My reason for thrifting is to get greener and to reduce what I spend on clothing. I have been thrifting for about 5 years and have just recently limited the number of stores I visit. I now generally shop at just two Value Village stores that are within walking distance from my home (this is a national chain with 140 stores). I buy all of my work clothes, leisure clothing, winter wear (coats), and accessories like belts and ties at these two locations. I also shop these stores for housewares and items that I can repurpose as art projects. The furniture is a little thin at value village so the exception is that I shop at two St. Vincent de Paul locations for items that I can refurbish like tables, book cases, etc. Go to the St Vincent de Paul website to get the sale day calendar for your locale.
I shop name brand products at Value Village
Short Sleeve Knit Shirts $4 to $8
Long Sleeve Dress Shirts $4 to $12
Long Sleeve3 Knit Shirts $3 to $8
Blue Jeans $5 to $10
Coffee Cups $ 2 to $3
Dinner Plates $2 to $3
There are two very important points to be made here. I certainly recognize Value Village carries thousands of items and this is certainly a tiny list so you can start to sense the savings for second hand gently used items. Value Village does not accept things they can’t put on the shelf so you are going to find some real gems if you take the time to look. The second important point is to not pay these prices.
Six mega sale days where pricing is cut by 50%
Martin Luther King Day
4th of July
Additional Ways To Get Discounts
Value Village also uses a system of tags that you can get 20 to 50% off. You will have to ask when you come to the store as to the color system used that day.
If you donate items to them they give you a tax write off in most states and sometimes, they have extra deals like getting 30% off your next purchase or donation punch-cards that get you super discounts.
Tips For Thrifting at Value Village
- Don’t go if you have not set a budget.
- Find a shop or two that you like, and you’ll be hooked. I have two within walking distance. The stores offer a huge selection; they are clean, friendly and well lite. They are fun places to shop.
- If you are buying clothing always try things on, there is a dressing booth for that purpose; sizes vary between manufacturers.
- Examine each item thoroughly. Look at seams, buttons, zippers, and areas that get more wear like the knees of jeans. It sucks to get home to find your new shirt has a hole in the pocket. You should assume that you cannot return a purchase.
- Make sure you understand the washing instructions; if you are not sure check the label.
- You are going to find well-known brands. Use the tags as a guide to find quality brands you like, but don’t limit yourself.
- Use thrift stores as a way to diversify your wardrobe. Buy colors and styles on which you normally wouldn’t spend much. Wear the new clothes a few times to see how you like them, and to gauge the reaction of others.
- Used clothing stores are great for accessories. Why pay $30 for a new belt in a department store when you can get a better belt in your size for just $2?
- Sometimes unsold department store inventory finds its way to used clothing stores and thrift shops. You’ll generally pay more for these items, but not much, certainly less than at the mall.
- Wash clothes when you get them home, I wash clothing twice. I use a disinfectant on shoes.
- Ask when stock is rotated. Stores get new shipments regularly. Most also have extra stock in storage. If you become familiar with the staff, you might even ask them to keep an eye out for particular items.
- Take your time. At the mall everything is neatly organized, this is not so at most thrift stores. When thrifting, it’s more important to be patient, and to browse the racks methodically. Keep in mind that the stock changes constantly so you may stop at the store regularly for highly desired items.
- Shop off season; I have noticed that many off season items such as sandals in the winter and hats in the summer are on sale during off season times. They may not be marked on sale, but the prices are often lower than if you try to buy them during the season. You should be purchasing coats and sweaters right now.
If you are going to be thrifting join the SuperSavers Club at Value Village. It’s free and it is your pass to great savings. It allows you to get 50% deals on clothes, shoes and even books during special sales that happen almost every month. Plus, there are sometimes pre-sales to ones that are offered to the public that only SuperSavers Club cardholders get. You will also get emails about the special sales coming up. SuperSavers also save 20% on their birthdays! Just don’t try to join on a sale day. Many times, it will be against their policy.