6 Reasons Why Every Broke Fashion Lover Needs To Start Thrift Shopping

by Erica Gordon
Simone Becchetti

If you don't shop at thrift stores, you're missing out on something incredibly rewarding.

Not only is thrift store shopping a great way to shop for one-of-a-kind vintage fashion, but it's also a smart way to save money and make money.

The thrill of the hunt makes thrifting a fun and exciting hobby and you'd be surprised at the valuable, designer-brand items rich people donate. They get the tax write-off and you get items that you would never be able to afford off the rack.

At your local Goodwill, Savers or Value Village you'll find exactly what you need for a fashion-forward outfit without spending much more than $15 or $20. Here are six reasons why every broke fashionista who loves to shop should start shopping at thrift stores immediately.

1. You'll score trendy, vintage fashion on the cheap.

Vintage fashion is all around you at thrift shops, and trendy pieces are everywhere because there's always a decade that's come full-circle and is back in style today. Vintage clothing is often very well-constructed with fine fabrics and lots of attention to detail.

The quality of an item was generally better back in the day. You'll find beautiful, one-of-a-kind, stylish pieces that cost you almost nothing. You'll end up looking like a million bucks in less than 20 dollars worth of thrift store finds.

Designer brands and name-brand labels are everywhere at your local thrift store – you just have to dedicate some time to the search. Every thrift store has fabulous statement pieces and hidden gems waiting to be found that you won't believe someone actually donated.

You'll get way more compliments on your outfits than you would if you shopped at all the same stores as everyone else. I've found Hermes scarves, soft leather jackets, vintage band t-shirts, beautiful pearl necklaces, designer shoes and much, much more while thrift shopping.

2. You can flip thrift store finds and make some serious side hustle cash.

It's easier than you think to make money flipping thrift store finds, you just need to know what to buy at the thrift shop. Vintage luxury watches, for example, can be re-sold for a pretty penny for much more than you paid.

Most thrift stores have an entire display case full of vintage luxury watches that have been donated, so there will be plenty to choose from. Most are priced between 9 and 24 dollars at the thrift store, but they could be worth a lot more.

Use this website to determine the value of a vintage watch before you buy it if your primary goal is to flip it. Or, if you love it, buy it for yourself. A vintage watch is like a unique and cool bracelet or statement accessory that nobody else will have.

Make sure to look in the scarves section, too. Most thrift stores have a huge selection of scarves, and hidden among the racks will be some name-brand scarves that are being sold for a fraction of what you can re-sell them for.

Brands to look for are Richard Allan, Anthropologie, Madewell, Hermes and Alexander McQueen. I've seen all these brands in one thrift store or another.

Even if the scarf is not a name brand, if it's made of silk and it's beautiful, it can still be sold for way more than the 5 dollars you'll pay for it. It still blows my mind that a 100 percent silk scarf in perfect condition is usually priced between 2 and 5 dollars. I spend more for a drink at Starbucks. 

In general, keep your eyes peeled for name brand clothing, name brand workout gear and genuine leather items if you want to look like a million bucks wearing thrift store finds and make a profit should you choose to re-sell your finds later on.

3. The thrill of the hunt makes it a fun and exciting past time.

You never know what you'll find at a thrift store, and you almost always find some designer-label treasure if you dedicate the time sifting through racks.

The thrill of the hunt makes it a fun, exciting and enjoyable activity. Thrifting offers much more than a regular shopping experience. It's known to reduce anxiety (it's quite calming to explore a newly restocked thrift store) and the unique and beautiful items you find give you a sense of accomplishment at the end.

The sections I peruse vary depending on my mood, and that's part of the fun. Sometimes I'm on the hunt for retro Nike gear, and other times I'm searching for home decor like a vintage window frame or a funky globe.

4. You'll get more creative with your own personal style.

When you shop at the same malls and the same stores all the time, your personal style becomes a clone of everyone else's.

At the thrift store, however, you can get creative with your style and discover the type of fashion that truly speaks to you. You'll learn to mix and match unique and eclectic pieces to create one-of-a-kind outfits that will have your friends wondering where you shop.

5. It's guilt-free shopping.

We all love to shop, but some of us feel guilty when we go shopping. When you shop at thrift stores, however, there's not much to feel guilty about. You're not over-spending (because everything is ridiculously cheap) and you're supporting local businesses in your community.

You're reducing your carbon footprint and meanwhile several of the thrift stores you shop at are donating a portion of revenue to local charities. The Salvation Army, for example, helped over 30 million underprivileged Americans in need last year.

6. You can upcycle thrift store finds to create chic home décor.

Thrifting will help you to make your home look good, too. Eclectic furniture, retro gooseneck lamps, funky chairs, unique jewelry displays, vintage globes and antique frames are just a few examples items you'll find at a thrift store.

You can re-paint, re-purpose and upcycle older items to transform them into a cool décor item and this is a whole other category for those who are looking to flip their finds and make a quick buck.

Even if your primary reason for thrifting is for fashion, you'll likely end up with some home décor gems that you just happen to stumble across.

Thrifting is more fun and more rewarding than you can imagine, which is why if you haven't been doing it, you need to start.