By: Peyton Boelk

Although not the case years ago, thrifting has recently become a newfound activity for many shoppers. Customers are hopeful to score vintage finds and trendy pieces, all while shopping consciously with the environment in mind. While rewarding at times, thrifting isn’t always so glorious. Sifting through copious racks of clothing may seem overwhelming at times, but there is a method to the madness. Here are a few tips to help first-time thrifters kickstart their secondhand career. 

  1. Block out some time

Patience is key when thrifting. Shoppers must keep in mind that a trip to the secondhand store isn’t like a regular store where you can drop in and quickly grab what you need. Thrift stores are divided into different departments and sizes, which is likely as segmented as it will get. While you won’t need to devote an entire day to thrifting, understand you get out what you put in, so don’t rush the experience. 

  1. Take note of where/when you’re shopping

Product in thrift stores is all dependent on what gets donated. Tune into the location of the thrift store and what surrounding areas are likely going to donate to the location. Knowing the demographic of the area can help you achieve your thrifting goals easier. For example, if you’re hoping to find more vintage pieces, shop at a secondhand store where an older population resides. 

As important as location is, timing is equally as critical. Mondays are the best days to go because all the merchandise donated during the weekend will be on the floor. People are likely to sort through and donate their things on the weekend when they have time, so acting upon this known fact makes shopping on Mondays worthwhile. 

  1. Have a game plan (type, brand, etc.)

Shoppers must have an idea of what they are looking for before entering a thrift store. Try finding specific pieces you’d want and brands you can trust. Knowing what you want going in makes the entire experience less overwhelming. You can skip over specific departments in the store, which saves time in the long run. 

  1. See the pieces for their potential

Keep an open mind while shopping secondhand! Don’t look at the pieces at their face value, envision different ways you could style it with clothing you already own. If you’re crafty, think of different ways you could modify it to be more to your liking (crop it, take it in, etc.). Find inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest from people you admire to build the vision you have. 

Hopefully these few tips give you some insight on striking it big in the thrifting world. By choosing to shop secondhand, you’re doing your wallet, and the environment, a huge favor. Happy thrifting!

Here are some thrift shops in close proximity to Whitewater, WI:

  • Reflections of the Past
    • 182 W Main St, Whitewater, WI 53190 
  • Goodwill – Fort Atkinson
    • 1530 Madison Ave, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society
    • 1525 Summit Dr STE 4, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
  • Agrace Thrift Store
    • 2043 Humes Rd, Janesville, WI 53545
  • Goodwill – Janesville
    • 2003 Holiday Dr, Janesville, WI 53545
  • The Salvation Army Family Store
    • 2717 Milton Ave, Janesville, WI 53545