How To Find Good Clothes In Charity Shops


It's been a while since I've written a blog post, so hello again! I've been doing a lot of charity shopping recently, I've always done it here and there to find things for myself but now it has almost become a hobby of mine! Whilst in America, I went to dozens of thrift shops, picked up a few gems there (including some I.AM.GIA trousers for $6 - which I quite happily sold on my Depop for £50!)
Whenever I tell people that I found an item of clothing in a charity shop, the usual responses are: "I look and never find anything." "How do you manage to find such good stuff?" "I would never think to look in a charity shop, isn't it just grandma's clothing?" 

So for all of you clueless shoppers, I'm gonna give you my deepest, darkest charity shopping tips all compressed into one blog post, and maybe you can find some gems too!!


Tommy Hilfiger T-Shirt (found in a charity shop for £4)



1) Visit charity shops more often to increase your chances.
A lot of successful charity shopping is based on luck. Yes this can be frustrating, but it makes every good find like treasure! For some people, they can go into 1 charity shop and find something instantly. But for most of us avid bargain spotters - it will take multiple attempts. If you increase the time you spend visiting charity shops, you will increase your chances of finding a good item! How can you really get a gist of charity shopping if you go into one and fail? In the town I live close to there are 12 charity shops, I make sure to go into every single one. Just because one shop doesn't generally have good items, doesn't mean it never will. It generally depends on who donates to that shop. Also I visit fairly regularly - the stock changes every week, and even every day. One week there may be nothing that you like, but the next week someone may donate a whole load of stuff which you will LOVE! Increase your chances of finding something you love by increasing the amount of times you browse.

If you increase the time you spend visiting charity shops, you will increase your chances of finding a good item! 


2) Look through everything.
Flick through the racks and look at every item one by one. You cannot judge the clothes by how they look all bundled up on a rail. Also look at the brand labels, it may change your judgement on an item (also it helps with sizing if you know your size in a particular brand.) Although I tend to lean towards the clothes in my size, it's still good to look through the other sizes, in case anything has been labelled incorrectly or the original owner shrunk the item in the wash. I also look through the men's t-shirts and jackets. The men's t-shirts tend to be cheaper and you can find sports brands much easier there. When you look at items e.g men's t-shirts, you can determine if you could alter the item to make it more your style (such as cropping a large t-shirt.)

3) Have an idea of what you're looking for.
Aimlessly looking is pointless. Think about what sort of items you'd like to find. This could also be a certain brand of clothing that you know will fit you correctly. Focus your searching into certain colours, materials or styles. This will make the job less overwhelming. Some shops already organise their clothing into colours (making your life a whole lot easier!) Often it can seem that all the clothing is old and of poor quality (or fresh out of your grandma's closet), if you focus on the minority of stuff that is kind of decent, you can find the good stuff jammed between the 'ugly' shirts and skirts (unless you like 'ugly' stuff!) 

4) Prices are not always dirt cheap.
Careful not to get ripped off! Sometimes the shops will price brand names higher, making them much less of a bargain. Once you start to know your ways around each shops, you'll realise the price range of them and whether or not they do this. You have to ask yourself if the second-hand piece is really worth the extra money - or could you potentially buy something like it for a similar price on Depop? Be reasonable with yourself, don't just buy things for the sake of it. At first everything will seem super cheap, but once you accumulate the cost of multiple items, it adds up! To prevent overspending, you can write a list of items you'd like to find, and items that you do not need to buy.

5) Location is important.
Generally, the donations in more affluent areas are of higher quality and more expensive brands. Therefore, if you live close to a city or town which has a higher average income, you may find more luck in their charity shops. Also towns which are majority populated with the elderly, not surprisingly will have a large donation of older people's clothes. This can be good sometimes (e.g vintage) and the location rule isn't always correct. Use trial and error to figure out which towns have the best donations in your area. Some towns also have more charity shops than others, which means the donations from the area are much widely spread across all the shops, than having one shop in an area and all the donations going there. Make a good judgement and don't waste your time!

To conclude, charity shopping is a huge luck game (which is partly why I enjoy it so much) that is super ethical (I can do a post about this) and donates money to charity. You can save so much money by shopping in them, and even find some pieces that are completely unique!

What is the best item you have ever found in a charity shop? Let me know in the comments!❣

Instagram: @elzyella
Depop: @elzyella




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