Charity Stores 3 min read

Tips for Shopping for Clothes in Charity Shops

Tips for Shopping for Clothes in Charity Shops
Published on Aug 29, 2022
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You might be surprised to see how many amazing bargains you can find for your wardrobe in your local or online charity shop!

Charity shops haven’t always been the most popular choice. However, in recent years, they have really taken off as second-hand clothing has become such a hit through sites like Depop and Vinted.

There are so many incredible finds to be had on your local high street – you may even be lucky enough to stumble across a designer bargain!

If you’re new to charity shop hunting then it may seem quite over whelming at first. As charity shop lovers ourselves, we’ve put together our top tips for finding the very best in your local stores!

Take Your Time

The most important rule for charity shopping is to not rush your way round.

Unfortunately, they just can’t be set out like your usual clothing stores as there is only one of each item. This means you have to really take your time, look through every rack and make sure you don’t miss a gem!

The great part about this is that you can make a day of it, you won’t get bored like you can do in shopping centres looking at the same thing everywhere.

Go with a friend and make your own charity shop crawl!

Be Open-Minded

You can find every style of clothing imaginable in your local charity shop.

We'd always advise being open-minded and not just sticking to what you know! Try to keep your eye open for anything you might like every time you’re shopping, you can always save it for another occasion.

Also, as people tend to clear out clothes that are out of season, look out for great winter items in the summer and vice versa!

Look for Label-Free Items

One of our very best tips for charity shopping is looking for label-free items.

This means items of clothing which don’t have any tag sewn into the neckline. 

What most people don’t know is that many high street brands have deals with charity shops to sell off their old stock. When clothing brand lines don’t sell well in stores such as New Look, brands pull them back to their warehouses, remove labels and send off to charity shops to be sold.

This means they’re doing their bit to donate to charity and you get brand new high street finds at a fraction of the cost!

Always Try On

This goes for almost all shopping but it’s always best to try your finds on while you’re still in store!

Not all charity shops accept returns so make sure you love it enough to wear it before purchasing. As most items of clothing are second hand, it’s also a really useful way to ensure the item isn’t damaged before you buy.

When trying on, always keep an eye out for holes or pulls, anything you may not notice when the item is on a hanger. It's also always best to check it fits well as each charity shop will sell multiple different brands whose sizes can differ.

Look for Something Unique

Not everything in your local charity shop will have come from a high street store.

The clothes you find in there will have come from an array of brands and cover decades of production!

You can find some amazing vintage steals and even some designer pieces from stores like Coast if you look carefully. Some people want to donate their old clothes to charity regardless of how much they cost brand new. If it’s a big clear-out, they may not even know the worth of some of the items they are donating.

Take your time looking through each stand and you can find some incredible one-off pieces!

Frequently Visit

As charity shops receive so many donations each week, it’s important to visit as often as you can.

Amazing pieces will get snapped up quickly as regular visitors know what to keep an eye out for!

It's also a good idea to research which days each shop accepts their donations as it will take the staff a couple of days to sort and organise the clothes. The best days to visit are when all the new items have just been tagged and placed out!

Talk to the Staff

The best place to find advice for making the most out of your local charity shops is the staff who work there!

They will be more than happy to offer some helpful advice and can provide the best insights into when the best stock is received and where it is placed.

If you explain what exactly it is you’re looking for, they will be able to point you in the right direction of any items they have in stock. As they see almost every item which gets donated, they will know what they currently have available to suit what you’re shopping for.

Browse Charity Shops Online

So many charity shops have up-to-date websites and social media pages where you can easily browse the current items in stock. Some stores may even have a marketplace for their clothes on sites such as eBay.

There’s nothing better than shopping from the comfort of your own home! If you don’t have the time to browse through each rack of your favourite stores, it can be a much more convenient way to find what you’re looking for.

By shopping online, you can even shop across a few different stores at the same time, comparing items you find in each one before purchasing.


Charlotte Marshall

Charlotte Marshall

Savings Ninja

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!

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