Thrifting 101: The Basics

It’s a rainy day today. It started last night, Friday the 13th, and I am just very glad it rained, because it has been sunshiny and warm and dusty the past days.  The downside to a rainy weekend though is that you won’t enjoy going out because the streets are wet, and if you live in Cebu, the streets get flooded.  The weekend is the best time to go thrifting (at least here in Cebu).  Many stalls open at Carbon Market and some thrift shops drop prices during the weekend.

Although today is raining, it’s still a good time to do some thrifting.  There are a lot of thrift shops around the city that are air-conditioned.  No need to trek on muddy water.

So, what do you do to get the most of your thrifting adventure?  Here are some of my “tips.” I’m no expert, but I’ve been thrifting since college, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way.  These tips are based on those mistakes.

1. Before going out, know what you want.  There may be particular styles, items, or fabrics that you looking out for.  There might also be occasions that you are preparing for.  Take note of them while thrifting because they will guide you.  These notes will also help you not go beyond your budget or over-shop for clothes you don’t really need.  My practice is to scan magazines before I go thrifting, sometimes take a picture of photos in my cellular phone, or draw them in paper and bring that paper with me.

It is also important to you know your body measurements.  Thrift shops are not the cleanest place on earth and sometimes you wouldn’t want to try on dirty clothes, no matter how beautiful they are.

2. What to bring? Bring cash because they won’t accept credit cards, or credit. Better bring coins or loose change.  Bring a tape measure (see item 1).  Bring reusable shopping bag, or bags.  You may bring alcohol, hand sanitizer, tissue and other cleaning agents.  It is best to bring a companion because its more fun, and its safer. Don’t bring or wear too much jewelry and things that will attract pickpockets, thieves and snatchers.

3. Courtesy.  Be courteous and friendly so you can bargain. But don’t bargain too low.  They are after all, a business.

4. Wear comfortable clothes. I usually wear shorts and shirts to go thrifting but I think leggings would also be comfortable.

5. What to look out for?  Measurement and fit.  The clothes should fit you properly. Or they are really good and you have a seamstress or tailor who can alter the clothes for you.  Look out for tears, holes, stains and discolorations.  Some of them may be fixed, but some may also be permanent.  Be more scrutinizing when buying whites.

I hope these tips are helpful. 🙂

(me, in front of a thrift store)

Happy Weekend! Happy Thrifting!

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