Saturday, April 23, 2011

10 THINGS FOR BEGINNERS.....

Chanel sneakers that I scored at Goodwill for less than $10 bucks
Good Saturday Morning Darlings, I am excited to let know about a blogger who asked me a question in the comment section but before answering her, I wrote back and asked her if I could make a post out of it and if she would mind if I linked back to her blog as part of my answer.  She wrote me back and agreed.  Her name is Kara and  beside the fact that she is gorgeous, she has a great eyebrow tutorial on her blog among other useful information and great style.  Kara asked me this question that I could not have been more eager to answer. Kara asked:
I really would like to start doing a little thrifting...any pointers for beginners?  I have so many things to say.  I could write a book about my thrifting experiences but for the beginners I will share information to get you started.  1} First and foremost, find the Goodwill in your area and start there.  If there is not a GW{GW is code for you and girlfriends to use...like, hey Mary would you like to hit the GW tomorrow?} close to you then start googling Salvation Army and some of the bigger thrift stores and work your way down to the smaller ones.  The reason for this is that Goodwill usually has set prices for their items like $3.99 for a shirt, $5.99 for a dress { I scored my Chanel dress at Goodwill for $5.99}and jeans can vary but usually run between $4.99 on up to $8.99.  {I found my Citizens Of Humanity jeans for $5.99 which is a steal}.  2} Try things on if you can, usually they have dressing rooms but if they don't, wear a a full skirt and a t-shirt so that you can slip jeans on under the skirt and try shirts on over a thin t-shirt. If you have to dry on a dress,  throw it over your head and pull your skirt down to see if the fit is right without the skirt.  Wear a flat slip on shoe so that you can try shoes on without too much effort.  Sound like fun yet?  It is believe me!!!  Just imagine shopping in a place where you can afford everything(mostly everything).  3}  While shopping, talk to the customers and get to know the employees. The customers, if they are local,  can lead you to other great thrifts in the area.  I can't tell you how many wonderful people I have met at the stores I frequent.  They love a friendly face and can be very accommodating in helping you find things easily.  I have felt favored in so many situations because I take the time to ask how they are doing and remembering  names is just good etiquette.  The other day I stopped by my favorite Goodwill to show them my new puppy....they loved her.   When you go to the supermarket don't you get to know the employees at the checkout?  I do, they wear name tags so that makes it easy.  4}   A lot of the stores, especially the Goodwill have half price on items EVERYDAY.  It is usually posted on the wall near the register as to what color tags are half off that day.  If you can't locate the posted sign, just ask the employees, they can direct you.  Other stores usually have some deal going on like The Village thrift in South Jersey has 30% off your bill on Sunday.  So of course, I go on Sunday if I have the time.  Just ask...don't be shy.  5} Most of the bigger thrift stores are staging their stores to be set up just like department stores with a shoe section, clothing section, housewares and so on.  Visit all of the departments, reason:  you never know what you might find for yourself in the men's department ex: plaid shirt, boyfriend jeans, a vintage tie that you can share with your husband...why not?  Open your mind to the best possibilities and most creative outfits you can imagine.  Stretch your style and don't be afraid to buy something that you are not sure about, believe me, you don't want to kick yourself later for not grabbing that vintage dress that is similar to the one you just saw in the latest fashion magazine.  Believe me it won't be there when you go back 2 days later to get it.  6} I usually go with one friend that likes to shop as much as I do and try to leave the kids at home so that you can really dig in and enjoy the experience.  Kids are great but they get bored and agitated that you are taking so much time and they may have to go to the bathroom.  Thrift stores do have them but no offense,  it is a public bathroom...u get my drift. I bring a bottle of water but drink it afterwards on the way home because it can be a bit dry and dusty sometimes so I hydrate on the way home where I know I will be using my own bathroom...I am a serious thrifter right down to hydration...lol.  7} They keys to finding great deals is patience, get to know the name brands and go as often as you can.  Most places will replenish their stock everyday like the Goodwill for instance, distributes new clothing and housewares 5 days a week.  You never know what is coming thru that door.   Had I not gone on the day that the Chanel dress was there, some other lucky person would have snagged it or like the day I just popped in and found brand new, in the box Chanel sneakers for $9.99 with 20% off.  They retailed for close to $300.00.  God is good to me.  I was thanking Him that day as I skipped home.  Actually I drove home but I felt like a million bucks.  8}  If they have shopping carts, grab one right away.  Usually they are scarce so I wait at the register until someone who is checking out is finished with theirs.  You can't shop without one in the bigger stores.  Your purse becomes heavy, the clothing you pick is hanging off your hand while you are trying to move hangers....and so on.  Watch your cart and purse at all times because I have actually had people take things from my cart, items that they wanted for themselves that I took the time to dig for.  It happens, people can be rude at times.  Keep your potential buys close to you.  I usually cover my purse with an item from the rack as a deterrent just in case I get distracted{easily distracted}and walk away from my cart.  This is not to scare anyone but I always think safety first.  9}  If you are thinking about purchasing a bigger item that won't fit in your vehicle, ask before you buy about their hold policy.  Usually, if you pay for the item in advance, they will hold it for 24 hours but I try to take everything with me when I leave or come back with another vehicle within a couple of hours.  Why?  I left an item that I paid $30 bucks for and someone {most likely another customer} removed the "sold" sign and carried my item to the register and bought it.  Bummer for me.  It happens.  The assistant manager whose name I happen to know, made it up to me on my next visit.  See it helps to know the people who work there?  10}  I know that this has been lengthy but I am speaking from my  personal   experiences as an avid thrifter.  I usually take people with me to the thrift and show them my personal way of finding the best items but since we all live so far apart and Kara posed the question as a beginning thrifter interested in getting started, I had to spill the beans.  Thank you Kara, I am looking forward to getting to know you better.  Visit her blog darlings, http://www.findyourfashionstealmystyle.blogspot.com/

9 comments:

Donna said...

Good thrifting advice for either beginners or old hands. We can all learn something new. I take what I need in the pockets of my pants so as not to carry a purse. Guess I would have to rethink that if your advice to wear a skirt was followed...hmmm...

Dawn said...

Donna, do you have a blog? I can't access it. Leave me your url darling. Dawnxo

Mrs.Grinder said...

DAWN! this post is perfect. you're so inspiring. can't wait to get to goodwill & see what else i can find. check my blog soon for my goodwill horse head ;) xox

Fashion Confessions of a Mommy said...

Great tips. Loved reading these. Now if I could only find a sitter to occupy my kids while I did this shopping that would be great! :)

Daphne.
http://fashiondivamommy.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you I am a "GW" girl....though I don't get there as often as you:)
HAPPY EASTER Cashmere!

Donna said...

Dawn, at this point I do not have a blog. My oldest daughter has offered to help me set one up. May have to take her up on that.

Kara said...

Wow Dawn, this is more than I ever bargained for! Thank you so much for all the great pointers. I actually feel like I could go to the GW (don't I sound like a pro now?) today and actually not feel like a lost child when I walk through the door. You have inspired me and given me some great tools to begin thrifting! I will keep you posted:-)
PS-You are too kind with your sweet words for me!!

Marie said...

AWSOME, Mama!!

Tina @ Fashion Dynamite said...

This is great advice. I went to a big Volunteers of America that just opened right by my house and didn't have much luck. I'm going to try again soon though now that I have better tips. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”