5 Dos and Don’ts for the Best Thrift Store Experience

Whether you’re looking to save money, find unique items, or help the planet by buying secondhand, thrift shopping is for you! There aren’t necessarily rules for thrifting — experiencing the thrill of thrift shopping is as simple as heading to your nearest Goodwill retail store. However, there are some tips you can use to make the most of your next thrifting adventure!

Check out this list of “Dos and Don’ts” for the best thrifting trip:

DO go with a game plan

While you’re bound to find more than you intended, it’s always a good idea to walk into a thrift store with at least a few ideas in mind. That’s because when you’re in a Goodwill store with literally hundreds of items, knowing what you’re looking for can make the experience a lot less intimidating! Are you working on a craft? Keep your eyes peeled for fabrics, glass jars, and other reusable materials. Are you searching for a new outfit? Choose a color to focus on as you comb the clothing racks, and more pieces will stand out to you!

Clothing racks at Mason Goodwill Store

Clothing racks at Goodwill store

DON’T be closed-minded

Part of the fun of thrift shopping is finding items you can use in entirely new, creative ways. As you search the store, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to try something you wouldn’t normally reach for. Not only will you find unique clothing pieces and accessories at Goodwill, but you’ll also come across gently-used items that are perfect for DIY projects. With an open mind, you might even find something that’s better than you could have imagined!

Clothing racks at Goodwill store

Clothing racks at Goodwill

DO check out both women’s and men’s clothing.

Whether you’re thrift shopping at Goodwill for a new-to-you outfit for Fall or stocking up on everyday essentials, make sure to check out all of the sections of clothing. You never know what you might find and fall in love with! For example, you could find a cozy, oversized pullover sweater or flannel in the men’s section that you wouldn’t see otherwise. Or, maybe you’re looking for a fun holiday sweater — check out the women’s section!

DON’T put down an item you like

The merchandise in thrift stores is often one-of-a-kind. So, if you find an item you like but you’re not exactly sure if you want to bring it home with you, hold onto it until you’re ready to check out. You might change your mind, and if you set an item down, there’s no guarantee that someone else won’t pick it up! If you still don’t want something at the end of your shopping trip, simply hand it back to the cashier so it can be returned to the proper place.

Donation box with clothes

Get ready to donate to Goodwill 

DO make room for your new finds!

The best way to top off your thrift store experience is to give back. After all, once you purchase a cart full of new thrifting treasures, you’ll need to make room for them! Take a look around your home and gather up anything you no longer want or need. From clothing to shoes, accessories, household décor, and small electronics, Goodwill will gladly accept your gently-used items. Bring your donations to your closest Ohio Valley Goodwill donation center and we’ll handle the rest. Now you have extra space for your next thrifting trip!

Goodwill's cycle of success logo

Goodwill’s Cycle of Success

Shop, donate, and support your community!

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of thrifting, check out everything your local Ohio Valley Goodwill has to offer! Remember, every purchase you make will go on to help support life-changing vocational programs and services for individuals with disabilities right here in the Greater Cincinnati community. Get started today by finding your nearest retail store — we have 19 amazing locations to choose from!

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