There are a lot of myths about shopping at thrift stores that prevent people from trying it out. I have been shopping at thrift stores for more than a decade now and almost all of my clothes are from thrift stores. And recently, I have been also buying a lot of my clothes and other stuff in second-hand shops online. You’ll find these shops on eBay, Carousell, Facebook, and Instagram (and also in other smaller online classified ads websites).
Why do I buy in thrift stores?
The primary reason why I buy my clothes and other stuff in thrift stores and in online second-hand markets is that I get to save some money because they are very affordable compare to shopping malls. The second reason is that I find in thrift shops a lot of interesting pieces that you would not usually find in malls. And the third reason is that I get to score awesome vintage designer pieces for a fraction of the retail price.
How did I discover the joy in thrifting?
I first discovered a thrift store when a colleague from work brought me to a thrift shop near our workplace. I was surprised to find a lot of cheap shirts and pants that I can use for work.
Colleagues from work always complimented my clothes and they’re always surprised whenever I tell them that the clothes I wear to work are all bought from thrift stores. They had these crazy notions about thrift stores that’s why they don’t check these stores out.
Here are some of those myths about shopping at thrift stores that I find to be not true in most cases.
Myth 1: All Thrift Shops are Dirty
This may be true years ago but a lot of thrift stores nowadays are clean and comfortable. A lot of thrift stores have started investing in a good location, air-conditioning units, and well-planned out interiors. This may be due to the fact that the competition is increasing as the years go by and they have to step up their game in order to attract a loyal customer base.
Thrift stores are also springing up in affordable air-conditioned shopping malls such as the ones in Starmall Shaw and Alabang, Isettan Recto, etc.
Myth 2: All Clothes in Thrift Stores are Unwearable
It all depends on your personal style. A lot of thrift stores do not carry a specific style but rather, they have almost every style of clothes imaginable. There are vintage pieces, modern cuts, conservative clothes, avant-garde garments, etc. Although you will occasionally find clothes that have damages, there are more clothes that are definitely wearable.
Nowadays, you’ll even find a lot of fast-fashion clothing brands in thrift stores. Due to the advent of fast-fashion, the production of clothes rose up way above the demand of the buyers that’s why a lot of these pieces end up in dumpsites or reuse and sold in thrift stores around the world.
Myth 3: I won’t Find Clothes in Thrift Shops that will Fit Me
They do not carry multiple pieces of the same style. They do not know what is inside the clothes bale that they purchased until the day that they open it. They’re not like shopping malls that keep stocks of one style in various sizes. However, keep in mind that most thrift stores have thousands of pieces to choose from, you’ll surely find something that will fit you well.
Myth 4: All Thrift Stores Have Super Cheap Clothes
Sadly, gone are the days of P10 shirts (although this may still be available in some other areas). A lot of thrift stores that I frequently go to are becoming quite expensive. I usually wait until they go on sale before I buy anything. I occasionally comb through their stocks regardless of the selling price though as there are sometimes “grail” pieces or designer pieces that can be found.
Myth 5: There are Plenty of Designer Pieces in Thrift Shops
This is not always true for all thrift stores. Vintage and archival designer pieces do not just fall from trees like apples do, but occasionally, if you know what you’re looking for then you might just find some. And also, if you visit a lot of thrift stores, it increases your chances of scoring designer pieces.
Your chances of getting vintage designer pieces are higher when you go to the thrift stores that are far from the main road and those that are not easily accessible. You also have chances of scoring designer pieces in huge thrift stores. Why? Shops that are not easily accessible are sometimes out of the radar of resellers. And humongous thrift shops will easily overwhelm buyers including resellers that’s why sometimes, you’ll still find a designer piece tucked away in those hard to reach areas.
Myth 6: Designer Pieces in Thrift Stores are All Fake
Nowadays, there are so many counterfeit items everywhere. You’ll find counterfeit items in some shopping malls, thrift stores, online shops, etc. However, if you’re familiar with authenticity and if you know what you’re looking for then you just might score an authentic designer piece.
If you stay away from the mainstream brands that everyone knows about such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Prada then you will definitely find some amazing pieces. There are so many more designer labels than the four above-mentioned brands. Recently, I’ve been blessed by the “thrift god” with a handful of pieces from Maison Martin Margiela, Issey Miyake, Comme des Garcons, etc. I’ve been obsessing with some streetwear brands too but I have not been lucky in thrift stores with streetwear brands. Although recently, I got so lucky when I scored a Neighborhood Camo jacket online (Carousell).
If you don’t have the time to scour the thrift stores in your city, then try checking out eBay and Carousell. Although the price will be higher compare to thrift stores, it will definitely save you a lot of time.
Myth 7: It’s Hard to Shop in Thrift Shops because It’s not Organize
This is true for the old and traditional thrift stores in some places wherein you have to physically dig up items thus the word Ukay-ukay (halukay). However, it is not the case for most thrift stores in the cities that I have been to. All of the thrift stores that I have visited in Metro Manila are very organized. There’s a different rack/area for womenswear, menswear, tops, bottoms, jackets, blouses, long sleeves, sleeveless, bags, shoes, etc.
These are just some of the myths (or old truths) about shopping in thrift stores. Shopping in thrift stores can be very rewarding especially if you know what you’re looking for.
Do you also enjoy shopping at thrift stores? Have you found some designer pieces or some unique and awesome vintage clothes? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.