Secondhand Stores: How to Distinguish Them?



Second hand clothes are no longer a taboo. This trend has spread all over the world and even some of the biggest Hollywood stars, like Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, Kylie Minogue, Jada Pinkett Smith, Zooey Deschanel and many others, couldn’t resist it. Nowadays, you have a choice between buying in real second hand shops, which is always an adventure, or you can find cheap garments at various online stores, where you can browse without rush. It’s no wonder that selling used clothing became such a successful business, and its popularity developed different kinds of second hand stores. Vintage, thrift and consignment stores may seem like different names for the same thing, but they’re actually quite different. The fact that a lot of people confuse these terms is not unusual, considering their unclear boundaries. So, we’re going to help you to better understand differences between them, and become a second hand shopping expert.


Vintage shops

Many people think that second hand and vintage clothes are the same thing, but they aren’t. The main difference lies in the age of the clothing pieces. While items referred to as second hand may be just a couple of years old, vintage clothing is usually a few decades old. Vintage clothing items are often well-made and have timeless quality; a far cry from the garments found in some other stores. If we want to rank used clothes by their quality and value, the items found in a Vintage shop would be on top. The owners of these shops find their treasures in large second hand sales, swap encounters, vintage fairs and flea markets. These clothes are carefully selected, are usually in excellent condition, often repaired when needed and, above all, almost unique – it’s unlikely you’ll find similar pieces elsewhere.


Thrift shops

Thrift stores are usually run by a charitable organization. They sell a wide range of used goods which were donated to the organization, and their staff is mostly consistent of volunteers. And all the money they make goes to charity. Prices in these stores are very competitive, and you can find literally everything. The downside is that, in order to find something good, you’ll have to dig; a lot. Finding the right pieces requires patience, good judgment skills and a bit of luck. On the other hand, by shopping in thrift stores, you are always contributing to a good cause.




Consignment shops

These types of second hand shops offer used clothes from individuals who consigned their items to the shop in exchange for a portion of their sales revenue. It’s similar to a flea market, but with better quality items that are usually more expensive. Here, like in thrift stores, you can find all kinds of goods – even designer items. Also, the items in these stores are organized according to their quality and price, which will save you time, as you won’t have to randomly dig through everything to find what you’re looking for. This is a vintage-meets-thrift kind of place, which can satisfy your fashion appetites, cheaper. Shopping in consignment stores is a true treasure hunt, so be on a lookout for vintage shop-owners that usually buy most of the good stuff. So, if you want to embark on such an adventure, ask around and try to find out when is the best time to go shopping. With a lot of patience and some luck, you’ll find excellent second hand equipment for any occasion. Consignment stores are an especially practical solution when buying baby or kids’ clothes, as you won’t be needing these for too long. Also, you can sell some of your old things to these stores.


Depending on your preferences and budget, you’ll find these stores to be very helpful in your quest to be fashionable, practical or simply efficient. Yes, they have their limitations, but at the same time they offer you a time travel-like experience, and an opportunity to help your community.

Beauty / Fashion
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