In my never-ending quest to reduce the money I spend on stuff, I’ve found that charity shops/thrift stores are amazing for picking up bargains. I’m talking kitchen items, books, clothing, clothing reused as fabric and much more.
By shopping at charity shops you are helping said charity by donating when buying, as well as saving on throwing away stuff. These two things are actually quite important to me. Why throw something away when someone else will benefit from it? Makes sense doesn’t it?
There’s also certain image associated with people who shop at charity shops however. It took me a while to step inside a charity shop. When I was a child, I’d hate going in charity shops with my parents.
But now though, I have no problem with going in them. They are full of friendly and helpful staff, and you both have a common interest. It’s great.
So I’m going to debunk some of the myths around charity shops/thrift stores. I’m going to show you why you should consider popping into one rather than just walking by.
There is nothing shameful about going into a charity shop.
Forget about being conscious when going in. Remember that you are giving to a great cause and bagging yourself a bargain. That’s it. At the same time, you’ve got to remember that these places are not meant to be cool, or quirky, just simple, cheap items that you might like.
Also, the items you’re picking up aren’t yucky. They aren’t dirty and there’s nothing shameful about these items. If you want to give your items a quick wash once you’ve bought them, feel free! Sometimes I wash clothing if it’s needed.
You can buy charity shop clothes online!
This is only a recent discovery for me and I couldn’t believe it! Oxfam has a nice website which has vintage clothes, antique books and gifts for your friends and family. There are some wonderful items on there, and I especially love the gifts section.
So if you still feel a little ashamed (which you shouldn’t!) then you can always browse and buy online. I have noticed that the items seem a little more expensive than in shops, but don’t let this stop you. This will most likely due to overhead costs of running the online business.
Sometimes charity shops can be considered ‘expensive’
It that a funny statement? I know it might sound a bit silly but throughout my browsing of charity shops I’ve come to find some things are a little on the expensive side. So once you’ve grown in confidence when browsing your shops, you’ll start to get a feel for the kind of price things will be.
As a little side note which I’ve just thought about – remember to keep a budget. The point of charity shopping is to keep within a budget, especially when the purse strings are a little tight. Don’t go overboard otherwise you’ll defeat the object of thrift shopping!
So when you discover things you’d like but would consider it expensive, which only you will know, put it back down. Be sensible and you will win at the charity shop experience!
You can pick up some amazing vintage items
Second hand shops and charity shops are FANTASTIC for picking up amazing vintage items. I once found a clutch bag which was hand made and a bargain at £12. I loved it so much, I took it every time I went out. Eventually I spilt nail varnish on it but I loved it.
If you’re into vintage stuff, you will love these kinds of shops. You also need to have a little patience as you may not find a bag like I did on my first ever trip.
Sticking to just one charity shop is a no no
It’s definitely worth browsing a number of second hand and charity shops. How else are you ging to bag yourself some amazing bargains?!
If you have some friends like would like to browse some charity shops, why not organise something with them too? You could make a day of it.
I don’t know about you, but where I live there are certain areas in my town where you’ll find at least five or 6 charity shops on the same stretch of road. Use this to your advantage and keep browsing 🙂
You can try the stuff on!
Yes you can actually try the clothes on. Back when I was scared of charity shops, I never dreamed of trying anything on. How silly! So yes you can try your stuff on if you wish to. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Make friends with the shop workers
Not only will the shop workers know the best stuff that’s come in that week, but they can help you if you need it. Imagine these shops as a little community. The staff are always friendly, helpful and you if you go there often enough you can make some really nice friends there.
The most important part of all this is to have fun. Charity shopping isn’t grimy or dirty. It’s a fun thing to do with your mates and grabbing bargains at the same time. Forget about what you think you know about charity shops and throw them out the window. Leave them at the door of the charity shop.
Let me know what you think about second hand shopping. How does it make you feel?