I am a thrift shopping fiend. In fact, most of my wardrobe is made up of other people’s discarded clothes. I also regularly buy up designer thrift finds at budget rates and then flip them for a profit online.
You’d be amazed at what people give to Goodwill and how much buyers are willing to pay you for the exact same item.
But thrift shopping isn’t for everyone. You either love the thrill of the hunt or you’re overwhelmed by the chaos. I happen to love the thrill of the hunt and treat thrift shopping like a game.
If you’re new to the game, here are some of my tips:
Ignore the size – Sizes (especially for women’s clothing) can vary greatly by brand. When you’ve got a whole bunch of inconsistent brands thrown at you at once, you just need to try everything on. You can also buy up in size and then have pieces tailored to fit you with all the cash you save.
Check for damage – Most thrift shops will have already discarded damaged items before selling them but you’ll still want to make sure zippers work, buttons are in place and there aren’t any sneaky holes anywhere.
Know your brands – I actually wasn’t familiar with J Brand prior to thrift shopping because I have never spent $200 on one pair of jeans. Now I can spot them a mile away because I know they’re valuable enough to resell.
Shop aimlessly – If you step into a thrift store looking for a specific brand, color, size, whatever… you’re going to get frustrated because it just doesn’t work like that. If you absolutely must have a black pencil skirt in a size 6, go to the mall and buy it. If you just want to see what you can find, hit the thrift store.
Now that you’re ready to thrift shop, these are three of my favorite Goodwills in Charlotte.
Address: 16205 Lancaster Highway, Charlotte, NC 28277
Shopping thrift stores in wealthy neighborhoods is a good move because residents there are likely to buy up and then discard designer brands thanks to a comfortable disposable income cushion. As Charlotte’s 6th wealthiest zip code (and #1 wealthiest zip code with a Goodwill store), Ballantyne is a smart thrift stop.
It’s a pretty busy store with one of the biggest baby clothes sections I’ve ever seen. As for designer finds, you’ll have to dig but with a little patience (and an eye for the right brands), you’ll find some gems.
I popped in yesterday and it only took me 5 minutes on one denim rack to find 2 pairs of Madewell jeans, 2 pairs of Lucky jeans, 1 pair of Seven jeans and 1 pair of J.Crew jeans. Not bad.
Address: 10118 Johnston Road, Charlotte, NC 28210
I found this Goodwill on accident when I was trying to get to Goodwill Ballantyne because, as you all know, I don’t know where Ballantyne is and just consider it to be anything south of where I am currently standing. (I have actually done this twice in an attempt to get to the Ballantyne store. I’m sorry.)
Turns out Goodwill Pineville is a jackpot spot where I was able to unearth brands like Kenzie, Citizens of Humanity, Seven, Banana Republic, Goldsign and J Brand. For reference if you’re unfamiliar with these brands, J Brand and Citizens jeans retail for upwards of $200. At Goodwill, they’re $4.99.
Address: 5301 Wilkinson Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28208
GW is Goodwill’s trend shop targeted at young shoppers hunting for mall and designer brands. They’ve got a higher concentration of designer items with most of the other filler already weeded out. As such, it’s the only store that doesn’t adhere to Goodwill’s standard pricing, but most items are still only $3.99 – $24.99.
I stop in here regularly to buy up designer goods on the cheap and then flip them for a profit online. I’ve bought and sold J. Crew, J Brand, Lily Pulitzer, Seven and Banana Republic. Last month I bought a pair of Seven Dojo jeans for $4.99 (retail $198) and sold them for $35.
It’s worth noting that GW is located at Goodwill’s Opportunity Campus, which is also home to Second Editions, a clearance outlet where you shop by the pound. All clothing, shoes and accessories are $1.39/pound. You need to be a pro level thrifter to handle this kind of environment.
Want more? Find all Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont Stores here.