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How to bag a charity shop bargain

How to bag a charity shop bargain

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For years charity shops suffered the kind of reputation that meant many people wouldn’t be seen dead in one, never mind admit to wearing something they’d found there. But these days it’s positively chic to dress yourself in charity shop finds – and the bigger the bargain the better!

But bagging a great bargain can take time and effort. After all, it’s not like walking into a high street store where the majority of items are aimed at your style and/or age group, which leads us on to our first point:

Give yourself plenty of time

If you want to find the best stuff then you’re going to have to spend time rummaging through everything else. If you’re in a rush then you’re probably going to do this half-heartedly and end up with nothing. Give yourself plenty of time to browse so that you can really get stuck in there. It’s not all about luck; the key to bagging great charity shop finds is persistence. The thrill of finding a total gem at a bargain price will make it worthwhile.

Make a list

One thing that will help you on your quest is a list of things you’re looking for. This will keep you focussed and save you time fumbling through rails of skirts when really you only need a pair of jeans. Of course, if you see something you love that isn’t on your list then it would be crazy not to add it to your pile, but a list will help you to home in on the things you’re after quickly.

You don’t have to stay local

It’s a well-known fact that charity shops in some areas are better than others. More affluent areas tend to be donated more expensive clothes, which is worth bearing in mind, especially if you like brand names. You may not find clothes as cheap here as in other areas but you will usually get better quality for your money.

Try clothes on

How to bag a charity shop bargainAny piece of clothing is only a bargain if you’re actually going to wear it. If something doesn’t fit or isn’t flattering then it’s going to end up either at the back of the wardrobe or straight back in a charity shop. The vast majority of charity shops have changing rooms so make use of them and try clothes on before you buy them. Otherwise, you could be wasting your money.

Check the items

Popping into the changing room also gives you ample opportunity to check items out. Look at the condition of clothes as well as the labels. Is something marked as dry-clean only and if so, would you actually get round to having it dry-cleaned? It’s also worth checking where the clothes originally came from – you don’t want to pay over the odds for a Primark or supermarket brand item.

Get to know the staff

If you regularly visit your local charity shop then make an effort to get to know the staff. It doesn’t take much; just a few friendly words here and there can be key to being told when an interesting donation has been made or what days are best for finding new stock. It also cheers up volunteers’ days to have people to chat with throughout their shift. Don’t be afraid to drop into the conversation that you’re on the lookout for a little black dress as you never know, they may hold one back for you.

Don’t be distracted by the smell

To put it bluntly, charity shops sometimes do have a rather unattractive musty smell to them. But don’t let this put you off. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a good old wash and airing.

From saving the planet through spending less money to finding something unique, there are plenty of reasons to pay your local charity shop a visit. And on top of all the benefits that are in it for you, you’ll also be helping raise money for a good cause.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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