Vintage Shopping- tips from a pro

Thrifting can be an adventure; you should be self-sufficient while treasure-hunting. Your supplies will depend of what you're looking for and where you're shopping Here's a basic suggestions-


Hand sanitizer and bandaids are so obvious that I'm not gonna explain either. 

Nail clipper- it's a necessity for me because I' a 'grabby' shopper- I have to touch and feel EVERYthing, lol! A sharp fingernail or hangnail is a problem when handling silks and a broken fingernail is distracting. I've even used my clipper to free a mass of hopeless tangled yarn from other stuff at the 'bins'. 

Tape measure? Trust me, you'll want it sooner than later. I keep a shopping wishlist on my iPhone for measurements like windows, shelves, inseams, etc. 

Gloves or bare handed? If you're shopping at a regular retail thrift store you shouldn't need gloves unless you have very sensitive skin. Most large retail thrift stores fumigate their stuff with a chemical that could bother you. And if you're shopping where you're pawing thru masses of jumbled goods, you may want to consider gloves to protect yourself from glass, pins or worse. I often shop the Goodwill outlet store (the bins) where you shop like this. Personally I don't wear gloves but am meither squeamish OR a germaphobe. I sort slowly and methodically feeling fabric while watching for dangerous stuff but I occasionally get cuts. You'll be glad you have sanitizer and bandaids in your supplies.


Lightweight shopping bags- to carry your stuff home, especially if you're in an area with no-plastic-bags regulations. If you carry a large bag or backpack, be prepared to prove you haven't stuffed it full of stolen goodies. Shopkeepers are suspicious and too often with good reason.


Small flashlight? This is a lifesaver if you're somewhere with lousy lighting. You can't crawl in attics or see in old closets or basements without one. Your phone light will help but don't count on using it long enough if your battery is low.


Cash or card? Many sellers only take cash; no cards and especially no checks. Bring a variety of bills so you don't ask for a discount and then pull out a hundred dollar bill lol. But don't leave your plastic at home because so many folks have portable card readers. So be prepared with plenty of ways to pay. You don't wanna miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because your money isn't what they want. Go ahead... ask me how I know this. 

Stay Safe

Thrifting is big business and pays the rent (or buys whatever) for lots of people and so can be cutthroat. Most people are honest but still... keep your eyes & ears open to what's going on around you. Pay close attention to your shopping cart because there are other people shopping alongside you what will try to STEAL from you and your cart. If you find a once-in-a-lifetime find you might wanna buy it and leave while you're ahead. If not, at least bury your treasure in your cart and watch it like a hawk. The shopping cart warning goes for your own stuff too- DONT EVER put your personal belongings in a cart and ignore them. I use a small lightweight cross body bag worn to the front so it's not accessible to others behind me. DON"T ever flash cash around... that seems obvious but it's worth a mention.

If you're flipping thru stuff on tables or in those big blue bins, DON"T wear a watch or fittness device on your wrist unless you KNOW it's secure and not gonna fall off. Don't store cash or c


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