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The official THRIFT STORE tips and best practices thread

post #1 of 119
Thread Starter 
Allright, so I love to thrift. I've thrifted for so many years that I rather consider myself an expert

I've held my cards close to my chest for years, worried that someone else will use the knowledge that has taken me years to gain and swoop in for what should be, due to my senior thrifter status, mine.

BUT, to the faithful, can there is no worse feeling walking out of a thrift store and there being a NWT Borrelli dress shirt that you didn't find?? Now, I know you would have never known it was there, but still... it should have been yours.

So, I know many of you hide your secrets, but its time to be a community and share our learned experiences from thrift stores. Dont turn this into an "I found a ..." thread, that one already exists. If you dont have some real advice, dont post!

I'll start the ball rolling:

  • If the thrift store sizes their racks, always sift thru all the sizes. There are GEMS hidden in the wrong size area, happens all the time
  • Many thrifters find something cool, doesnt fit and leave it on the ends of a rack, then ends of the racks always have good stuff someone has found and put back for whatever reason. Take advantage of someone elses laziness
post #2 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by idfnl View Post

And... many thrift stores are getting too big for their britches, overpricing is becoming more and more common... my way of fighting this is to rip the price off and disappear it, most thrift stores wont sell it without a price so its a way of letting them know they are not pricing something fairly.

I appreciate you starting this thread but this last bit of advice seems a bit shitty. While you are not defacing the garment, it does seem more than a little like vandalism. Why not say directly to them that an item is overpriced?
post #3 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NukeMeSlowly View Post
I appreciate you starting this thread but this last bit of advice seems a bit shitty. While you are not defacing the garment, it does seem more than a little like vandalism. Why not say directly to them that an item is overpriced?
Because they dont care. I have tried. And tried. And tried. It doesnt work. If the store is willing to listen then great, but my experience is that they dont.

Point taken thought, I will revise the note.
post #4 of 119
I don't know if your solution to the ridiculous overpricing is optimal... but I swear to god if I come across another used Brioni shirt (not even like new) with a price tag of $150 I'm going to rip that baby off..

Nothing worse than finally finding something nice only to realize that you get it new in a department store for less.
post #5 of 119
this thread blows.
post #6 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
this thread blows.

You really just like to go to every thread and troll don't you.
post #7 of 119
nah. only the ones that blow
post #8 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by likeitaloud View Post
You really just like to go to every thread and troll don't you.
Hey, just found a picture of Tarmac....



Now, piss off fool and find another thread to troll.
post #9 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by idfnl View Post
  • If the thrift store sizes their racks, always sift thru all the sizes. There are GEMS hidden in the wrong size area, happens all the time

In addition - European sizes ALWAYS confuse thrift store workers. So, always check the racks for your European sizes. For example, you may find that Zegna jacket in 50R hanging with the big boy stuff, which is actually 40R. Or pants that go with a 40R suit that have a 33" waist, but are hanging among the 40's, etc.
post #10 of 119
As far as I'm concerned, there's one rule: ask yourself why it's there. Maybe that Brioni suit just doesn't fit the dude anymore, but maybe there's a 3 inch hole in it.
post #11 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by needshoehelp View Post
As far as I'm concerned, there's one rule: ask yourself why it's there. Maybe that Brioni suit just doesn't fit the dude anymore, but maybe there's a 3 inch hole in it.
+10 on that one

I bought a pair of kick ass jeans a few weeks ago only to discover the zipper was destroyed

When buying sweaters, always open it so only one layer of sweater is exposed and look into the ceiling lights of the store, a moth hole will leap out at you.

In fact, do this for anything dark, its much harder to spot a problem with something dark.
post #12 of 119
Whatever it is, smell it. Some odors just don't come out. Don't use a cart. Carry everything through the store. This should make you reconsider all of your potential purchases. Even if it's a steal at $5, if you don't really want it, don't bother. Fakes show up in thrift stores too. As stated above, test zippers, check for all buttons, and examine the buttons for cracks. Collar buttons are often torn away by thrift stores. Look for monograms. A nice shirt with someone else's initials on the chest or cuff is just no fun.
post #13 of 119
I'm just getting into the thrifting thing, but I learned one rule pretty quickly: if you see something you like/want, don't leave it to do more shopping. Grab it while you can.

I just did that with a pair of Stacy Adams italian black dress shoes in great condition for 9 dollars. went to look at something else and turned around to see someone else with them in his hand. Oh well. Did wind up with Kenneth Cole italian boots for the same price, same great condition. I think they might have come from the same person.
post #14 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by allreds View Post
Whatever it is, smell it.
Some odors just don't come out.

Don't use a cart. Carry everything through the store. This should make you reconsider all of your potential purchases. Even if it's a steal at $5, if you don't really want it, don't bother.

Fakes show up in thrift stores too.

As stated above, test zippers, check for all buttons, and examine the buttons for cracks. Collar buttons are often torn away by thrift stores.

Look for monograms. A nice shirt with someone else's initials on the chest or cuff is just no fun.

I think most of these are good rules, but I disagree with the part about the cart for the same reasons that the post between us discusses. If the thrift store is decently trafficked, there might be someone waiting to grab what you are looking at as you walk by. If I'm looking at jackets, I try them on as I go, so I keep a cart to hold my other purchases. For sweaters and the like, I use the cart to hold a bunch of possibilities before trying them on at the end after I've made a first pass through everything.
post #15 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Brody View Post
I think most of these are good rules, but I disagree with the part about the cart for the same reasons that the post between us discusses. If the thrift store is decently trafficked, there might be someone waiting to grab what you are looking at as you walk by. If I'm looking at jackets, I try them on as I go, so I keep a cart to hold my other purchases. For sweaters and the like, I use the cart to hold a bunch of possibilities before trying them on at the end after I've made a first pass through everything.
I dont do that....

Everything nice goes in the cart, then I try on. A wasted moment in front if the rack can easily cause me to loose out when some pretender starts at the other end hoping to crowd my territory.

I dont know why, but when a challenger appears, I get very angry inside. I try to show a good spirit about it, we are all part of the 'thrift club' but dammit if someone tries something on down the rack from me, I just start to boil...
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