Tips for Buying Second Hand Clothing

second hand clothing

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

I have lost about one hundred and fifty pounds over the last year, thanks to my gastric bypass surgery and hard work. While I reversed Diabetes and lowered my blood pressure, I had one problem: I needed clothes. This “Tips for Buying Second Hand Clothing” post comes from that experience.

There is nothing like standing at the checkout line in the grocery store and having your skirt fall off of your hips. We all got a great laugh out of it and then I started to invest in clothes, not safety pins. I went from a 26-28 in woman’s to 10-14 and needed new shirts, shorts, skirts, pants and even a few dresses. I didn’t want to invest a lot of money because I was loosing weight along the way and knew that “current” wardrobe would soon be obsolete.

With the cost of clothing always rising, you may be wondering how to dress for less. Take a look below at some helpful tips for buying second hand clothing. When you follow these tips, you can still snag quality, name brand clothing while spending less. Take a look at how easy it is, no matter who you are shopping for!

I have had luck at garage sales, church sales, resell stores, and even thrift stores. All these tips work beautifully for for each different location – you just have to USE them.

Tips for Buying Second Hand ClothingTips for Buying Second Hand Clothing

1. Allow yourself some time.
When shopping at a second hand clothing store, give yourself plenty of time. You really need a good chunk of time to go through all of the items and racks piece by piece. This is the best way to be sure you see it all and aren’t missing any buried treasures. If you THINK you might like something, pop it into your cart. You can change your mind later and put it back, but if someone saw you pull it out of the rack and it caught their eye? It will be gone before you go back for it.

2. Check out labels.
Name brand clothing will always carry more value. Check the labels of the items you buy to see if they are a name brand. The item will carry more value and even get you more money when you decide to sell it back! You can also be assured that name brand items are often made with quality and durable materials. They are often made better than non-name brand items too. Hidden seams, better zippers, reinforced shoulder pads and more. They really hold up well.

3. Examine items carefully.
A damaged item is not worth purchasing. Be sure to hold all items up in good light so you can see any stains, holes, or signs of wear. Should an item have any of these signs, pass on it. If you still really want it, ask the cashier if a discount can be offered due to the damage. I forgot this rule once and brought home a $7 dress that had a small burn hole from a cigarette. WHY would someone donate that instead of just tossing it out? I have no clue but I did rescue it – the hole location was perfect to put a whimsical little decal/patch over it and make it “fun”.

4. Find available discounts.
Prior to shopping, see if the second hand store offers any discounts. Certain tags or colors may be discounted, a discount day may be offered, or they may offer a senior or student discount. Some shops even offer a discount if you bring in a donation. Find all available discounts prior to shopping and save. Not only that, some have rewards cards where you earn “dollars” for a future purchase like Saint Vincent’s.

5. Consider the basics.
It is always smart to invest in basics: black pants, a good pair of jeans, a white blouse, a navy button up sweater, and solid maxi dresses. These are items that can be worn and used in multiple ways and made to dress up or dress down. Invest in these basics that are sure to give you lots of wear.

Give these Buying Second Hand Clothing shopping tips a try and you are sure to find great second hand clothing for less!


Other budget posts that you might find useful: