The Beginner’s Guide to Thrift Store Shopping

Thrift-ing can seem very overwhelming even to the most experienced and vetted retail shopper. It’s a totally different ballgame than the average store. Kim Lacey (otherwise known as my Mom) is THE BEST thrift-er that I’ve ever met, apart from my Granny, God rest her soul.

Since I am still a young Pad-won in the thrift-ing realm I decided to interview her and deliver tips straight from the mouth of the Master. This is what she said during our interview….


After you read this please send in your Q&A’s & the tips and tricks that you have about thrift-ing and I’ll get her to answer them or add them to post #2 about thrift-ing.


When did you start thrift-ing? :
“When I was 14 years old. Nobody else was at the time. It wasn’t cool. There was only one Salvation Army in all of Charlotte at the time so that’s where I went.”

What were you hoping to find at the Salvation Army? :
“I wanted to find a small men’s blazer that was super in style at the time and I didn’t know where else to go. Also, a woman wearing men’s button down’s was the fashion at the time so I went to find both items there.”

Did you find the blazer and the shirt? If so what color were they? :
“YES! I don’t remember the blazer color but I got a white button down collared shirt! It was great!”

What’s the best thing you’ve found at a thrift store? :
“I went into Anthropology recently and found a Green vintage overstuffed couch that I loved but the price was astronomical ($1,299.00 to be exact). A few days later I went into a thrift store and found a couch almost identical to the Anthropologies couch for $75 dollars.”

What’s your favorite part about shopping at thrift stores? :
“It’s never the same. You never know what you are going to get. It’s like opening a present.”

What’s your tip for not getting overwhelmed in a Thrift store? :
“Don’t expect anything. Look for quality (brands and things that are well made!) and never pay too much!!!! If they are overcharging let it go because you don’t need it.”

What’s your plan of attack when you enter a Thrift store? :
“If I don’t have anywhere to put it in my house I don’t get. If I do have somewhere to put it to replace something else, I give the old item away. Take in stuff but always get rid of something else so your home doesn’t get over crowded.”

What’s other advice you would offer to new thrift store shoppers? :
“After you’ve filled your buggy, take everything out one by one and don’t buy half of it. Only buy what you really love or need.”


That’s all from Kim. Being her daughter I’ve had a little experience myself so here are the tricks of the trade that I’ve learned from personal experience….

  • Know your style – If you go into thrift-ing without knowing what you like, it’s going to be extremely daunting and confusing. Figure out what style you are moving towards for yourself, or your home and then lean towards buying those types of things.
  • Be okay with not finding anything – If you are in a bind or you are looking for something super specific, go to a special store or a retailer that you know actually has it. Thrift stores don’t always have everything. That’s part of the beauty and the mystery, you don’t know what you are going to find.
  • Don’t go thrift-ing when you are on a time crunch – This kind of defeats the purpose. You need to have time to dig through everything and find the buried treasure. If you don’t have time to dive into the bins (metaphorically speaking) than just don’t go that day.

Again, please send in your Q&A’s about thrift-ing and I’ll get her to answer them in another post!!!! Can’t wait to see what you guys have to add or ask to the next post!

Hope this post helps you save money, find unique things and become a little more enjoyable experience in thrift-ing. Xoxo.

  1. This is a great interview! That is great you have your mom to teach you her ways. I always forget about thrift stores, now i am excited again! There are a lot of trendy neighborhoods & apartments around my way so i bet the thrift would be awesome! You have a great blog and I’m a new follower.

    1. Hi Leslie! Thanks for commenting and giving me feedback! I hope you fine tons of great stuff at the thrift shops 🙂 and thank you so much for following along on my blogging journey! I appreciate it so much! Hope you have the best day!

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