Thrift Store Shopping Like a Pro — Sharing

May 10th, 2012

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Thrift store shopping like a pro doesn’t mean you have to keep your secrets — and scores! — to yourself for safekeeping.

The true thrift pro shares her thrift scores and tips to inspire others to perform like an expert thrifter, too. Like a professional athlete writes an instructional book about their sport, a professional thrifter uses her skills to teach others to thrift like them.

Which is exactly why I started this series in the first place: Because I consider myself a thrift shopping professional, I wanted to share the wisdom I know with you. I started with researching and then shared tips on thrifting preparation, strategy and inspection.

This article on “sharing” focuses on how to take advantage of social media to connect with the Internet’s awesome community of thrifters. By sharing your thrift store experiences and savvy scores, you’re inspiring others to thrift like a pro and in the process, gaining fresh insights from them, too.

Because no matter how “expert” we may be at something, we’re always one another’s teacher. I believe that with an open mind and heart, we’ll never cease to learn something new from people old and new in our lives.

Keep reading after the jump for my suggestions on how to share your thrift scores using social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and video platform YouTube; plus inspire others to thrift like a pro and how thrifting manifests the greatest score of all: Giving! 

Whether you want to share to brag, share to inspire, share to learn or share to give, there’s a bit of care-to-share like a thrift pro in all of us!

How have you shared your thrift shopping experiences? Do you have a special sharing secret that I missed?

Let me know by leaving a comment below the post, or by saying hello on Twitter or Facebook! 

Don’t forget to check out my 34 Tips on: How to Thrift Store Shop

xx, SD

 

Share Thrift Store Finds Using Social Media

Thrift Store shopping share tip 1

THE STRATEGY: Using your smart phone, take photos of your finds in the thrift store to share with social media outlets for real-time feedback.

If you’re unsure of a purchase or just want a second opinion on a potential purchase, post with a direct “Yay or Nay?” question for your followers to respond to.

WHY ITS FOR THE PROS: The professional knows that every once in a while a timeout’s necessary from the game to regroup and request feedback. I post finds to my Facebook fanpage often, asking for an opinion as to “whether I should buy.” Believe it or not, I’ve been swayed by the audience’s response!

A pro shares for bragging rights (we do have egos!) but most importantly shares to motivate and encourage his digital audience to thrift store shop, too.

HOW YOU CAN DO IT: Use your personal Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram account to share photos of your thrift store shopping experiences. Share either 1.) a photo of a find on the hanger or 2.) a photo of a find you’re wearing in the fitting room itself.

For real-time feedback, post with a question that will receive an honest reply from the community. “Is this skirt too much at $10.99?” and “Is this dress too sexy for a work event?” are questions easy to read and reply to.

MY FAVORITE WAY TO SHARE: If I nail a thrift score, I love sharing the piece in its full glory using the iPhone application Diptic to use a photo collage like the one shown shared on my fanpage above.

For a measly $.99, Diptic’s options allow for vertical and horizontal collages of up to four images. Juxtaposing multiple images together means you can show a thrift find from all angles plus any special details or tags.

Share Thrift Store Finds Styled

Thrift store shopping share

THE STRATEGY: Without having to execute the production of a grandiose photoshoot, you can snap a photo of what you bought in the thrift store styled and ready-to-wear at home.

It’s like sharing an outfit post with an extra cherry on top, because you thrifted it and so when others learn of your savvy score, they’ll want to learn just how you — the thrift pro! — scored it in style.

WHY IT’S FOR THE PROS: After executing the process of thrifting like a pro (it ain’t easy!), we deserve these celebratory moments to share our accomplishments in an artistically creative way.

More importantly, the true pro shares her thrift style to empower others to think they can “be like them” too. One of my favorite pros who regularly share their thrifted outfits is Kerrie Virtuous One and 2 Stylish Kays, both amazing Georgia-based women who thrift store shop for a living!

HOW YOU CAN DO IT: Snap a photo of your thrift find styled into an outfit using your reflection in a full length mirror,or have a friend get a great shot of you rockin’ it outside in natural light.

Or, deliberately wear a thrifted piece to a special event like a wedding, party or snazzy stylish soiree. That way, you’ll be sure to take photos there and can share the “thrift look” that you pulled off at such a memorable occasion!

MY FAVORITE WAY TO SHARE: I’m queen of the iPhone mirror snap! Call it a Myspace photo (so 2006!) if you want, but it’s the easiest way to show off your whole look without scouting locations for the picture and having to recruit a photographer.

For a more natural shot, I look into the mirror instead of at the iPhone. I’ll usually position my hand on my hip for a stance of poise and confidence. I make sure the iPhone flash is off, my entire body is in the frame and then I snap away!

Share Thrift Store Shopping Video for Selling

THE STRATEGY: Listing pieces via online marketplaces like Etsy, Ebay and Style.ly can be a time sink, especially for a busy thrifter with a full time job and family to boot.

A faster and more fun way to share what you’re selling is to start a YouTube page where you can upload videos talking about your thrifted pieces available for sale. Watch Victory Vintage Boutique’s video above for a great example on how to use YouTube as a place to showcase your thrifted finds for sale.

WHY IT’S FOR THE PROS: Selling vintage clothing online has become a huge industry since the advent of online marketplaces in the early 2000s.

Thanks to their experiences in the field, a pro thrifter knows what pieces will sell online because in their excitement of great finds, they’ve done the research to see what the selling price would be. They just find so many fabulous things while thrifting that they’d be silly not to share by selling them to others!

HOW YOU CAN DO IT: After a short introduction of yourself and the video’s purpose to showcase items for sale, I suggest touching on 1.) General description of the piece 2.) What you like most about it and 3.) It’s offer price. This will keep your video short, sweet and to the point. 5 minutes is the longest I recommend for a video of this kind.

Whether you use a separate camera (I’m a fan of FLIP cams) or the camera built-in on your computer (all Mac computers have one), with some practice you can becoming a self-filming pro on top of your already professional thrifting status.

MY FAVORITE WAY TO SHARE: In under 5 minutes, VVB’s video above highlights the pieces that you could buy at the time of the video from her Ebay store while adding interesting style tidbits relevant to a potential buyer.

The video was then shared with her other social media outlets to further spread the word of what’s new in the Victory Vintage online boutique. It’s a great kind of “vintage” public style announcement!

Share Thrifted Gifts

Thrift store shopping share tip 4

THE STRATEGY: Rather than let thrifted items stockpile in your closet, pass the thrift karma by regularly gifting some of the items you score.

Not only does giving the Gift of Thrift make the receiver feel good thanks to your kindness, but it’ll inspire you to thrift store shop beyond your own wants and needs.

WHY IT’S FOR THE PROS: A pro thrifter knows that “giving away” thrifted finds is a declaration of their confidence, because they know that more thrift scores lie ahead in their thrifting future.

They don’t stress that they are “losing” a great find when they gift it to someone else. There are always more on the way!

HOW YOU CAN DO IT: The pro thrifter has an eye for the prize, but the prize doesn’t always work for her style. When you’re channeling your inner thrift pro, keep your mind and heart open to how that thrift score you discover may work for someone else’s style.

When combing the racks, muse on the positive people in your life and that energy will present thrift gifts that you may never have “seen” before. Perhaps it’s a great thrift gift for someone in your family, or maybe a friend who doesn’t thrift but may be inspired to begin after receiving your great gift!

MY FAVORITE WAY TO SHARE: In our world of lightning speed communication, conversations between one another can feel surface-level and fleeting. Taking the time to thoughtfully prepare a gift of “hello” made possible by your thrifting prowess will connect you to another person much more than a “like” on a Facebook status update ever could.

Thanks to sharing my vintage and thrift shopping life on the Internet, I’ve met some fabulous fellow secondhand style lovers that I’ve become digital friends with. So as a way to further connect with them in a physical way, I will send them thrift or vintage gifts via the old fashioned US Postal Service.

You’ll not only feel great knowing you scored a great piece, but that you’re passing it on to someone who can appreciate and feel great having received it from a thrift pro like you!

How do you share your thrift experiences?  Let me know by SHARING in the comments below!

MORE THRIFT STORE SHOPPING ADVICE

34 Tips on: How to Thrift Store Shop
ADVICE: 10 Things Not to Buy at a Thrift Store
TIPS: 23 Tips for Buying Used Clothes
RISK: Avoiding Bed Bugs at the Thrift Store
VIDEO: Thrift Shopping the Goodwill Outlet
PLUS: The Complete Thrift Shopping Dictionary

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7 Comments

  1. Natalie says:

    Thrift Gifting is my new favorite pastime. I just started a couple of months ago, and when I see something that doesn’t really work for me but INSTANTLY makes me think of a friend who would love it, I buy it for them. I always get lots of compliments on stuff I buy for myself, and it makes me happy to give those items to other people – I’m hoping to inspire them to go thrifting and dig up their own treasures.

    The greatest thing about thrift gifting — it’s a way of fulfilling my thrifting addiction without adding more to my already-overflowing closet! I get the same high of a fabulous score without having to store it. And if it’s a piece that I love but just can’t wear (not my size, not my style, etc.), but I give it to a best friend who CAN rock it, then I’ll get to see it all the time and have pride in knowing I picked it out! (And another great thing about thrift gifting – it’s so cheap, you can give bags and bags to somebody and it looks like you spent a million dollars! haha)

    I think one area of sharing that I need to work on, though, is photos – I always want to share, but I think I get caught up in thinking it has to be a professional-grade glamour shot or something. Or I just don’t get around from transferring the pics on my camera to the computer. Either way, that is one thing I’m going to work on as a result of this post – sharing more pictures!

    Now I just need a smartphone and I’ll be set… :)

    [Reply]

    Sammy Davis Vintage Reply:

    Hi Natalie!

    I love this comment SO much … thank you for leaving it!!

    Thrift Gifting is a blessing … for both. I’ really happy that you are so tuned into the styles of your friends so that you can experience the thrill of the hunt AND pass along the goods without leaving them behind.

    Now as for that smart phone! ;-) Yes it makes it super easier to have your camera in your phone. It does take some diligence! But like thrifting, you become addicted after a few successful posts of what you’ve found/styled/passed up, etc. You start to get more creative with the photos you take — like an artist.

    Keep me posted, thrift sister! Thanks so much again for your positive vibes here.

    xx

    [Reply]

  2. Stephanie says:

    I thrift for my friends constantly. They’re sweet and always trying to pay me for items, but I love giving! It’s great to post items you find, because you never know what kind of history or knowledge others will be able to share about it. I use my Facebook page to show me wearing and styling the vintage I find.

    [Reply]

    Sammy Davis Vintage Reply:

    Yes! This is great news, Stephanie! Sharing is SUCH satisfaction. I bet your friends think you are super skilled at what you do! And they can brag about Hold Vintage when they wear the pieces, too! xx

    [Reply]

  3. Kitt says:

    I share by dragging friends along! :D I have a couple of artsy Thrift Sisters already, but it’s so much more fun to pull in a completely unsuspecting friend for an afternoon in a thrift store. When I have taken thrifting newbies along I’ve gotten so many ‘How did you find that! I was just at that rack!” comments. It’s very rewarding to share tips and scores first hand :) And of course, it is always nice to have someone to chat to while strolling the racks.
    And I love Thrift gifting. My favorite gift score was a skirt i found for a friend. I was showing her a major thrift haul I had pulled in one day, when I showed her this beautiful skirt in a soft golden colour with a glittery sheer overlay in a floral pattern. It is much too big for either of us, but I had fallen in love with the fabric and have plans to turn it into a babydoll dress. Her responce was “oh, that is beautiful, i would love that in black”. And guess what I found next thrift trip? A black version of the exact same skirt in my friend’s size. That made both of our days :)

    As much as I love sharing my thrift scores (especially since so many people i work with are blind to the joys of thrifting), I’m always too shy to post photos of my finds online, especially of me wearing them. It looks like fun from all the blogs I see, but I’ve never been overly photogenic, lol. Perhaps I should start though, I need some way to show of my lovely shoe collection!

    [Reply]

    Sammy Reply:

    Kitt! I have a great suggestion for you to share your thrift scores, without having to worry about “being photogenic” or even wearing makeup! ;-)

    You can wear the item but just shoot from your neck down in a mirror!! It’s an easy solve!

    Im so happy t hear that you found pieces for FRIENDS. Best feeling ever, when you know FOR SURE they are going to like it! I am sending some polka dot items to a friend who loves polka dots this week, in fact. I know it will brighten her day!

    xx

    [Reply]

  4. jesse says:

    Dearest Sammy,
    Dream to have an online vintage shoppe. Have no idea how to get started? So… im going to the expert! im currently experiencing info overload about what steps to take as far as licenses for internet ny state and IRS(ie Reseller’s Permit??) Please spare a few moments to clarify EXACTLY WHAT licenses or documents required to operate in NY State? I apperciate any advice u can give.

    BIG DREAMS little knowledge

    [Reply]

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