Kimberly Gomez
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Take thrifting to a whole new level

By - Nov 12th, 2011 04:00 am
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A few months ago, I talked about shopping at resale shops. This week, I’ve got some tips on shopping at thrift shops where you can find much cheaper prices and great items, and have other things to look for that resale shops may not. Read on to learn how to be an extreme thrifter!

Thrift and second-hand stores usually operate from donations, which include brand new clothes. They can also have clothes with issues such as stains, rips or missing buttons. Make sure you look over your treasures so you don’t get surprised later on. Also, carefully check the return policy because many sales are final, so buyer beware.

Girl Scout scarf, brand new with tag - $1

Thrift shopping is more time-consuming than normal retail. You usually need to touch every garment in the category you’re looking for to make sure you don’t miss anything. This takes time and patience. Don’t give up! You never know when the next garment you touch could turn out to be a high-end designer.

When you see something you love, buy it! It’ll be gone when you come back. Trust me, I’ve made this mistake a few times and still regret it. If the store you shop at has half-price ticket colors at certain times, don’t wait until that color comes up. Buy it now at “full” price and enjoy your purchase.

You know the trends you want to take part in but don’t want to waste money on since you’ll only wear it a season? Now is the time to partake, when extreme thrifting items have a very small cost, which you can enjoy for the one or two seasons they’re trendy. Then donate them back.

Banana Republic Dress - $14.99

There are many thrift stores in the greater Milwaukee area for your enjoyment. Usually the thrift stores in more affluent areas have higher end merchandise. This isn’t always true, but in my experience, it has been.
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Some of the local thrift shops I frequent are:

Goodwill: You never know what you’re going to find and they have something of almost everything. I’ve found Coach purses and shoes. I’ve also found brand new HD portable TVs for much less than retail. There’s probably a store close to your neighborhood.

Coach purse - $24.99

Salvation ArmyUnlike Goodwill, SA doesn’t put their clothes in size category, just color. I wish they’d add the size category because it makes it much easier and faster. Other than that issue, I always find fun things there including new gifts (like a crockpot).

Saint Vincent de Paul: These stores used to be smaller but some have now moved to former grocery store buildings and have a nice selection of many different things. Clothes are categorized by size and color.

Pashmina scarf - $1.86

Thrift Shop: Waukesha Services Club: This smaller store has men, women and children’s clothing and some household items. It’s run by a women’s group and over the years, I’ve found quite a few high quality items. (1444 S. West Ave, Waukesha, WI 53189 (262) 547-9528)

Retique: This store is in the Third Ward and is owned by Goodwill. Unlike other stores, this store receives higher quality items from all over the city. You never know if you’ll find high designer things here. You just have to keep checking!

Well-Bred Bargains: This store is unique because it donates funds to the Elmbrook Humane Society. Cool huh? This is a small store but it packs a big punch. There are women’s clothes and a few men’s clothes here, but it also has fantastic household items, and of course some pet treasures.  (890 Elm Grove Rd, Elm Grove, 53122, 262-754-5579)

Men's casual Banana Republic total outfit - $12.99

St Paul’s Thrift Shop: This shop has very limited hours but is worth the trip when it’s open. Once again, you never know what you’ll find here and it’s usually something fun. (1324 North Marshall Street, Milwaukee (414) 276-5520)

You never know what you’re going to find, so go on a regular basis. Have a fabulous time finding treasures and let me know what you discover.

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