Thrift-shopping tips

How to become a thrift shopping pro

September 24, 2010 10:26:37 AM PDT
Kelly Federico Sather, a writer for the Allentown Morning Call newspaper, has been thrift-shopping since she was in high school. We met her at one of her favorite stores, the Salvation Army in Quakertown, to get her tips on the best strategies for thrift-shopping in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

Federico Sather explains, "In high school, I really started thrifting with my friends as kind of an activity to do. I got a lot of fun t-shirts. You would go in and look for the most fun t-shirt you could find and that turned into a way of building your wardrobe for the summer."

She says the first step to successful thrifting is to get over the notion that all thrift shops are messy, dark, and dirty.

"I like to see organized stores," she says. "This store in particular I love because it's organized by type of clothing. So, all the khakis are together, all the jeans are together. It's clean, it's well-lit. There are dressing rooms, which not every thrift store is going to have."

Because shops like this can be overwhelming, she suggests going in with a specific goal.

"If you know specifically you're going for an 80's men's blazer, or you want dark denim jeans, go in with that in mind and then stick to it," Federico Sather says. "Because it can be overwhelming if you're new to it."

She adds that the temptation to over-shop awaits in every aisle. And most thrift shop sales are final.

"Stick to your principles and say, 'I will only buy what I love.' Even though it's only two dollars, if you don't love it, don't buy it."

Finally, be persistant.

"If you don't find something that you like when you go out to a thrift store, don't give up, just keep on going," she advises. "They have a huge amount of clothing coming in and it's constantly being refreshed and replaced."

Click here to read Federico Sather's article about her favorite thrift shops in the Lehigh Valley.


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