Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Art of Thrifting, Part Two

Deciding to Buy Clothing
·         The first thing you do in deciding to buy clothes is to look for stains, tears or underarms stains.
·         Washing will eliminate the smoke smell.
·         Ugly buttons can be replaced, but are you the type to replace buttons.
·         Broken zippers will add on another $15 to repair.
·         Try on the clothes if possible.  Even if it is pulling it, over what you already have on.
·         Will go with anything else?
·         Basic pieces are the best
·         Look at the cuffs, do they show signs of fraying?
·         Is it a current style? This doesn’t matter to some people
·         The quality and brand. You want to get the best items for your money.
·         Is it missing a belt?   Can you accessorize with one you already have.
·         Do you have any possible use for it? Sometimes it is okay to pick up a formal dress for a couple of bucks even when you aren’t intending to go anywhere.
·         Be very careful when buying for resale. The bottom has fallen out of the resale clothing market on Ebay. Most people have discovered they can thrift on their own and save money too. On higher end clothes and large sizes, it is still good, but the items have to be perfect.
·         Large clothing can be altered to fit. Keep the cost in mind, unless you are doing it yourself
·         Avoid any dry cleaning only items, unless you are willing to dry-clean them.
·         The same with items that need ironing, unless you are willing to iron
·         Some stains can be removed.  It all depends on what it is and if the item has been dried. Ink, marker and crayon are often removable. It is better if there is a pattern in case your removal attempt proves unsuccessful.
·         Avoid sweaters with holes or unraveling. This is not an easy fix problem. Undone seams can usually be repaired.
Other Items
·         Don’t buy cookware with scratched Teflon.

·         Try out all electronic items. If they don’t work, don’t buy them thinking you'll fix them. 

·         Do pay attention to prices.  Goodwill marks items individually. A glass might be a dollar, which makes six of them six dollars. You could have bought a new set of matched glasses from Wal-Mart for the same price.

·         Love an item, don’t just like it. The okay items merely  vacation at your house before making a return trip.

·         Before buying something for someone else, call them. They may not want the items as much as you think

·         Tarnished items can be cleaned, but you’ll also have to clear them regularly. Many will have already developed pitting or spots due to neglect.

·         Can you refresh the item?  Furniture can be painted. Lampshades can be changed on a lamp base, buttons changed on clothing.

·         Items can be recycled too. A large skirt can become a small tablecloth or a throw pillow. A friend buys oversized clothing for the fabric and uses it for costumes. It is much cheaper than buying material at a fabric store.

The one thing you don’t want to do is to buy something you have no use for.

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