The Art Of Thrifting: 10 Tips To Help You Navigate Through The Jungle - Zero Waste Cartel

The Art Of Thrifting: 10 Tips To Help You Navigate Through The Jungle

The Art Of Thrifting: 10 Tips To Help You Navigate Through The Jungle

Thrifting is a real skill. It can be overwhelming and challenging. But when you master the art, you can find some of your favorite items for 30 times cheaper. And needless to say, it’s way better for the environment.

In this article we’ll show you 10 tips to master the art of thrifting.

Before we get into it, let’s get a clear definition of what thrifting actually is.

Wikipedia, take it away...

“Thrifting refers to the act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, or a shop of a charitable organization, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a cheap price.”

Without further ado, here’s our top 10 tips for thrifting and finding items you will treasure for the rest of your days...

1. Create A Wish List

Just like you might make a list when you go grocery shopping... Making a list for thrifting is super necessary. 

If you're feeling confident, you can branch out and check out the other items on offer, but only do so with control.

It helps you to stay focused on finding products that you need, as well as not buying a ton of things you don’t need.

2. Make sure you’ve got your thrifting outfit on

Wear clothes that are most like your everyday style - i.e. bottoms which you wear most and a top that’s easy to pull on and off. And comfortable shoes are key so your feet don’t get tired. 

If you’re extra prepared, you can take a spare top and bottoms if you want to be able to compare items with other outfits. This way you can see if the items will look good on you AND fit in with the rest of your wardrobe.

3. Give yourself a whole day

One of the beauties of thrift shopping is being able to get lost amongst the amazing volume of goodies on offer. 

If you’ve only got an hour or so, it’s difficult to let go and surrender to the potential gold mine around you. 

So give yourself all the time in the world, and get exploring.

4. Browse with an open mind

Sometimes the organization of thrift shops can be a little “haphazard”. 

 You might find the most incredible item in the corner, under something, or even on the floor (after falling off a hanger). And other times, you might find something really cool in the opposite genders area. 

Don’t forget - you can always take clothing in or alter them to fit, so always keep an open mind.

5. Check for stains or faults

Be vigilant about checking for stains or faults. There’s nothing worse than getting home, ready to match your new skirt with your top, only to see a stain or hole staring straight at you.

6. Set yourself a budget

Once I start, I find it difficult to stop… So if you’re anything like me, you might have a tendency to go a little crazy once you’re on a role. 

Remind yourself to rein it in and keep it under control! 

You’re thrifting to help the environment and have a more sustainable wardrobe.. Not to fill it with more stuff that you just don’t need!

7. Hold onto items for at least 5 minutes before buying

Impulse buying is surprisingly common! 

By holding on to your items for at least 5 minutes, or even deciding to come back to them later to buy, you’ll choose to buy only the items you need. 

You won’t be able to stop thinking about the ones that you really need. That’s a sign of a great thrifting buy ;)

8. Do multiple laps

I like to do one quick lap to get my bearings and see what stands out… And then, I’ll go back into the trenches for a more thorough investigation. 

Even after round 2, there will be heaps of gems that I’m yet to find. 

Keep on going and with every lap, try keep a new theme in mind. For example, go round with the intention to find: a sweater, work skirt, casual top, lazy Sunday pants etc... Until you’ve exhausted it all.

9. Look at more than just clothes

From furniture to kitchenware, there’s so much more than just clothes. Mason jars, old kettles you can plant little ferns in, photo frames, books, DVDs, even electronics etc… You never know what treasures you can find!

10. Stay hydrated & bring snacks

Staying hydrated and energized is key to giving yourself the best chance of sifting through the jungle to find the gold. 

Take your reusable water bottle and some snacks and you can even treat yourself to a little break if you need it. 

Coming back to it after a 10 minute break might help you to spot something you hadn’t seen before too.

I hope these 10 tips have been useful to you… if you have any thrifting tips yourself, I would LOVE to know so please reach out in the comments below!

Happy thrifting, friends.

Alice G. 
Alice is the Content Manager at Zero Waste Cartel. She's an environmental biologist, plant enthusiast & avid tea drinker.

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1 comment

Thrifting is the best! I can get high quality clothing for a fraction of the retail cost- and it’s usually been laundered so I can see how it reacts to being washed! And if I somehow ruin it- no worries! I didn’t pay a lot for it. I once found an essential oil diffuser from one of the big companies- with 8 nearly filled bottles of EOs, for $6! Retail value of over $300! Another time I found an Omega Juicer-retail value $360- for $25. I’ve bought new in box food processors, a $50 Gefu spiralizer, all for a fraction of retail. If I already own something, or don’t need it, I can pass it along to someone else. It’s a win-win any way you look at it!


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