Thrifting and Consignment Shopping: Fall Shopping Guide

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Thinking about fall shopping?  The stigma of shopping “used” seems to have been replaced by the pride of getting great items for less.

You can save money by shopping consignment and thrift stores, but you do need to follow a few rules:

  1. Buy what you need:  When you find an eye catching item, ask yourself a few questions:  “Do I need it? What purpose does it serve? How many times can I put the item to use in the next 6 months?”  Walk on by if you can’t think of any clear use for the item or if you have to create a new lifestyle or hobby to use that bargain item.  Random purchases fill your closets and your mental space and reduce cash available for truly useful items.
  2. Look for brands you know and love.  Buying brands helps you know a good deal when you see it.  For example, if I am buying furniture from CraigsList I look for Pottery Barn or Ikea where I can look up the original price.  Same with consignment stores.  I may look for brands like J. Crew, Boden or Garnet Hill, which I would buy anyway.  I know how much I’m saving because I am familiar with their quality, sizing and pricing.
  3. Visit your favorite shops frequently.  Good stuff comes and goes fast.  I was looking to buy a Barbour quilted jacket and happened to spot one in my local consignment store for $16.  SCORE!
  4. Walk away if the item is not right, doesn’t fit or needs repair.  Who needs another project?

By following these rules you can enjoy the thrill of the hunt and have your shopping dollars go a lot further!

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