Have you ever felt overwhelmed when walking into a Portland resale shop? I know I have. You are prepped, caffeinated, feeling lucky, ready to take on the shop then you walk in and boom! You are immediately hit with what seems like never ending racks of clothes, furniture stuffed in a corner, books stacked everywhere, and kitchen goods shoved wherever they can fit. It can be intimidating and exhausting just to look at it at first glance. As a practiced resale shopper, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you have a fruitful shopping experience and how to do it without passing out from exhaustion halfway through.
Review your closet first
This tip is #1 and for good reason. Make sure you aren’t buying repeats of what you already own. For me, resale shopping is not only a fun way to find unique items but it is also a way to challenge the fast fashion industry. It’s counterintuitive to buy an item you already have hanging in your closet.
Keep a running list of things you like
Having a list is a good way to keep in mind what you are looking for so you don’t get ~too~ distracted while shopping.
You can make a list in a variety of ways but my favorite is to use a system of archived images because I am a visual person. I do this with two apps: Pinterest and Poshmark. Pinterest is great because I can categorize my wish list onto boards which keeps things very organized. Poshmark has unintentionally become a useful tool. I keep track of items I like through the my likes section and refer to that before I go hunting. Moral of the story, use whatever method works best for you.
Ask an employee for their favorite picks
This is such a great way to save some time!
Employees spend most of their days at the shop and have most likely seen everything in there. There is really no better person to ask. From personal experience, whenever I have asked an employee about their picks they usually get super excited and have even showed me some items that haven’t hit the floor yet. So yeah- be nice and make some friends at your local shop.
At Here We Go Again, we have a staff picks rack full of some of our best pieces. We try to make it easy for ya!
Wear clothing that is easy to take off
Or wear clothing that you can throw things over- think leggings and a form fitting top. Resale shopping can be tiring enough so do yourself a solid and wear things that you can easily slip in and out of.
Check various sizes
I think we all know by now that one size in one brand is not the same in another. So make sure to check one size below and one size larger than your regular size because you may never know.
Side note: when shopping vintage keep in mind that sizing is not what it used to be so you may find things wayyyy out of your size range.
Some days you score and other days not so much- it’s the name of the game. The more you go, the better your chances are in spotting that resale score.
Also, the more you go the better you get at shopping, the better you get at understanding your style, and which shops have the items you are looking for.
Have some inspirations
Start understanding your style and tastes and make note of them. Follow people/accounts that share your esthetic or body type.
The great thing about shopping resale is that you can truly form your own style- you aren’t tied to what big box stores dictate is trendy. So take a chance and try some new things cause you may never know what you end up liking.
Look through everything
This takes time and patience but can lead to a more fruitful experience. It helps to have a system in place so you can power through those racks. My system is to be caffeinated, full but not too full, bladder empty, headphones on with my music playing, and hand sanitizer because COVID has turned me into a bit of a germaphobe. It sounds silly to have all these things in place just to go shopping but it works for me since I know I will probably be in the shop for a bit and I want to be comfortable.
And my last piece of advice…
Try on everything!
But seriously though. Some things look better on a hanger than they do on a person and vice versa. You never know how something is really going to look until you put it on.
And with that my friends concludes my tips and tricks in becoming a resale shopping pro. Do you have any other tips you would like to add? Let me know in the comment section below.
Till next week,