As per request I have provided my readers with a “Thrift List” which can be found at the top right of the page. There you will find a list of my favorite consignment shops that I have featured and some that I intend to blog about in the very near future. In addition to the Thrift List, I have decided to provide you with a map of thriftadelphia. Places I have visited and blogged about are marked with a pink thumbtack, stores that I have not yet talked about are teal. So if you happen to be embarking on a day of thrifting (and since the weather is nice, I recommend it!), you can see which shops are near one another and plan your day accordingly!
Category Archives: Tips and Tricks
It is finally spring break! Those of you who aren’t headed to the islands are going to need some activities to keep you occupied at home. Why not check out your local consignment shops? My hometown has a few cute shops that I intend to visit before leaving for the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.
If you don’t feel like leaving the house (it’s your break, you’ll do what you want to), this might be a good time to spring clean that messy closet. Make sure to keep consigning in mind! Create three sections in your room, one for clothing you want to keep, one for clothing you want to throw away, and one for clothing you would like to consign.
Don’t know which clothes to throw away and which to consign? It’s simple. Anything that is still in style and in good condition but you’re just not interested in anymore, goes to a consignment shop. Old pleather pants and t-shirts with holes in them—trash.
When you are done purging unwanted items into their appropriate sections, organize your “keep” clothes (I like to organize by color), take a picture for mom (she’ll be so proud!), and head over to the nearest consignment shop to sell your unwanted clothes!
Consignment selling tip: Don’t bring your clothes to the shop in a garbage bag, it looks tacky and those clothes are not garbage! Why treat them like they are? Invest in some reusable cloth shopping bags if you intend on consigning often ($1.99 at most grocery stores), or simply bring them in a cute suitcase!
Photo courtesy: Shoe-a-Day
My mother always used to pride herself on “looking just as good as the rich mommies in town, but on a poor mommy budget.” I never really understood what she meant but I did agree, she looked really good. Today, I live by her rule myself. Simply spend your money where it matters—on handbags, shoes, and jeans!
If you carry a gorgeous designer bag it doesn’t matter if the rest of your outfit totals $50 or $500, people will automatically associate your entire outfit with the quality of the designer bag you are carrying. Now, just because you are carrying a designer bag does not mean you still have to spend the designer bucks for it! There are ways to get it that don’t involve combing through consignment shops or even leaving the house!
When you join online shopping boutiques, you get invitation-only access to 48 hour sales on some of your favorite designers for about 70% of the retail price. Each day there are different brands featured and they send you e-mail updates about what is currently on sale as well as what is to come in the next few days. These sites have seriously changed my life. I never thought I would be able to afford some of the items I’ve purchased on these sites, like a Kooba bag for under $300, and a Hobo wallet for only $49.
If you are looking for designer clothing and accessories to add some credibility to your fabulously consigned wardrobe, join these online groups and start shopping! (p.s. Invite friends to join! For every friend you invite that becomes a member, you will receive money to use towards merchandise on the site!)
Here are five of my favorite Groups:
Rue La La is an exclusive, invitation-only online destination where Members discover premier-brand, private sale Boutiques, each open for just a brief window of time. Our focus is a well-edited collection of sought-after offerings from the best brand names in the world – combined with helpful service.
New brands are featured each day in sales starting at 12 p.m. EST. Sales last 40 hours, or until items are sold out. Ideeli.com also has weekly giveaways. They have a surprise start time and last 7 hours (in most cases). Their members are notified by email, Facebook and Twitter each time a new sale starts.
A leader in online retail, HauteLook brings the thrill back to shopping through 48-hour sale events with the world’s top fashion, accessories, beauty, kids and home brands. Each day, HauteLook offers discounts of 50 to 75 percent off to millions of members in the U.S. and Canada. Membership is free to join and everyone is welcome.
Gilt Groupe provides invitation-only access to highly coveted products and experiences at insider prices. Each day, Gilt offers its members a curated selection of merchandise, including apparel, accessories and lifestyle items across the women’s, men’s and children’s categories.
Beyond the Rack is a private shopping club for women and men who want designer brand apparel and accessories at prices up to 70% off retail. They obtain authentic designer merchandise and provide it exclusively to members through limited-time events. Each event starts at a specific time and typically lasts only 48 hours. After each event ends the merchandise is no longer available. Members are notified by email in advance of each upcoming event according to their preferences.
Like any new task, consignment shopping can seem daunting if you don’t have the proper instructions. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
Before you set out to dive into the unknown racks of second hand clothing stores you need a clear head and a clear schedule. The most precious gems are found deep in the midst of pilly pullovers and out-of-date outerwear. You have to be ready to walk into the store, approach the first rack, slide the abundance of clothes to one side and sift through piece by piece; and don’t forget to try things on! Something on the rack can seem helpless but look fantastic on your shape, and something on the hanger may take your breath away but once you don that dress you may find yourself wanting to run far, far away. Be patient, keep an open mind and remember there’s nothing a belt, brooch, or a few stitches can’t do to update and individualize an item.
Do It Yourself!
When thrifting it is important to remember to be creative! The most precious aspect of a thrifted item is that there is a slim chance you will be walking through campus and shamefully spot the exact outfit coming toward you. These pieces are so exclusive and carry so much history that there may be times you come across a top with a breathtaking neckline and…shoulder pads. For $4.99 it’s worth buying and taking the time to show your creative side. Sit down with a pair of scissors and some thread and create a completely new, completely you, sleeveless tunic! Don’t get caught up in your old commercial shopping ways, everything you buy can be modified, by yourself or even a tailor. With the money you will be saving by thrifting these quality items it is okay to shell out a few dollars and get a quality hem from a professional. Since we’re thinking outside the box, remember to stray from the women’s department! Some of the greatest finds are in the men’s section. A button down can become a dress, a tie can become a belt, even a mens hat with some proper accessories like peacock plumage or sassy ribbon can kick the fedora trend to the curb! It’s all about using your creativity and fashion sense with thrifting, there are no models or advertisements to influence you.
Don’t be afraid to Haggle!
Ah, bartering. It seems like people are still uncomfortable when it comes to haggling a price. Obviously if an item is priced fairly there is no need to waste time trying to knock it down, but there are instances in which an item is priced too high for the quality or there is a tear or rip in an article of clothing that has been overlooked by an associate. There’s no harm in asking, most of the time they will be willing to knock off a few dollars just because you brought it up. Of course, if you are looking for the ultimate deal and you are confident with bargaining, the best tip I can bestow is to leave your credit, debit, and personal checks at home. Carrying cash is your best bet in ensuring a great bargain. You also avoid a surcharge that some of the thrift stores invoke once you pay with plastic.
Image courtesy of: flickr.org