Published on september 29, 2017

Thrift School, Part 3: Why Thrifting Lesser-Known Fashion Brands Pays Off

written by Team thredUP

Welcome to the final post of our Thrift School series! We hope you’ve found all these tips as helpful as we have. From the best ways to thrift on thredUP to scoring designer deals in ten seconds, find out what the experts say are the most important secondhand tips and tricks.  

Downtown Demure, Elizabeth Roy


I’ll preface by admitting I’m exclusively an online thrifter. Physical thrift stores actually give me anxiety because often there’s minimal organization and they’re so packed with stuff. I nearly cried of happiness when thredUP launched because it makes thrifting manageable and fun!

Have a list of brands you’re seeking. I recommend brands that retain their desirability/worth over time and have high resale values, like D&G, DVF, Coach and J.Crew.

Shop often. The best deals come unexpectedly, and often last for an internet second. Thankfully that’s easier advice to follow online.

Read ALL the details about a product before buying, particularly notes about the condition or sizing.

-When searching for items by size, be generous with sizes in search criteria…and be sure to read the actual measurements of each item you’re considering.

Take advantage of promotions and sales!  If you know an avid thredUP user, be sure to take advantage of your introductory promo code on the site.

Elizabeth Roy’s goal for 2017? To be a more conscious consumer and to stop buying and promotion fast fashion. We love this! She made a pact with herself to utilize fashion resale sites before buying brand new clothing. Look to her style stories for inspiration on making the switch. 


Le Hoarder, Michelle Blashka


Some people thrift for necessity, some people thrift for profit, some people thrift because it’s eco-friendly, but I thrift because I’m a girl who loves to shop. I can get my kicks for $ instead of $$$. There is nothing more gratifying that scoring a killer designer outfit that cost ten bucks.

-Be patient. Don’t expect to find a Chanel bag after five minutes the first time you thrift. But the more you thrift, the more likely you will strike gold. And no, I still haven’t found my Chanel or Hermes bag yet. Still looking.

-Take your time. You’re going to need lots of time to hunt. You don’t want to miss that designer dress among all the H&M dresses.

-Know your brands. I spend lots of time learning the names of obscure fashion brands. You can score amazing deals that others pass up.

-Don’t buy for just the label. A rookie mistake is to buy everything with a designer tag. If it doesn’t fit or you can’t rework it, it’s not a bargain.

This fashion-obsessed mama of three shares her personal style, tales of thrift, and addiction of all things beautiful. She never pays retail and always looks fabulous.


Peaches and Willow, Leslie Soto


When it comes to thrifting there’s no easier or better way than to do it from the comfort of your own couch, right? You have the comfort of being in your sweats with a glass of wine in hand while you’re binging on your favorite Netflix show. What could be better?

Easily narrow your search by size, color, price, even length.

Search specifically by brand in the search bar on the right side of the page just under your account info.

-Found something you like on thredUP but aren’t ready to place an order just yet? It’s okay, just locate the little heart and click it. That will save it to your favorites.

Favorites are easily the best part of thredUP for me because you can view all your items in one place and find out quickly whether or not they are still available.

Always check the black promo bar across the top. That’s where you’ll find any offers you have currently.

Utilize the Refer a Friend feature. If you refer a friend and they place and order through your link then you BOTH get $10 in shopping credit. Referring is easy; all you have to do is copy your code and share it on all your social media channels or invite friends through your e-mail.

Leslie has a passion for cheering fellow boss ladies along and celebrating the simple things. On her blog, you’ll find everything from recipes to beauty to what she calls, heart moments. 


Sweet Tea Hydrangeas, Mistle


I have been obsessed with fashion since I was a little girl. I love being able to find designer items at thrift prices. When I thrift shop, I look for items that are of high quality and that are currently in style.

-When I buy clothes, I like to purchase items that I can transition from one season to the next. Finding those staple items are key for transitioning from season to season.

Be prepared to do a lot of browsing for those quality items.

I always shop with a list of items in mind. This helps me from becoming overwhelmed and I do not purchase items I do not need.

Have a price range in mind that you are looking to spend on each item.

Keep an open mind. Just because the item isn’t new doesn’t mean it can’t be a great addition to your closet.

Mistle is a Lousiana-based blogger who has a passion for fashion, beauty, margaritas, wine, coffee, adventures with her dogs and everything in between. 


Chic on the Cheap, Lydia Abaté


-If you are shopping at a brick and mortar store, shop by touch. You will always be able to pick out the highest quality fabrics by how they feel.

Decide if you like a piece before you look at the label. It’s easy to get designer blindness, just because the label makes your heart flutter doesn’t mean the piece will actually fit into your wardrobe. On the other side of that, if the piece turns out to be from Target, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should toss it back either, you were drawn to it for a reason!

-When thrifting in stores, it’s okay to not have something specific in mind, but when shopping online it’s easy to get way overwhelmed. Narrow in on a specific item you want, use filters as narrowly as possible at first, then slowly expand to stay focused but make sure you aren’t missing out on anything.

-I love that thredUP allows you to passively shop with their saved search alerts. It’s the best way to never miss out on a great thrift!

Lydia Abaté is a fashion lover, photographer, and collector of shiny things. She also loves a great sale and occasionally remembers to stay on budget. She started her blog when she thrifted a vintage Coach bag for $10 and she wanted to tell everyone about her new obsession with secondhand. 


Never Skip Brunch, Cara Newhart


Don’t be afraid to experiment. Thrifting gives you the chance to try pieces you normally wouldn’t have access to either because they are usually out of your price range (think designer items) or because they have been discontinued. Unlike some thrift shops, thredUP offers returns, so if it ends up not fitting like you thought it would, you can easily swap it out for a different style.

Donate before you shop. Not only will you have a credit to spend if you donate some clothing and it sells, it’s also a great way to keep your wardrobe fresh by having clothes cycle out of your closet as you get some new styles in. It helps prevent you from having too many pieces in your wardrobe, which usually leads to the “I have nothing to wear problem.” Too many choices in your wardrobe make it way harder to make a decision about putting an outfit together.

Shop consistently. Unlike other brands & retailers who release a new line 2-4 times a year and don’t get any new pieces in between, thrift shops update their inventory weekly or even daily. Checking consistently, like once a week, ensures you won’t miss a perfect-for-you style or a piece you’ve been waiting for.

Cara Newhart is a color and prints enthusiast who started her blog in 2016—a space for bold women looking to become fearless with their style. You’ll find style advice, lifestyle tips and tricks, beauty favorites, deals and giveaways, and more to help you explore new trends and definite your personal style.

This is our final post in a three-part series (Part 1 and Part 2) on how to thrift like a pro. Tell us YOUR favorite thrifting tips in the comments below and we’ll include them in a future post!