While we can’t tell you how to get past it, we can definitely give you a few tips on how we deal.
If you only take one piece of our advice, make it this top thrifting tip: Check everything out.
Examine what you plan to purchase. Look for holes, missing buttons and tears. If you’re thinking about purchasing a damaged item, weigh what it might cost to fix it. If it is going to cost you more, or as much to fix it as it would to buy it new, you might want to pass unless you’re sure it is one of a kind. It does you no good to purchase something on the cheap and then spend a ton of money fixing it.
But sometimes, in the euphoria of a good thrifting adventure, a damaged item will get past our eagle eyes. That’s what happened with a lovely sweater that Ricks picked up during a pre-winter thrifting adventure. She was so impressed with the excellent condition and the amazing price for a nearly all-wool sweater that she failed to look for what she later found — a hole (Insert doom music, scream and slide down wall here).
• YouTube to the rescue: Never fear, YouTube is here! You can learn how to do most anything on YouTube and Ricks found a video that provides an easy and simple fix. All you’ll need is a needle and some thread that will blend into the colors of your sweater. The goal is to essentially stitch the hole until it is closed, but to do it in a way that doesn’t add further stress on the remaining fibers of the sweater.
This method worked so well that Ricks had trouble detecting her own stitching after she was finished (Insert praise dance here).So before you throw that sweater you love away, or pass on the moth-eaten gem you found at the thrift store, consider repairing it yourself.
On YouTube, search “Alterations: Repair Hole in Sweater; Demo” by LearningAlterations.
A word on used shoes
There are two words that will send a shudder through the heart of even the most-seasoned thrift store junkie: used shoes. Reese was very wary of buying used shoes. When she initially started thrifting she wouldn’t even look at them. But on a thrifting adventure in Atlanta, she found the cutest pair of Seychelles — which easily retail between $70-$100 — that she couldn’t pass up.
• YouTube to the rescue: So what should you do with shoes that might have been exposed to the funk of other feet? Disinfect them. Reese bought the shoes, immediately sanitized them with Lysol, and then let them sit for a few hours to dry. When she got home, she again turned to YouTube, where she found tutorials on how to clean them even more. Now she’s happily kicking up her heels in these new-to-her shoes that she got for a steal.
On YouTube, search “How To Disinfect Secondhand/Thrifted Shoes!” by ShamyBabess.
The Internet in general — and YouTube in particular — is a great place to find tips to take the funk out of thrift-store shopping. Don’t pass up an item because it’s not perfect, or needs a little TLC to make it work.