Whether you are an experienced thrifter, or you are interested in giving it a try, you may be wondering how to approach thrifting in the age of COVID19. Thrifting is a big passion of mine and I have missed it greatly. Now that things have started to open back up in some states, I thought it would be helpful to share some Tips for Thrifting During Covid. First and foremost, follow the CDC and local government guidelines before shopping at the thrift store.
Thrifting during COVID is still something that you can do as long as you follow some general guidelines. Whether you are thrifting in person at the store or choose to thrift online, you can still successfully find the used items that you are looking for. It’s important to plan ahead and bring the appropriate safety gear with you to the thrift store. If you choose to thrift online, you still need to take some extra precautions when meeting up with someone local or ordering something from a thrift website.
Why Should You Continue To Thrift During A Pandemic?
It’s no mystery that a lot of people are struggling right now. Thrifting can be a wonderful place to spend your money, whether doing it in person or online. Thrift stores provide jobs that can aide in the economy, as well as providing inexpensive clothing and home items for people who might be in need financially. Supporting a local thrift store might be a better choice than running to Target the next time you need something.
Tips For Thrifting During COVID
Large chains like Goodwill may have more safety procedures in place, while smaller stores may have closed temporarily (or permanently) or don’t have the safety resources available like Goodwill does. It’s important to think about things you go on your thrift shopping trip.
If you don’t feel comfortable thrifting in person, there are plenty of options online. We will discuss tips for both options. Either way, there are plenty of ways to still thrift during this time!
Tips For Thrifting In Person During COVID
1. If shopping in person, prepare yourself ahead of time by bringing along the appropriate safety gear.
The most obvious and important thing you can do is make sure that you bring a mask with you to the thrift store. Many states and stores require it, but even if they don’t – it’s a good idea to protect yourself and others. The other items you will want to bring along is disinfecting wipes (or spray) and hand sanitizer.
2. Clean and disinfect your shopping cart yourself
Thrift stores are not staffed like big box stores, so you cannot be guaranteed that someone is there, wiping down each cart. Go ahead and bring the necessary supplies with you so that you can wipe down your own cart before handling it.
3. When shopping in person, only touch items when necessary.
I’m not a scientist, so I won’t pretend to know how long a virus can live on surfaces, but I always like to err on the side of caution. I usually love to touch items as I browse, but now is not the time to do that. Only touch and pick up items if you absolutely need to, especially when dealing with used items. I also like to sanitize my hands after touching things throughout my shopping trip, and ALWAYS thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water when you return home.
4. Be mindful of social distancing practices.
If you rely on stickers and reminders at other stores, you will want to be extra mindful of social distancing practices at the thrift store. There may not be stickers on the ground or signs around the store as reminders. Also, aisles can be very narrow and tight at the thrift store, so be courteous of others and wait your turn to go down a narrow aisle.
5. Thoroughly clean your items when you get home.
If you have purchased used clothing, wash them before wearing. If the type of fabric allows for it, wash with hot water and dry on high heat.
For home decor items and furniture, it’s important to clean those as well. Most things can be cleaned with a simple mixture of dish soap and water. If in doubt, just look up the specific material you are dealing with find out how to appropriately clean it.
Tips For Thrifting Online During COVID
If you are uncomfortable with thrifting in person, or if your thrift stores are currently closed, you can still do lots of thrifting online!
1. For used clothing, shop at Poshmark.
I have an entire blog post dedicated to Is Poshmark Worth It? and it has tons of tips and tricks for finding what you want. For shopping during a pandemic, I definitely thing that Poshmark is worth checking out. You can find great deals for a fraction of the price. Poshmark also just recently released a section for Home Decor items as well.
2. Try Facebook Marketplace for home decor items
If you are wanting to stay local with your thrifted purchases, then Facebook Marketplace may be your best bet. It’s easy to message the seller and being able to view their profile makes the whole experience a little less stressful than going through something like Craigslist. There are so many things listed daily on Facebook Marketplace, that chances are, you will find just what you are looking for.
3. Shop through other local groups to find used items in your area.
In my area, there are many different groups on Facebook dedicated to buying and selling used items. We have one for our neighborhood, another one for local parents selling kids’ items and many more. Just search for groups specific to what you are looking for.
4. When purchasing from someone local, try doing “Porch Pickup” For a safer transaction.
You might be nervous about interacting with a stranger during COVID, so a great option is to do “porch pickup”. Most experienced FB Marketplace sellers are familiar with this term and it’s a great option for both the buyer and the seller. If it’s a smaller item, the seller can just place it on their porch and you can pick it up at your convenience. If you pay through Venmo or Paypal, then the transaction can be complete without having to actually interact with anyone.
5. Try Ebay for unique or vintage items
For harder to find items or one of a kind vintage things, try Ebay. You will have to take into account the cost of shipping, but this is a great way to find those quirky items that you are used to finding at the thrift store.
6. Thredup is another option for thrifting clothing online.
Thredup is a huge online used clothing store. Although I personally don’t think it’s worth it to sell clothing through Thredup, it’s a great option for shopping. You can find brand name items for a fraction of the price. They don’t have as many vintage options as Poshmark, but if you are looking for new and current clothing, then Thredup is worth checking out.
What NOT To Do When Thrifting During COVID
Don’t drop off your donations at the door of a thrift store if it’s closed.
This creates a big problem for them and isn’t helpful. Some thrift stores are overwhelmed with donations but don’t have as much inventory leaving the store right now (with less people shopping), so if you do donate, make sure your items are clean and in good condition before dropping them off.
Don’t go into a thrift store without a plan.
Like we discussed earlier, it’s important to have all the necessary safety items with you before your head into a thrift store. It’s also important to have a plan for what you are shopping for as well. Although thrifting isn’t going to be the quickest shopping trip, if you have a plan for what items you are specifically looking for that day, it will eliminate unnecessary time spend browsing in the store.
For more tips and ideas on thrifting and how to decorate your home with pieces from the thrift store, check out these helpful posts:
- Is Poshmark Worth It?
- Color Block Art
- How To Make A Leather Pillow Out Of A Jacket
- How To Paint A Thrift Store Basket