If I could have found a clean version of Macklemore’s popular song “Thrift Shop,” I would have included a link because it’s main hook “I’m gonna pop some tags” has become the anthem of bargain hunters everywhere.  Despite lyrics that poke fun at thrift shopping, it has undoubtedly made it acceptable, if not pretty cool, to shop at your local thrift shop.  Since this is one of my favorite ways to save money, I wanted to share 6 tips that make it even more fun to “pop them tags.”

1. You can find designer clothes.  I’m not one to tout the idea of being a slave to brand name/designer clothing, BUT if you are inclined toward this type of shopping, thrift shops have every brand under the sun. You just have to be up for the hunt.  I have found Polo and Burberry shirts for my son for $3 a piece at the Salvation Army in Middletown.  

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2. You CAN and SHOULD ask for discounts.  Always check the clothing thoroughly for rips and stains before you buy.  If you can mend small tears and are willing to wash out stains this can be a big negotiating tool, especially with smaller shops.  Two years ago I found this super cute pumpkin Halloween costume for my son, but when I opened it I found (as any mom could already anticipate) chocolate stains on the front.  I pointed it out to the sales clerk and she immediately gave it to me for half-price.  For $5 I was willing to wash the costume and as it turns out it looked good as new.

Also, ask when their discount days are and you could end up filling a bag of clothes for a few bucks.  Follow your favorite stores on Facebook and get the inside track on new deals and inventory.  Plus, you can request specific items and they’ll tell you when it’s in stock and possibly even hold it for you.

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3.  Look for MORE than clothes.  You can find great deals on book bags, Halloween costumes, prom dresses, books, toys, furniture, etc.  All it takes is patience. Only true bargain hunters may have what it takes to comb through the chaotic aisles, but if you do, chances are you’ll be rewarded with some seriously great deals.  

4. Clothes are used.  Seems redundant to state the obvious, but there is a big perk to that.  Clothes are less likely to shrink since they’ve already been washed and worn.

5. There’s no assembly required. Sure we all love spending hours putting together kitchen sets and toys designed with 6,000 parts (eye roll).  When you find toys at thrift shops, you benefit from some other parent’s hours of labor.  You get the prize without the work, now that’s smart “tag poppin.”

6. Shopping second-hand is Eco-friendly. I love that “tag poppin” encourages people to use things that might otherwise go to the landfill and saves enormous amounts of resources needed to produce new goods.

I encourage my fellow frugal warriors to check out thrift and consignment shops in their area.  Share your favorites here with fellow readers because a good bargain hunter is always on the lookout for prime hunting ground.  

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