"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thrifting 102

I posted: Thrifting 101 (check it out) a while back after being asked many times, "How do you find such great stuff at the thrift store?" There I gave you all my basic thrifting tips. But there are so many tips I have acquired over the years that I decided I needed to write a thrifting 102. So here it is.

How To Identify Good Quality Clothing

You don't have to memorize the name brands. If you are not sure that what you are buying is a quality item here are a few tips that will help you identify a well made garment. 

Check the tag and see if it reads hand wash, dry clean, or gentle wash. This is because it is made with a nice fabric that requires special care.

Is is imported? Tags will say made in Italy or Spain etc..

Is the fabric soft or nice feeling to the touch? Quality fabric feels luxurious.

Anything made with modal, cashmere, silk, leather, or organic cotton are a sure sign that it is a quality piece.

Is it embellished? Beads, sequence, nice buttons, embroidered? 

See beads and embroidery. Free People top retail $65, $2 thrifted.


I resold thrifted clothing, handbags and shoes on ebay for years in the past. It was a lot of work for me so I decided I would sell to local consignment stores. I simply drop off my clothes and pick up my check about every two weeks. It is easy, works with my schedule, I make good money and it's fun.

This really needs a full blog post of its own (someday) but, here are the very basics you need to know when reselling.

Where to  resale: Amazon, Ebay, and local consignment stores. These are the best for used clothing.

Find the value. Look online and see what the item (or a similar item)  is selling for. I look on Ebay at the SOLD price NOT the listed price. If you cant look up the value you can assume it will sell for 50% or less of the retail price depending on the condition of the item.

Buy only top name brands and quality garments to resale. Using my tips above you can identify these items if you don't know name brands. Don't wast your money to resale cheep clothing because it is not worth the effort. Things from Old Navy, Target etc..... I only buy such brands only if it's for myself.

Get to know your consignment store. Ask what they sell most often or what they need in stock. Buy items that match the store. If its more conservative buy conservative clothing, or if its funky buy clothing to match,.

Damaged Goods

Sometimes it's worth buying a damaged item when it's a good price for the value (does that make sense?)  But how do you know if its beyond repair? Or how to repair it? Well....

If there is a rip in a seam this is super easy to stitch up. A hole on the other hand in nearly impossible to fix.

Pants with holes near the bottom hem are not a problem because a tailor can hem them above the hole. This only works if you are short (like me) or the pants are too long, obviously.

Missing buttons? Replace them all with new matching buttons.

Broken zippers? A zipper is easily replaced. My tailor only charges $10.

Stains on the other hand are much harder to fix. White is often easy because it can be bleached. My rule with stains is if it is saturated all the way through the fabric it's beyond repair. Things that wont come out are paint, bleach, and armpit stains. At least I have had no luck getting them out.

Faded items can be dyed. Like jeans for example.

A pair of Seven jeans for $3 (retail $150). The cost of a new zipper $10.

Knock Offs

This mostly applies to handbags and such, but there a a few ways to tell if an item is fake.

Check the stitching. It will be nearly perfect on well made items.

How does it feel? Real leather will be soft and nice to the touch. Fake leather will rip and can be sticky feeling.

Look up the same model from a reliable website.

Is the hardware heavy duty? Does is have the brand printed on it? Nice bags will have good hardware.

Does it have a ID number? Most quality name brand bags will.

Maybe there will be a Thrifting 103 in the future because there is so many tips and tricks when you are thrifting.

Hope you enjoyed them all!

Blessings, Nicole\

Liz Marie Blog

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Stesha Jordan said...

I love these tips. I am so awful at thrifting, I need to follow your lead!


Nicole said...

Just keep pressing on, it will be worth it when you score something fab!