Save Money Buying Clothes at Thrift Stores and Consignment Stores

by Emily on October 28, 2011

Most women and even some men love to shop and love clothes. Women especially love their shoes, handbags, jewelry and other accessories. Given today’s economy you may have cut back your budget when it comes to shopping for clothing and accessories. Even with a smaller budget you can still find great finds at thrift stores and consignment stores and may even make a little money while doing so.

Personally, I am a lover of high-end consignment stores as well as thrift stores. A dear friend of mine has been able to keep up her love of fashion and shopping during these difficult by consigning her old clothing. By consigning old clothing you get a percentage of the money that the shop sells the item for. You can either choose to keep an account at the store, which would allow you to purchase clothing and accessories at the store or you can get cold hard cash for the clothing. We all have items in our closet that we are never going to wear ever again; it may be because it is never going to fit again, or it’s out of style or simply we are tired of wearing it. My general rule of thumb is that if you have not used a handbag, accessory, worn pair of shoes or that article of clothing for more than a year, then you do not need it anymore. What you discard from your wardrobe may be a hidden gem to someone else, and can increase your income. You may think that no one will want that old jacket or pair of pants, but it’s at least worth trying to see if the consignment store will take it to sell, before donating that item.

Typically, I believe that the best hidden finds both thrift stores and consignment stores are shoes and jeans. I have gotten countless pairs of designer shoes and jeans at a fraction of the retail cost at multiple different stores and in multiple states. You just have to shop around and be willing to hunt out and really search for those items. You may be skeptical of these stores because you are worried about the quality or cleanliness of the clothing and well you shouldn’t be. Most of the items I have purchased still have tags on them or are nearly brand new and have barely been worn. Of course as with any clothing purchase, even those from department stores, you should always wash the item before you wear it.

You can make shopping fun at the thrift or consignment stores. I have friends who I go shopping with at these stores on a weekly basis, and sometimes its just to browse and catch up with your friends. Others, we find great items that we are looking for. Most avid thrift and consignment shoppers I know become friendly with the staff at the shop in order to see when they put out new items each week. By knowing this information, you can snag fantastic items at amazing prices. Consignment shopping is especially fun to browse or purchase at in larger cities. Many wealthy women will literally bring their entire last year or seasons wardrobe to the store, in order to have extra money to purchase this fashion seasons items. Also, consignment stores are great for men looking for suits. You can find designer suits at a fraction of the price and then pay a little extra to get them tailored for the perfect fit. Jeans are also a great find at these stores. You can purchase designer jeans at a low cost and then get them hemmed or tailored to create the perfect outfit.

Most consignment and thrift stores discount items further the longer they have been in the shop on the rack. So be sure to check out the color of the tag for the true price of the item you are looking at. Another tip to use while shopping in a department store or a second hand clothing store is reading the cleaning instruction labels. Make sure you check if an item is hand wash or dry clean only and then determine if it’s worth purchasing if you are willing to spend the money or time hand washing and dry cleaning clothing. As always, try on all of your purchases. Some stores have return policies, while others will only exchange for store credit and some may not even return or exchange at all. As Halloween is approaching, thrift stores are a great place to pick up cheap items for costumes for yourself, your kids or both.

I am both a fashion lover and someone who is on a budget. Rather than living outside of my means and incurring debt on clothing, shoes and accessories, I choose to go to consignment stores and thrift stores to find fashionable designer items at a fraction of the cost. Instead of paying $200.00 to $500.00 for fabulous shoes, I hunt out bargains at these stores and have purchased high end designer shoes that were barely worn for $8.00. If you love you shop like I do, drop your negative thoughts about purchasing second hand and head right down to your local thrift or consignment store. You may be surprised at what you find and the great prices, leaving you fashionable and with more money in your stylish purse or wallet.

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