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MARKETANALYST.US / MONEY 101

Avid Thrifter Shares Pro Tips; When Is the Best Time to Thrift, and How to Save More on Thrifting?

About $93 million was made by thrift stores in the US in 2023, with approximately one-third of all clothing purchases being second-hand.
PUBLISHED MAY 24, 2024
Cover Image Source: Thrifting tips from an avid thrifter (representative image) | Photo by cottonbro studio | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Thrifting tips from an avid thrifter (representative image) | Photo by cottonbro studio | Pexels

In recent years, thrift stores have seen a huge increase in popularity. According to Capital One Shopping, about $93 million was made by thrift stores in the US in 2023, with approximately one-third of all clothing purchases being second-hand. People who thrift can save about $1,760 annually. It is less expensive than purchasing brand-new clothing from department stores. Knowing which days are ideal for thrift store shopping and which ones aren't is still beneficial though.

Image Source: Photo by cottonbro studio |Pexels
Image Source: Photo by cottonbro studio |Pexels

You may want to reconsider your approach if you enjoy thrifting and go on weekends. The worst time to thrift shop is now, according to New York City-based fashion designer and content creator Nicholas Portello. The massive weekend crowds are one major factor, according to GOBankingRates. According to Portello, "People naturally go shopping more when they have time off work." You don't want to compete with strangers to see the clothes when thrifting. The best thrifters are patient and take their time going through everything since you never know what you'll find.

You might not have the time to look over every item of clothing because there will be more people around, so you might not get the greatest deals. Additionally, thrift stores are less likely to provide the same discounts on weekends as they do during the week since they anticipate a higher volume of clients. According to Portello, "Many thrift stores use colored tags to show different discount levels." You won't save as much money on the weekends as you could during the week because these reductions could not be accessible or might be lessened.

Because they align with work and school schedules, weekdays are the ideal time to go thrifting. Since thrift businesses anticipate fewer patrons on certain days, they frequently increase their sales and promotional offers to draw visitors. Monday through Thursday is the best day to shop because there are fewer people and greater discounts. “Think about going thrifting after work to relax after a long day at school or the office, or make your day more interesting by taking a thrifting lunch break,” Portello suggested.

Image Source: Julia Cameron | Pexels
Thrifting (representative image) | Julia Cameron | Pexels

Knowing the best and worst days to thrift is helpful, but there are other ways to save money, especially since thrift store prices have gone up in recent years. One tip is to take the time to read the labels on clothing items and invest in high-quality pieces. “Try to avoid buying clothes from fast-fashion brands like Primark and Shein as that defeats the purpose of thrifting,” Portello said. To save even more, consider thrifting out of season. If you are unsure about a good deal, check the price against other second-hand marketplaces like eBay or Depop (though Depop prices tend to be higher, according to Portello). Another way to get the most out of thrift shopping is to focus on wardrobe staples that you can mix and match.

“You can dress up a pair of thrifted vintage Levi’s with a stylish button-down and boots, or dress them down with sneakers and a soccer jersey,” Portello said. “Don’t be afraid to mix and match new pieces – you might find something you love.” Lastly, if you're traveling, check out local thrift stores for unique bargains and items you won't find at your usual shops.

Image Source: Photo by cottonbro studio |Pexels
Thrifting (representative image) | Photo by cottonbro studio | Pexels

Thrifted items often have more potential than meets the eye. As a fashion designer, Portello transforms secondhand materials like bed sheets into new pieces. “You never know what treasures you'll discover at a thrift store — it could be a designer item, something bold, or even something you didn't know you needed,” Portello said. “I got tired of seeing the same stuff in big-name stores and wanted to add some spice to my wardrobe.” Ultimately, the financial benefits of thrifting come from the savings you make on each wear of an item.

“Thrifting also lets you experiment with your style without breaking the bank. Fashion is all about expressing yourself, and trying new things is part of the fun,” Portello added. Besides saving money, thrifting is also good for the environment. The fashion industry is worth $1.7 trillion but contributes a lot to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. “Many big fashion brands have questionable practices and make huge profits on uninspired designs,” Portello pointed out.

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