How to get the most out of Charity Shopping

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Something that has become so fashionable recently is second hand shopping - whether that's in Charity (or thrift) shops, jumble sales or car boot sales. So many times people have asked me 'how do you manage to find such nice things from charity shops?' and I think many other second - hand shopping lovers have been asked the same question. I thought I'd put together my top tips on how to get the most out of shopping in Charity shops or Thrift Stores. As they are a great way of picking up unique, cheap items and it's also a great way of donating to lots of important charities.
Look at everything - It can be easy to just head straight to one section, but my tip is to check out everything that's in the shop. If you are looking for a dress for example, don't just look at the dress rail - there's often a lot of shoes, bags, jeans, jewelry, belts that are really unique or a lot cheaper than it would be on the high street. Also so many of the retro jumpers I've picked up have been from the men's section in a charity shop(a lot of men's clothes can be much cheaper than women's too!). Basically it's good to have a look at a few different things as you might find something interesting that you weren't even looking for!

Retro jumper I picked up from the men's section in a charity shop for £2.99

Browse Regularly - A week doesn't go by without me looking in at least one charity shop. As I'm walking through town, after work or as I'm just generally shopping I'll take a peak in them. A lot of the time most charity shops put out new stock almost every week. So there's always new things to look at. Quite a few times I don't buy anything at all but now and again I'll find something I really treasure - the more you browse the more likely you are to find something. Also there's been so many times where I've seen something I love but it's a little pricey so I leave it and then come back in a week and it's half price - lots of charity shops put things on sale if it's been there a little while, so look out for that too!

Think outside the box - A lot of the time I but things with the intention of using it for something else. For example almost all charity shops sell curtains or bed sheets and covers for really cheap and you can a lot of the time find vintage or floral patterned ones which I've brought before and used as material for making bunting or dresses etc. Or I've brought vintage and retro children's books to cut up and use for decoupaging. Or if you see a dress you love but just want to wear the top bit, get it, cut the skirt bit off and wear it as a blouse! - Use your imagination as your shopping.

{photo from google images}

Don't be afraid to ask - Most of the charity shops in my home town know that I collect vintage clothing. This is really handy as whenever they get a load of vintage donated they will let me know first and let me have a look at what they have before they put it out in the shop. So if you are looking for anything vintage or specialist, ask the volunteers in the shop if they get any of the things you look out for or if they have anything out the back you can look at. Unfortunately sometimes charity shops throw away vintage or retro items as they think they are 'too old' or that no one will want it, so it pays to ask! 

Ignore bad Stereotypes - I've heard so many different things said about charity shops that aren't true. For example: 'people died in the clothes', 'charity shops are really dirty and messy', 'it's all just old and out-dated stuff for sale' and there are loads more I'm sure you've also heard at some point. Firstly yes, things are second hand so other people will have worn things before! And it is possible to wash things as soon as you get them! Also most charity shops nowadays are really tidy and neatly laid out as they are a lot more popular. True some can be a little more jumbled and messy but there the ones I've often found most treasures from! Also some of the clothing is old - but if you are looking for vintage that's fine anyway! So much of the clothing is almost brand new as well - you can often get things with price tags still on and lots of brands like topshop, new look, river island, boohoo etc. You just have to be willing to look! 

My fave charity shops:
Oxfam
Cancer Research
Age UK
RSPCA
PDSA

If you want more tips on charity shopping, check out Paloma in Disguise's post here, her blog is great for vintage style inspiration too! Have you picked up anything good from a charity shop or thrift store lately? 

Daisy x

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