Thrifting in Thirty Minutes or Less

Shoe Shop

Maybe you’re just stopping in over your lunch break, browsing while waiting on an oil change, or otherwise crunched for time.

Being short on time doesn’t have to result in a shortage of great thrifted treasures!  With these four simple tips, you’ll be able to quickly & efficiently navigate your favorite thrift store and maximize your time:

  • When time is at issue, skip sections of the store that aren’t sized, colorized or otherwise organized.  Instead, focus on the areas of the store that are.

For example, at Arc’s Value Village, clothing that has just reached the salesfloor is clustered in a section called New Arrivals.  New Arrivals are not yet organized by category, size or color.   Digging through this section in search of your specific size or a certain type of garment (say you’d like to score a pair of dark denim jeans in size 10) is like searching for a needle in a haystack.  You’ll save time by jetting right over to the denim section and looking at the selection in your size.

  • It’s a good idea to keep a running list of items you need or want to add to your wardrobe. When you’re visiting a thrift store with limited time, you can narrow your search by shopping only the sections of the store where some of your listed items would likely be found.

If you’re on the hunt for a dress for your niece’s winter wedding, just take a quick peek in the dresses or formal wear section.  If it’s a great pair of fall boots you’re after, you can hone in on the footwear section.

  • Be smart – use your smartphone!  Sometimes it’s hard to be sure what the true value of an item is.  If you’re unsure whether it’s a fair price, simply take to Google.  With a quick search of a brand name, you can gather valuable information in mere seconds.  What you learn can help you make quick decisions as to whether or not an item is a good buy.
  • You can save time by forgoing the fitting rooms.  Spend your time perusing items you wouldn’t need to try on.  The jewelry section is an ideal hotspot for this.

You can also focus your time and attention on items you can try on without completely disrobing.  Shoes and scarves are great options.

Jackets and coats are also a great quick-thrift option because, as outwear pieces, you’ll get the truest idea of fit by layering over your clothing.

Even with limited time, with these four simple tips, your thrifting experience should be fruitful and fun!  Happy thrifting!

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