Saturday, February 16, 2013

Guest Post | Wendy @ Young Heart

Before I start, I'd like to Congratulate Helen and Autry!!!
Second, thank you, Helen, for the opportunity to do a guest post...

With that being said, hello friends, my name is Wendy and I blog over at Young Heart. I picked the topic of thrifting (a passion of mine that might border on addiction) because it's something I kind of excel at and it's also how I came to know Helen. :)

I've been scoping out second hand stores for over 20 years now... It started with a love of garage sales and not being too proud to dumpster dive. During the Ramen and Kool-Aid years, its how I furnished my homes and clothed myself. Even now as a financially stable adult (snort and chuckle), I still resort to thrifting for the bulk of my wardrobe and my home decor needs. It's a feasible and environmentally friendly way to live (win/win). Today I'd like to share with you my tried and true tips for an optimum thrifting experience..

#1: YOU MUST HAVE VISION. You need to be able to look at a piece and see where and how it could best be utilized. That blouse might look hideous on the hanger but perfect on you when paired with that cute little vintage cardigan you just put in your cart. That ceramic figurine might scream tacky but sell for big bucks on Ebay... This brings me to...

#2: Always carry your cell with you. This way if you're ever in doubt about a piece you can do a quick Internet search. The times I haven't done this, I've regretted it.

#3: Patience and Persistence. If you want to find that special something more times than not you're going to have to dig. Personally, I enjoy the hunt so this part doesn't bother me.

#4: Shop for summer during the winter and for winter during the summer. Reason being most people aren't looking for vintage cashmere or leather jackets when it's hot and humid out. The section won't be crowded and the prices might even be a little bit lower. With all of that being said, it's still good to scan all racks despite what time of year it is because you never know what you might miss. This brings me to...

#5: If you do miss out on that killer score (let's say, by seconds because someone grabbed it first), don't let it bring you down. The great thing about thrift stores is that there is an endless supply of new stuff coming in all of the time. There will always be another killer score. Trust me.

#6: If someone is checking out a piece that you're interested in and then puts it down and walks away - it's fair game. This sounds like common sense, right? Wrong! People can get a little crazy when thrifting; especially when stores are hosting the big 50% off sales. You have to graciously stand your ground. Might I suggest practicing your "death stare" as well?

#7: Storage issues. Do I hear exasperated sighs? In all honesty, I'm still tackling this one myself. As I look around our bedroom, I see numerous piles of personal clothes and stacks of containers holding items for resale. One thing I did was invest in a nice cedar chest (thrifted of course) to store my off season clothing, this way I have more space in our closet. I picked up covered bins for my store items so they'd be safe. Every so many months, I will have a garage sale to purge items (and make a few bucks) that I no longer have a use for. I've also dedicated one storage closet to thrifted home decor that I'm waiting to use. I'm open to suggestions on this so if you have any that don't involve paying extra for a storage unit, please send them my way.

#8: If you're into or considering resale, do your homework. Be on the look-out in the book section (of your local thrift store... which is cheaper than second hand book stores) for literature on antiques, fashion, home decor, etc. Get on the Internet and study. Get to know your product!!! Also, check other resale sites for price comparisons.

#9: Get to know the staff at the thrift stores you frequent. This way you stand a chance of getting tipped off when something you're looking for comes in. Say for instance you're in the market for a nice, leather sofa (they sell fast). If you're on friendly terms with the sales people they might let you know when a leather sofa arrives at the store. This way you can be there bright and early to check it out.

#10: Speaking of "checking things out" - this is a very important point to note. Regardless of what it is, (clothes, furniture, knickknacks) give it a thorough once over. Maybe even a second over; especially if you plan on reselling the item. With vintage clothing, look for moth holes, stains, tares, and check how the piece smells. Some odors, if extremely pungent, will not wash out.

#11: Don't be afraid to buy those gorgeous shoes or that awesome hat. There is nothing that a shot of Lysol or high heat won't cure of kill. It's all good. Except for thrifted undergarments... Even I have a line that should never be crossed.

#12: Look for inspiration in fashion and home decor magazines and websites (anywhere, really) then try and thrift it. More times than not you will find what you want. At least this has always worked for me. Also, anything and everything can be altered to fit your body or your home decor needs. A needle and thread can adjust that hem line and a fresh coat of paint and new hardware can make that desk look like something from Architectural Digest. It all goes back to the first and most important tip- you must have vision!

#13: More than anything: have fun with it!!!
Wendy from Young Heart
Feel free to email me on this topic {wendyahummel -at- gmail -dot- com}


  1. Thanks for sharing your tips, Wendy! Our neighborhood created a beg, barter, buy, and sell site on Facebook, and I've begun buying used clothes for the first time in my life. I love it! Someday when I can go shopping without children, I hope to frequent thrift stores. Thankfully, my friends and I pass our children's clothes back and forth, which saves us tons of money too.

  2. Thanks for the tips!!! I will make sure to share with everyone I know! :)BTW Keeping Plus sent me :)


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