How to Shop at Thrift Stores like Goodwill

Thrift stores have always been popular for cheap and affordable clothing for women. But you may be surprised to learn that even men can get some surprisingly good deals. Not everyone can afford to buy new, trendy, and branded clothes. But that does not mean you have to compromise on your grooming.

Imagine being able to buy decent quality newish clothes under 25 dollars or less? 

This is only possible in a thrift shop. According to a stat by NARTS, about 16 – 18% of Americans will shop at a thrift store during a given year. Also, 11.4% of Americans prefer to shop from factory outlets. What I am leading up to is, there are plenty of other frugal shoppers out there. You are not alone.

Here Are Some Tips and Tricks to Shop Efficiently at Thrift Stores like Goodwill

1) Put Whatever You like Immediately in the Shopping Cart

This is one of the most important tips I can give you if you want to return home satisfied and happy. The reason being, just like you, every other person in the thrift store is looking for hidden gems. So, if you pass on something you like, someone else will grab the opportunity without needing an invitation. 

2) Learn to Guess the Real Size of a Clothing Item 

Most thrift shoppers do not bother to try out the clothing items before purchasing. Firstly, it is a bit embarrassing to try out an item that you are buying for less than half of its original price, secondly, fitting rooms in stores like Goodwill always have a long queue. 

3) People Will Try to Grab Items from Your Cart

Every man or a woman in a thrift store is out there for themselves. Principles of morality do not hold inside a thrift store. It is not uncommon to see people having a verbal battle because one of them attempted to steal an item from another person’s cart. So, keep an eye on your cart before someone grabs the clothing item that took you an hour to search.

4) Keep Visiting the Thrift Store until You Get What You Want

If you are going to buy something for less than half it’s the original price, you better be prepared to visit the store 3-4 times before you finally get what you want. This is one of the cons or downsides to being a thrifty shopper. 

Plus, this is also a reason why some people are worried about getting a reputation for being a cheapskate. However, thrift shopping is one of those activities where you should forget all the social pressure. It is a part and parcel of the game.

5) Learn to Compromise on Quality

Another problem that most thrift shoppers face is, after returning home from shopping, they end up disappointed because of a small grease stain or a mark on the clothing item. While it is rare for a store like Goodwill to sell flawed clothes, this is the case sometimes. Learn how to remove stains from the clothes without damaging the garment. Baking soda works great to remove stains from a light-colored cloth.


These are the tips and tricks I have learned by shopping at thrift stores over the years. I hope they were useful. Remember that you are not being a cheapskate by shopping at a thrift store. There is no point in wasting money on stores in the mall when you can easily shop for less.

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