Follow DCGF on Twitter

Guest Blogger: Must-Know Secondhand Tips & Scores

Like most shoppers, finding that amazing deal gives me an immediate high. Thrifting, for me, is the perfect way to achieve that feeling. I love the thrill of the hunt. Going through the racks to see what I can find is therapeutic for me. I started thrifting shortly after I bought my condo and found myself in need of housewares and all the things necessary to make my new house my home.  Accessorizing a home can be pricey, so when I started to find Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, and West Elm items at my local Goodwill, I quickly realized that it would be my first stop whenever I found myself in need of…well, anything. I have found lamps, frames, vases, and even found a Tiffany wine glass, which I have since broken.  It retailed for $80 and I paid 99 cents! Fast forward a few years later, when I was unemployed. I still wanted to shop, but couldn’t afford to pay retail prices, or even sale prices at retail stores. That was when I started to hit up Goodwill for clothing.  My trips there fulfilled my need to shop, yet I was able to do so affordably. It amazes me what people donate (myself included!).



Here are few tips on how I shop at Goodwill:

Check the fitting room rack. Every time I go to Goodwill, I head straight back to the fitting room racks and to the racks that have the yet to be put away new merchandise. I swear that is where I have found my best purchases.  I have said it for years that the DC & VA Goodwill locations have the best things. I have found everything from DVF to J. Crew to Lululemon to Prada for a fraction of the retail price. I also look through every rack, even if it’s not my size. People are always putting things away anywhere, so you never know what goodies you’ll find! While time consuming, it is worth it. Just last week I found a brand new, with tags LOFT dress. Win for me!

Madewell, Lilly Pulitzer, and Old Navy scores from Goodwill

Madewell, Lilly Pulitzer, and Old Navy scores from Goodwill


Shop out of season. Another thing I do is shop for every season. Even though it’s summer, I still check out the sweaters, jackets, boots, etc. Last spring I found a Burberry wool scarf in perfect condition for $3 and a pair of UGG wellies -never worn for $13. Last weekend, I purchased a pair of barely worn Dolce Vita suede ankle booties for $13. I can’t wait until the fall to wear them!

Burberry scarf and Ugg wellies

Burberry scarf and Ugg wellies


Buy items in “like new condition.” When deciding on a piece of clothing, handbag or pair of shoes, I make sure the item is in like new condition.  I don’t buy anything that has holes or stains. If it’s a sweater, I make sure there is no piling or snags. I did go against my rule of no stains, recently. I found an amazing Marc Jacobs handbag, it had ink stains on the inside lining, however, the outside was perfect and it was $20, so I couldn’t resist!

Marc Jacobs! This bag is fabulous.

Marc Jacobs! This bag is fabulous.

What are some of your best finds? What tips and tricks do you have when thrifting?  

I’m a contractor by day, thrift shopper by night, and fashionista at all times. I love the thrill of the hunt when thrifting. Anything from housewares, to clothes to shoes to handbags. You can follow all my thrifty finds on Instagram @blondeandthrifty.

Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Pin this Post RSS Feed

« | »

4 Comments for Guest Blogger: Must-Know Secondhand Tips & Scores

July 10, 2015

Great tips! I also make a beeline for the fitting room rack the minute I enter the store.

If I find something I must have that has what looks like a grease stain, I take my chances and buy it: I treat the stain with Palmolive liquid dish soap. I’ve been lucky in that this method has worked pretty much at every attempt.

DC Goodwill Fashionista
July 12, 2015

I do the same thing!! Some of my best finds have been from the discard rack. Someone has already done most of the work for me 🙂

July 15, 2015

Ohhhh…I will have to try the Palmolive trick. I get nervous when I see grease stains. Thanks for the tip!

DC Goodwill Fashionista
July 15, 2015

Yes. I totally do too. I always forget that dish soap is meant to combat grease.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.