How to be a savvy charity shop shopper

If you have never ventured into a charity shop, then you don't know what you are missing.  I've been a fan of, second-hand shops and antique shops for a few years now, but it took me a little longer to warm to the idea of car boots and more specifically  charity shops, yes, in the past I have been guilty of being  a bit of a snob, I mean the thought of wearing someone else's clothes, simply horrible!   But a friend of mine convinced me that it was an acceptable past time when she showed me her bag full of practically new stuff that she had snapped up at a car boot one time, and since then I have put aside my fears and got stuck in.  And I have to confess that at least 80% of the stuff in my wardrobe is second hand, some of my best buys have been in charity shops, yes,  previously loved and worn by somebody else! let's not dwell on that thought for too long shall we.. instead lets chat about getting the best out of your charity shop experience?

1 Arrive early grab yourself a basket and do be prepared to rummage.  If you are not sure about an item put it in your basket anyway, you can make up your mind as you go round, if you leave it, chances are someone else will nab it. 

2. Visit often, some days you find all sorts of stuff other days can be slim pickings, in general when it comes to wardrobe basics,  I like to hunt for good quality labels, ones that I might not normally be able to afford new,  but I do also look out for fashion items but at the right price, I don't want to pay for something that I can buy new for nearly the same price as second hand.

3. Boots and shoes, some bloggers say they never buy them from charity shops because of being previously worn in, but some of my best buys have come from a charity shop, the key is to keep your eye out for leather footwear that is new, or hardly worn at all, our local charity shop tends to get decent donations when it comes to shoes and boots, so this might be a location thing, more affluent areas can provide better items. 

4. Bags, I look out for good quality leather ones, my best buy was a lovely Topshop bag made from the softest leather, all it needed was a new strap. 

5. Charity shop volunteers are a special breed, usually ladies  of a certain age and a face that says don't mess with me sunshine, they are not always recruited for their customer services, but search out the friendly ones and get chatty with them, they are a wealth of info, they know stuff, like when the next local office worker donation day is coming up, or when they are planning a sale, things like this are useful to know.  If you are looking for something specific they might keep an eye out for you, though this tends to apply more to furniture than clothes. 

6. Damaged,  broken or faulty. I would say don't be put off by things that need mending, particularly if you are handy on the sewing machine, a split seam in a dress is relatively easy to fix, just make sure the price is right. Sometimes it's worth pointing out damaged articles as you might get it at a cheaper price, and some items scan be updated by adding new buttons, or putting in a zip.

7. Donate.  And finally, every so often do go through your own wardrobe and find a few things that you don't mind parting with, after all, charity shops are generally supporting a good cause, they will appreciate your donation. 

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