Second-hand shopping has become quite the trend. People are second-hand shopping all over the place but doing it efficiently can be tricky.

Not only will second-hand shopping save you tons of money, it is also incredibly sustainable. When you buy clothing new at a store, you are adding clothing in circulation. When you buy second-hand you are utilizing no extra resources to make that article of clothing.

The fashion industry utilizes tons of water and energy while creating tons of waste. There are also many companies utilize people overseas to make their clothing. These people are working in very poor conditions. By buying second-hand you can avoid all of these issues. Here is an eye-opening list of facts about the fashion industry.



Here are a few things I have learned over years of second-hand shopping:


Be prepared to dig a little…or a lot

Stores like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or local thrift stores can be a bit of a mess. But if you come in ready to strap on the gloves and dig up some gems, you’ll leave with gold. Just take a nice deep breath before you enter the store- in…..out…..



Don’t expect to find something every trip

Honestly, there are days you will go in…look for 30 minutes….find nothing….go to another store… find nothing….go home-and this is OKAY and very normal! There will also be days that you go in and find the perfect sweater for $2.50. Just roll with it and be patient for the right day- it’s well worth it.



Don’t buy it if you are just buying it because it is cheap

When I first started second-hand shopping, I was so excited about how cheap everything was so I would buy way more than I need. Now I have about 20 flannels and only wear about 5…. so only buy it if you LOVE it. Ask yourself “would I still like this if it wasn’t $4?”.



Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone a little

Like I said above, you should love what you’re buying, but if it is a little bit of a risky purchase, it isn’t the end of the world if you end up not liking it- you can always re-donate it. But risks can often be a pleasant surprise!



Have an idea of what you are looking for but with an open mind

Go in with a plan. These stores are a crazy maze sometimes. Go in knowing what you are looking for with a little bit of wiggle room….just in case you see something veryyy interesting in the aisle down….



Buy quality

Lots of second-hand stores are flooded with low quality, cheap clothing. Just because you are buying it for cheap does not mean it has to be cheaply made. I have found plenty of Patagonia, North Face, Eddie Bauer type brands at second-hand stores. Try to always buy pieces that will last.



Know your options of second-hand stores

If you know what type of second hand you are buying, you will know what to expect better…. Here are the different types:

There are thrift stores- like Goodwill and the Salvation Army- which is all just donated and sold.

There are resale stores- like Platos Closet- where the store buys the used clothing from you and then resells it.

There are consignment shops where the original owners gets paid after someone else buys it.

And there are online options, such as Poshmark or  ThredUp.


Second-hand shopping has become almost a game to me sometimes- what awesome stuff can I find for as cheap as possible. I hope these tips help you out a little bit! Happy digging! Feel free to comment with questions, I’m happy to help!

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