Thrifting, like anything else, takes practice to become good at. I’ve been an avid thrifter for seven years now, and purchase 95% of my wardrobe from thrift stores. Over the years I’ve found a Dior scarf, Dooney and Bourke purses, a DVF ’70s wrap dress, and Salvatore Ferragamo heels. What’s the secret to finding great pieces, designer or not, at the thrift store? Here’s my top seven tips I’ve learned over the years for how to score an amazing piece!

Go Often 

7 Tips for Scoring Great Finds at the Thrift Store

Thrift stores update their stock every day, so there’s always new treasures to be found. I usually go thrifting 1-2 times a week, even if it’s just a quick browse. Not every visit has to be an hour long adventure. Sometimes the perfect little handbag is sitting right in the window, or there’s a dress you’ve been looking forever for on the mannequin. Going thrifting often also establishes a friendly and familiar relationship with the workers. If they know and recognize you, they’re more likely to go out of their way to tell you about great pieces and deals.

Have a Goal in Mind

7 Tips for Scoring Great Finds at the Thrift Store

Make sure every visit, you have a goal in mind. Are you looking for jeans to DIY? How about wanting to find a great new dress for an interview coming up? Even having a very specific item in your mind, like an off the shoulder black top, is important. When you set out with a plan, you’re more likely to be focused and not get side tracked. Thrift stores can be really stressful because there’s SO much stuff. Where do you start? Once you have a running list in your mind of things you want to find, it makes the task less daunting and puts you on your A game.

Know Your Thrift Store’s Deals

Every thrift store, no matter local or chain, has deals for their customers. It’s important to know for two reasons: 1) you can save money 2) you know when the best stock will be put out. There’s no point in going to the thrift store the day after 50% off sale at VOA because the place will be absolutely ransacked. But if you DO know when 50% off day is…you can go when they’re putting out all the stock for the next day. Here are the best thrift deals at stores I go to…

This is an excerpt from the article 7 Tips for Scoring Great Pieces at the Thrift Store which originally appeared on www.thewonderforest.com.