If I had to name my superpower, it would be sniffing out bargains and buying second hand clothes from charity shops. Honestly, it’s a skill that I’ve mastered and perfected over the years so today, I’m sharing my top ten tips with you.
If you’ve read any of my monthly pre-loved clothing posts over the last year or so then you’ll already know how much I love shopping for bargains and how I love to share my purchases on here with you. I’m going to continue to do that this year and try not to buy any new clothes for all the reasons I shared in this post about why I’m a fan of buying second hand clothes but I’m trying to get confident enough with myself to share pictures of me wearing my bargains rather than just sharing them on a hanger on the back of my door so bear with me on that one.
Here are my top 10 tips for buying second hand clothes…
1. Choose your Charity Shops wisely
I rarely go to the charity shops in my own town because I know there are better ones about – a ten-minute drive away for example takes me to a small town where there are three in a row, two of which often have high-end brands in stock and there’s even a little car park right near them which is free for an hour so I can pop there on a Saturday morning and have a good rummage. If I have a bit longer then there are two nearby towns that are quite affluent and the clothes in the charity shops on the high street reflect that. There are lots of online charity shops now too so do have a look at this post to find my favourites.
2. Take your Bag for Life with you
A couple of weeks ago I forgot to take a shopping bag with me and typically, the first shop I went into had no bags when I went to pay for the boots and jumper that I’d found. That meant carrying them with me into the next shop and having to balance them in my arms whilst looking through the racks – seriously impacting my ability to ferret out the bargains.
3. Try before you buy
If you can, I would definitely try on anything you can before you buy it! I can’t even tell you the number of times that I’ve bought something convinced that it would be a perfect fit and then got home and been super disappointed because it looked awful on. Now I try and dress in something like leggings and a t-shirt with slip-on shoes so if there are changing rooms available then I can quickly try something on for size. If that fails, I just keep the receipt and take back anything that doesn’t fit the next time I visit that shop.
4. Know your size
Most charity shops are sorted in size order which is super helpful as it means you can go straight to the section that you know will work for you but I always check the size up and down too just in case something has been put back in the wrong place or if something might work if it’s small/large fitting. My favourite dress was actually in the size down but it fits perfectly.
5. It’s only a bargain if you need it
I know this is an obvious one but they might be an absolute steal but do you need that extra pair of jeans or that dress in your wardrobe. If you already have something similar or you won’t wear it then it’s not a bargain, it’s a waste of money. Buying second hand clothes can save you a fortune but if you’re not careful you could spend a fortune on things that you won’t ever get your money’s worth from.
6. Think about your current wardrobe
Picture the item you want to buy in your wardrobe – will it go with the other clothes you have and will it compliment your existing wardrobe. I found the perfect shirt a little while ago and it made me super sad to leave it there on the rack but I knew it wouldn’t go with anything I owned as it was way too sophisticated for me. 😂
7. Consider a one in – one out policy
I love finding bargains but if I bought them all and just added them to my wardrobe then I’d need a whole room for clothes so I have a rule that if I buy something then I sell something on Vinted to (a) make space in my wardrobe for the new thing and (b) make some money to pay for the new thing.
8. Give everything a once-over
Check all buttons are present and correct, that zips fasten and unfasten without snagging, that there’s no bobbling under the arms and that everything is attached that should be. Check the washing instructions and make sure it’s not dry clean and think about the brand and whether it’s a good quality brand that’s going to last.
9. Only buy clothes that you love
This one speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Don’t buy something that’s a bargain just because it’s a bargain and you think it’ll work in your wardrobe – make sure you love it too!
10. Will it make money for you?
I do sometimes buy something that isn’t for me with the intention of selling it on Vinted because I come across such a bargain that I know will sell really well if I list it on there. Usually, really good brands with the tags still on them as they’re what people are looking for when they’re buying second hand clothes on sites like Vinted or even eBay if that’s your selling channel of choice.
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