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Thrifting has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people finding joy in discovering unique treasures at affordable prices. However, like any shopping experience, there are certain aspects of thrift stores that some individuals may not enjoy.  Here are 12 common things people find off-putting about thrift stores. 

The Smell

stinky smell on clothes
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Some thrifted items carry a distinct smell. These smells can be described as funky, musty, or sweaty dirty laundry. While thrift stores do their best to clean and deodorize donated items, it’s not uncommon to come across items with lingering scents. Consider washing or airing out your treasures once you bring them home to freshen them up. If you’re particularly sensitive to smells, sniff items before purchasing to ensure they meet your odor standards.

12 Ways to Get Smells Out of Clothes

The Hunt

close up of a hand, looking on a flea market for clothes.
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Thrifting can sometimes feel like a wild treasure hunt, with merchandise scattered about, items tucked in corners, and hidden gems waiting to be found. It’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for amidst the unsorted chaos. With thrifting, you have to prepare yourself for a bit of a search – and the possible thrill that comes with stumbling upon something unique.

Fashion Time Warp

set of vintage clothes of many colors for sale at flea market
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If you’re seeking the latest trends, thrift stores might not be your go-to destination. While they have a knack for transporting you to different eras, modern fashionistas might need extra patience. Vintage lovers, on the other hand, will enjoy the opportunity to find unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Wear and Tear 

ripped jeans
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Second-hand items bring character, but they can also come with a few quirks. When thrifting, you have to be mindful of minor imperfections like missing buttons, small stains, or faded colors. These signs of wear and tear can make you think twice before taking an item home. 

Finding The Right Size

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Finding the perfect fit can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack at thrift stores. They often have a limited range of sizes. 

Time-Consuming 

Unsuccessful shopping and dissatisfaction on the face of a lovely woman. Sadness on her face. Blonde hair
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Thrifting calls for patience. It’s not for the faint of heart or those in a hurry. Be prepared to rummage through racks and sift through shelves. Thrifting requires you to take your time and appreciate the unexpected finds along the way.

Strict Return Policy

Return Policy words on a store receipt or proof of purchase to tell you how to exchange goods, products or services you no longer want
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Unlike traditional retailers, thrift stores usually have stricter return policies. Some have a no-return policy, while others limit the days you can return your item. So, choose wisely and ensure you’re head over heels for that find before heading to the checkout. Consider trying items on, inspecting them thoroughly, and asking any questions you may have to avoid post-purchase regrets.

Unpredictable Inventory 

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Donations dictate thrift store inventory, which means you never quite know what you’ll find on any given day. This element of surprise adds to the thrill of thrift store shopping, but it can be a hit-or-miss situation if you’re hunting for something specific. 

Cleanliness Concerns

upscale thrift store
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While most thrift stores do their best to inspect and clean donations, the cleanliness of items is often at the top of some consumer’s minds. If you are concerned about cleanliness, consider giving the item a thorough cleaning or washing before using it. 

Outdated Electronics

Vintage consumer electronics inside a funky thrift antique store
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You can find an abundance of items at thrift stores, including electronic ranging from TVs, toasters, speakers, record players, and vacuum cleaners. While you can occasionally find great deals on small electronics or kitchen gadgets, it’s not the go-to place for the latest tech trends. Expand your search to specialized stores or online marketplaces for a wider selection.

The Crowd

lot of people waiting in line at the store for the sale and purchase
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With thrifting on the rise, thrift store shopping can get lively and crowded. If you prefer a more relaxed environment, it’s wise to avoid peak times like weekends and evening hours. 

Price Discrepancies

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Thrift store pricing can be a wild card. It’s all part of the adventure, but inconsistency across items or stores can make it challenging to gauge the value of what you’re eyeing. Keep an open mind and consider the overall value, uniqueness, and condition of the item rather than solely focusing on the price tag. Don’t hesitate to negotiate or wait for sales or discounts to snag the best deals.

25 Online Thrift Stores for the Best Second-Hand Shopping

thrift store clothes
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Thrift shopping has expanded beyond department stores, garage sales, and consignment shops. Many thrift stores now offer a convenient way to shop their items online.  From retro dresses and vintage accessories to timeless denim and statement stand-out pieces, here are some of the best online thrift stores to help keep your wardrobe fresh and unique.

25 Online Thrift Stores for the Best Second Hand Shopping

15 Best Places to Sell Used Furniture Online

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Selling your used furniture online is a smart move to both earn money from your old belongings and minimize your environmental impact. Selling your used furniture is a practical step towards sustainability, all while boosting your finances. Whether you’re aiming to declutter your space or explore a side gig, here are the top online platforms to list your old furniture and tap into its hidden value.

15 Best Places to Sell Used Furniture Online

14 Best Places to Buy Cheap Furniture

wood furniture with dining room table
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Furniture plays a vital role in our daily lives, offering both comfort and functionality while contributing to the aesthetics of our living spaces. However, shopping for furniture can be challenging when it surpasses your budget. Fortunately, there’s a way to navigate this. Here are the 14 best places to shop for cheap furniture.

14 Best Places to Buy Cheap Furniture

10 Items You Should Avoid Buying Used

mattress
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Opting for secondhand shopping at thrift stores and garage sales can help you save money. However, buying items that are used doesn’t always prove beneficial. In fact, there’s a potential for certain used items to carry health or safety implications, and others might not be in good condition. Here are ten items that you should avoid buying used.

10 Items You Should Avoid Buying Used

Thrift Store Shopping Hacks That Can Save You a Ton of Money

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There’s a secret world of thrift store hacks waiting to be revealed – tricks that will take your savings game to a whole new level and leave you with much more money in your pocket. If you’re eager to uncover even more ways to save big on your thrifting adventures, you’re in for a treat! These thrift store hacks are a must-try – and trust, they’re the real deal, even for the savviest shopper out there.

Thrift Store Shopping Hacks That Can Save You a Ton of Money

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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