Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services, credit, and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

Gen Z and their parents are rewriting the fashion rulebook and bringing thrifting back into vogue. They’re rummaging through the racks, breathing new life into pre-loved pieces, and ditching fast fashion to ‘green-up’ their wardrobes. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 62% of Gen Z and millennial consumers look for items secondhand before buying new, and almost half consider the potential resale value of an item before purchasing it.¹

Thrifting can save you money and help you find iconic fashion pieces. If you’re ready to hop on this trend, here are some tips on how to start thrifting and saving money.

Disclaimer: Third-party brands and companies are mentioned for informational purposes only. Chime does not sponsor, endorse, or partner with any of these brands or companies, and they do not sponsor or endorse Chime.

Thrift shops near me to try

You can find thrift stores near you by performing a quick search on Google® or Yelp®. But for your convenience, here are the store locator links for some popular thrift store chains:

If you can’t find a city thrift store near you, check out online secondhand shops like ThredUp®, Depop®, and Poshmark®. Like physical thrift stores, these online platforms provide a wide array of clothing options from various brands. And instead of rummaging through hundreds of hangers, you can access sustainable shopping right at your fingertips.

At ThredUp, for example, you can upcycle and discover new fashion trends online. You can find clothes from over 55 thousand brands on the website for up to 90% off their original prices. If you want to clean out your closet, you can also order a Clean Out Kit from the company to sell your clothes in exchange for shopping credit or cash.

Gen Z is charting its own course beyond thrifting. Find out how Gen-Z views and builds wealth.

Follow Chime member Andre on his thrifting outing at Plato’s Closet ahead of a holiday party:

@chime

Help Andre choose which outfit to wear this weekend! #holidayparty #chime #thrifthaul

♬ Christmas Kids – Roar

Top 6 tips for successful thrifting

When thrifting, you can discover iconic clothing items and expand your wardrobe. Here are six tips to help you get the most value from your time and find pieces you’ll wear long-term.

Check the label to understand the item’s worth

Clothing labels can reveal a lot about their origins, materials, and potential value. If you’re lucky enough to come across a vintage piece with the original tag, consider using the Label Resource at the Vintage Fashion Guild to determine what brand it is and whether it’s an authentic piece.

Some vintage thrift stores may mark up the price of certain items or brands, so if you plan on reselling the piece for a higher price, check its resell value to determine whether the purchase is worth the investment.

Find out the store’s specialty beforehand

While some thrift stores sell a wide range of secondhand items, certain unique thrift stores specialize in specific niches, like vintage clothes, cameras, sporting goods, or baby clothes.

So, while one thrift shop may offer various high-quality designer-brand furniture, it may not be the best place to thrift for vintage purses.

Know when the store restocks

Shopping when the inventory is low can be frustrating since other thrifting connoisseurs may have already snapped up all the top items.

To avoid empty shelves and ensure you snag the best deals on your next thrifting trip, call your local thrift shop beforehand to confirm what day of the week they restock and shop on that day.

Tackle the store section by section

Thrift stores can be overwhelming. With potentially thousands of items to choose from, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re looking for and end your thrifting trip early.

Instead of walking into the store without a clear mission, prepare a list of your desired items and tackle the store section by section. Combing through the clutter to find hidden gems may require effort. Don’t rush, and take your time.

Choose reliable brands

While popular fast-fashion brands offer affordable pieces that can spice up your wardrobe, they may not hold up in your closet for long. If you’re looking for clothes that can last you years to come, choose reliable brands known for their excellent quality.

For example, clothing items from higher-end traditional brands like Banana Republic®, Madewell®, and Ralph Lauren® typically last much longer than fast-fashion pieces before showing signs of wear and tear. You won’t have to pay full price if you’re thrifting, making it an even better deal.

Learn how to discern quality

Natural materials like silk, wool, and cotton are typically higher quality than synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. Of course, that doesn’t mean synthetic fibers are necessarily bad. They’re typically cheaper, durable, and stain-resistant.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the stitching when thrifting for clothes. Check that the piece is not about to fall apart and scan for signs of wear and tear or stains.

How to save money when thrifting

While thrifting can help you find unique and high-quality items that would cost an arm and a leg if purchased new, you could still blow your budget if you’re not prepared. Here are our top money-saving tips to help you score amazing finds without breaking the bank.

Shop off-season

It’s not just retail stores that follow seasonal trends. Thrift stores also have a surplus of clothing in less demand during the off-season. If you’re looking for that perfect pair of boots or warm coat for the winter months, try shopping in the summer. And if you need a breezy sundress or sandals, check out the thrift store during the winter.

Choose discount days

Some thrift stores like The Salvation Army® and Goodwill® may discount clothing items with a specific color tag on different days of the month. For example, at Goodwill, clothes with the yellow color tag go on sale for 50% off one week, and those with the green color tag get 50% off the following week.² Most stores have their discount days, so check with your local thrift shop first to see when their upcoming sales are.

Trade in your own clothes

Another money-saving hack when thrifting is to clean out your closet and sell your old clothes to the thrift store. Some shops will offer you store credit in exchange for the items you bring in. You can then use the store credit to purchase new items. Just be sure to contact the thrift shop beforehand to see what types of items they’ll accept.

Avoid impulse purchases

While thrifting promotes sustainable fashion, it can lead to overconsumption and impulse purchases due to the lower price points. Remind yourself that you don’t have to add an item to your shopping cart simply because it’s affordable. Only buy what you can see yourself wearing regularly.

Withdraw cash from an ATM

An effective way to avoid impulse purchases and stick to your budget is by taking a cash-only approach. For example, only take $100 in cash on your next thrifting trip and limit yourself to that amount. Money challenges like this can help keep your finances in check.

Chime® members can easily find fee-free ATMs* to withdraw cash at over 60,000 locations, including at retailers like CVS®, Target®, and Walgreens®.

However, if you don’t like carrying cash and prefer to pay with plastic, another solution is putting your purchases on your secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card. This way, you can build credit with on-time payments after a successful thrift store treasure hunt.

Be thrifty with your other expenses, too

Being thrifty isn’t just about embracing the eco-thrift lifestyle and shopping for secondhand items. It’s also about making smart choices with your other expenses. If you’re saving hundreds of dollars by snagging deals on thrift finds but spending that money on unessential luxuries, then you’re still giving into lifestyle inflation.

To embody a thrifty lifestyle and make your dollar stretch further, you could limit unnecessary expenses by saving money on streaming services or cutting down the amount you spend on groceries and restaurants.

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

While Chime doesn’t issue personal checkbooks to write checks, Chime Checkbook gives you the freedom to send checks to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Chime Checkbook details.

By clicking on some of the links above, you will leave the Chime website and be directed to a third-party website. The privacy practices of those third parties may differ from those of Chime. We recommend you review the privacy statements of those third party websites, as Chime is not responsible for those third parties' privacy or security practices.

Third-party trademarks referenced for informational purposes only; no endorsements implied.

‡ SpotMe® for Credit Builder is an optional, no interest/no fee overdraft line of credit tied to the Secured Deposit Account. SpotMe on Debit is an optional, no fee service attached to your Chime Checking Account (individually or collectively, “SpotMe”). Eligibility for SpotMe requires $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your Chime Checking Account each month.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

The use of any trademarks, logos, or trade names are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement by the owner.

* Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

† On-time payment history may have a positive impact on your credit score. Late
payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

1 Information from United States Census Bureau's National Thrift Store Day as of September 26, 2023: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/thrift-store-day.html

2 Information from Goodwill Tag Sale as of October 16, 2023: https://www.goodwillsew.com/tag-sale

Address: 101 California Street, Floor 5, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States.

No customer support available at HQ. Customer support details available on the website.

© 2013-2024 Chime Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.