google Maps for thrift stores near those areas.
2. Visit larger locations and outlets
The larger the location, the greater the selection and that increases your chances of finding some really awesome pieces. Larger locations have racks of clothing for you to sort through and usually have everything organized in the store by gender, style, or color.
In addition, larger locations move more inventory quickly so every time you visit there are thousands of new stuff added to the racks weekly that increase your chance of finding hidden gems.
Outlet thrift stores for chain stores are always worth a visit, because there’s even more inventory and you can get them at much cheaper prices.
3. Check all sections
Most thrift stores are organized by gender and sizes but there’s always items that aren’t in the right place so if you only check the section with your size then you could miss some really cool pieces.
Make sure to look at each item on the hangers and scan for prints and patterns that stand out to you. Sometimes clothing pieces can get trapped in between other clothing items, especially if the racks are stuffed.
4. Have a go-to spot you always check first
Once you find a section in your favorite thrift store where you consistently find cool items, then always check that spot first whenever you go.
Finding the best stuff while thrifting requires being quick to spot the items, because someone who has the same style might grab an item you would like before you do.
Also, be sure to flock like a hawk to rolling racks of new items before they are placed on the floor because they haven’t been over-picked and 99% of the time, you’ll find at least one cool item in these racks.
5. Be consistent
The last and most important tip is to be consistent with how often you hit up your favorite thrift stores. The more often you visit the higher the chance of finding the best stuff at thrift stores.
Being consistent will allow you to have first grabs on new stuff that gets put on the racks, which is really helpful in thrift stores that tend to get over-picked frequently.
Now that you’ve got the tips, here are some of the coolest things I’ve found:
Most of the items that I thrift are resold on my Depop shop, so check it out if you’re on the hunt for cool pieces but don’t want to do the thrift shopping yourself.
Did any of these tips work for you? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create, and grow!