16 Useful Secrets To Thrift Shop #LikeABoss

Hello hello! Hamburglar from McDonald's here with all the stripes!!!!! YAAAAAS! Aside from the purse and skirt, my whole outfit is THRIFTED. For real, for real -- purchased at my local Goodwill. Don't let the messy store and occasionally funky smell steer you away from the most affordable, TIMELESS, and unique staple items. Here are tips (and a video from my NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL) to help you navigate secondhand territory. Your pocketbook will thank you! 


Try EVERYTHING on: Eye-balling in Goodwill does not always work. If you eye-ball a piece of clothing, get home and (surprise, surprise) it doesn't fit, then you have wasted valuable coins. Let's be real....you are not gonna go back and return it. It's charity. Don't try it on one-by-one! Stack your buggy to the ceiling with tops until the wheels fall off....THEN go try it all on. 

PRO-TIP: If you are at a store without dressing rooms, 1) Jean try-on: Take an oversized skirt with an elastic waist and pull it over your hips, then try jeans on underneath. BOOM. 2) Take an oversized floor length dress and try on the shirts under the dress like you did back in middle school Physical Education class. Yes, its 2017, but I'm still a proud member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee.

Take your time: Thrift shopping in a rush is pointless. This is a "feeling" process. Shop on a day when you have time to really dig. Shop with a friend (who is a different size than you because a ratchet brawl at the Goodwill over an amazing shirt that you both found simultaneously is no bueno) OOOOOR go solo. Drink an energy drink! Grab a coffee and twirl through the aisles. You can make an entire day of thrift shopping with right attitude and some pep in your step. Go to the 'NICE' side of town:  I don't wanna profile buuuut *hair flip* GUUUURL, we all have to be honest with ourselves. Goodwills near colleges have already been ravaged by college students and it's just a TINY step away from Plato's closet. DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON PLATO's CLOSET. Let's keep it 100! Rich people get rid of fancy stuff. Go to the "nicer" side of town because you're more likely to find better quality pieces. Think of it as a treasure hunt, and don't limit yourself to clothing. You may find an antique vanity, a record player for your hipster friend, picture frames, FiiiiIIIIiiine China, etc, etc.

Ignore the smell:  We know it's a little ripe! The funk is real because Grandma lived it up in the 70's and ALL that life smell is tucked in every corner of store #743. Show up on days when they have the front door propped open with clothing outside, or ask a staff member to prop them open. 

Always Purchase Button Downs & Blouses: Button downs are the wardrobe secret weapon. If a button up fits well, then it's impossible to mess that bad boy up. I can no longer fathom paying $100.00 on a button down shirt when they haven't changed much in like 50 years. Get them at Goodwill for.....$4.00. Pinterest "How to Wear a Button Down" (or wait on my next Youtube video- shameless plug.) Add a bracelet, roll the sleeves! BOOOM! They fancy up every outfit with minimum effort. 

Check For Stains: Look at every nook and cranny of each item before you take it to register. Check the underarm and collar, check for holes, make sure all the buttons are there! That's why I say try it on! You may not notice these things while you're holding it, but once you put it on CHIIILLE a missing button in your chest area is very apparent. Don't get caught with your boobies out. Additionally, don't pick items that require too much "fixing" unless you are SURE that you are going to fix them. If you aren't gonna sew on that button or get items tailored, don't buy it. 

Check Discount Days: Prepare for savings by doing some research! Goodwill does 99 cent Sunday, half price Tuesday, 10% off on blue tag items, etc etc. THEY ARE PRACTICALLY GIVING THINGS AWAY! Every Goodwill is different so creep around online, or near the front of the store, and find the sign that outlines the weekly deals. 

alisha jones cotton

Look For Brands You Already Like: IF you are shopping for everyday pieces (i.e work clothes), then thrifting should be your jam for the first few years of your professional career. When I go, I am almost always leaving with brands like Guess, Express, New York & Co., and random high-end finds! THESE PHOTOS are showing off my $5.00 Vera Wang jacket!  One good dry clean and my jacket looks brand new. If clothing feels bad on the hanger, then it will feel worse when your wear it. Leave it! That OL' potato sack feelin' Charlotte Russe shirt is not helping ANYBODY.

Shop Often: Arrive early in the morning on a weekday. You are 84% more likely to find what you are looking for when stores restock in the morning. I made that statistic up, but the restock timing is accurate.

Know the difference between THRIFT STORES versus VINTAGE STORES: Thrift is no warranty, as-is clothing taken from a random bag from the community. Vintage stores are curated by hipsters who took time to shop through hundreds of thrift stores, compiled interestingly quirky items, put them in a poorly lit store, then sell thrifted items to you for like 3x the amount! No shade to vintage stores, but they tend to be overpriced. Do the work yourself and thrift like a real fashionista. Hard work pays off.

Do Not Go Shopping Without A Plan or Budget:  $20.00-$30.00 can actually take you a LOONG way at the Will of Goods....or land you at least two outfits worth of clothing. STAY FOCUSED, LITTLE GRASSHOPPER. Because as you walk to the check out counter you'll see it.... a long lost item that calls out to you....and here you are.... -$50 dollars later.  Making it RAIN with all your "savings"!  Plan a budget or make a list of exactly what pieces you need to complete your style. It's easier to go frequently with a plan than go once or twice a year and leave with disappointment.

Do Not Dig Too Deep In The T-shirts: Let it go, bruh. All hopes and dreams about T-shirts need to be abandoned (unless the t-shirt is new with a tag on it, OR you are looking for extra worn hipster vintage shirts to distress). Searching through t-shirts becomes a HUGE time waster! Look for stores that have t-shirts, blouses, and collared shirts on separate racks.

Do Not Disrespect Others: Every trip is an adventure, and just as we have a "People of Walmart" category we also have a "People of Goodwill" category. THATS A WHOLE OTHER VIDEO! Be nice. Some folks with special needs work there (and Public Service Announcement:  Goodwill provides jobs for folks who may not be able to maintain a job otherwise and I was shocked to discover how many people didn't know that)! 


Do Not Haggle: You have not seen fury until you see Miss Hazel at the checkout counter trying to barter for an extra belt. Bruh, it's four dollars. This isn't a flea market! It's charity. There is nothing to discuss. Yeaaah, ok, it's for profit- but fundamentally it's charity. I am all about haggling at regular stores, but not at the Will of Goods. Not here. I have morals, BRENDA!

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What is your biggest concern about thrift shopping? Did you have a successful trip in the past to brag about? Comment below!