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7 Ways A Recent Grad Can Become A Savvy Shopper

by Tim Brunicardi on June 22, 2019

After graduation, many college students leave with everything they need to successfully follow the career path of their dreams. However, even if they possess the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience they need to enter the job market, there may still be one thing that they lack: a professional wardrobe.

Since most college graduates are tight on cash, this warrants the question of where they’ll be able to shop and how much money they’ll be able to spend on clothing.

thrift store

Fortunately, second-hand stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army Thrift Stores offer them a shopping alternative that is designed to meet both their
wants and needs.

Below are seven ways a recent college grad can become more savvy when shopping at second-hand stores.

1) Shop Tuesday Through Friday.

The majority of second-hand stores get the bulk of their new donations on Saturday and Sunday. On these days all new inventory needs to be unpacked, sorted, and checked for flaws. On Monday, new donations need to be rechecked for flaws/stains and tagged before they can be placed on the sales rack. Therefore, shopping Tuesday through Friday gives consumers a better chance at finding the best new bargains first.

2) Hold Items in Direct Sunlight Before Purchasing Them.

While most second-hand stores have bright florescent lighting that can hide any flaws that the employees or store volunteers may have accidentally missed, it's better to double check the clothing by holding it in direct sunlight by the nearest window. That way you'll be able to spot any stains or flaws that someone else missed.

3) Always Try Things On.trying clothes on

Regardless if the label states that its your size, if it’s for sale at a thrift store then chances are it’s been washed several times and could have shrunk. So, by trying on anything you’re thinking about buying, you save yourself the financial heartbreak of wasting your money on something that won’t fit. This is also a great opportunity to double check any buttons that may be missing or if the zipper works properly.

4) Make Sure to Read the Washing Instructions.

If a top, skirt, or jacket is made of a delicate material such as silk, then it'll require some special care to be properly cleaned. If the washing instructions on the inside tag reads dry clean only or hand wash, you should consider if this is the kind of commitment you’re interested in making. If not, then perhaps you should put it back on the rack and look for something else.

5) Ask yourself 'Will I Really Wear This?'

While shopping, many consumers will occasionally find themselves tempted to buy something completely out of their price range. While the price of an article of clothing might be more than reasonable, if the garment is something that will hang in your closet for years without being worn, then you’ll just be wasting your money.

sale sign

6) Always Ask About Sales.

Many second-hand stores will have
a monthly, and sometimes weekly,
half-off sales that only makes the prospect of shopping at Goodwill
or the Salvation Army that much
more appealing.

7) Get Over the Delusion That Shopping At Second-Hand Stores Is A Step Down.

Despite what some people might say, second-hand stores offer consumers the opportunity to purchase name brand merchandise at a fraction of the cost. This is especially true after the first of the year when numerous department stores donate merchandise for tax purposes, many times with the original tags still in place.

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