Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thrifting 101: An Oldie but a Goodie by Nya Wilson

A few months back I was contacted by university student Nya Wilson. She asked to interview me as an authority on the thrifting craze for her writing assignment and I was more than happy to oblige. Her target publication was Marie Claire, and her essay on thrifting is just excellent; very insightful! She's articulated the Thrift Core message better then even I could! Here's a peek:

Vanessa Alvarado, 24-year-old web marketer and copywriter, also uses the blogosphere to share her gently used admiration for thrifting. “More people are writing about [thrifting] online and sharing their tips, experiences, and finds. I help drag people into the thrifty lifestyle,” Vanessa says. Thrift Core—her niche blog—has about 20,000 local and international monthly page views all in the name of thrifting, creating and saving money.  
Thrift Core has created a network of DIY, home and garden, art and thrift communities, leaving a trail of creative small business news and secondhand wisdom throughout the web pages. The blog has also caught the attention of television network HGTV and host Cari of the television program, Cash & Cari. She says thrifters, vintage and kitsch lovers, junk hunters, artists and new believers alike have since been inspired.

[Oops, typo in the graphic and no time to fix it. Pretend it's correct for now...]

Thrifting is the fashion equivalent of a cheat sheet; you get to look like a million bucks without actually emptying your wallets. With the global financial crisis (GFC) marking the harshest economic times since the 1930s, more people are keen to learn more ways to save money. U.S. employment rates are at a stagnant 9.1 per cent across the nation, up from 13 per cent in 2009. 
Not to mention, the geopolitical unrest in the Middle East continues to affect local gas prices, again putting the pressure on wallets and expendable cash. The stock market teeters on the barrels of the crude oil as it increases as much as 8.6 percent a day. “People are thrifting and curbside hunting more, sometimes out of necessity,” Vanessa exclaims. “There have never been more shows dedicated to thrifting and reselling, and more people than ever are using thrifting as a way to earn more money by selling their finds.”

“I see no sign of this trend slowing down,” Vanessa adds enthusiastically.

Click here to download a .pdf of her entire essay. It's an excellent read with lots of feedback from passionate thrifters and stats to back-up the current thrifting trends. Thank you for reaching out to me, Nya!

What are your thoughts on the thrifting trend?
Do you like the new 2nd hand craze?
Let's discuss in the comments.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I have thrifted for years and I do have to say that lately the crowds at the thrift have increased substancially. While the 2nd hand craze may have lulls, I don't think it will ever be like it was, because once you start thrifting and you see what deals there are to be had, it is hard to shop retail again!

  2. Agreed, once you start thrift it's hard to go back.

  3. Becca: I feel like the trend is surging in a way that it won't die down as well!

  4. I originally started thrifting back in the 60s as a teenager looking for those 30s and 40s fashion and nic-nacs. I didn't really care for mid-century then, ha ha, it was new stuff. My teenage daughter in the 80s wouldn't be caught dead in a thrift store, how tacky. Now she sees it as a great place to find great items to recycle. When I shopped the thrift stores I always felt I was helping the environment by finding unwanted items a new home. Now-a-days the stores are full of dealers and the prices have gone way up, so although I still love thrift stores and find some remarkable vintage at good prices I am leaning more and more toward yard sales and estate sales as the best place to score.

  5. Victoria: I LOVE your feedback on it as a person who thrifted in the 60s! Have thrifts stayed pretty-much the same over the years?

    I'm moved away from thrifts and moved to flea markets, curbsides, and dumpsters to find my vintage. Estate Sales next!

  6. Diana: She's a good writer, isn't she!? :)

  7. Vanessa, I had no idea you were so young! You awesome! For some reason I feel closer to you now that I know we're nearly the same age. ;-)

    I've always been thrifty with my money, mostly because I saw how my parents mismanaged money and didn't want it to happen to me. I began to explore different outlets to save money.

    I think one of the most important things to remember as you're shopping, whether it's with coupons at the grocery store or at a Goodwill, is that if you don't really need it or want it or have a use for it, then don't buy it. It's so easy to get greedy when the prices are low. I've fallen into this trap many times, and now I think very hard about each item before I check out.

  8. Betsy: I'm enjoying 24 while I can, I'll be 25 next month and that makes me feel infinitely older ;)

    I completely agree with your cheap-trap advice. I've gotten much better, but sometimes I still bring home cheap items I didn't need while hunting. When you do that you're not being thrifty, you're being a hoarder.

  9. I've been thrifting for almost as long as I've been around. When I was growing up that was a general way my mother got clothes for my brother and me. I always love finding clothes in thrift stores, but I think it's been within the last 5 or so years where I stared thrifting for other objects. It's kind of weird seeing it as a trend. I always did it out of necessity. Who wants to pay $40 for jeans when you can get similiar ones for >$5

  10. Birdie: Same here. I've been at it my whole life, and it was a necessity-based thing for a long time. I'd thrift when I needed something. I didn't become a collector and then a reseller until about 1.5 years into running the Thrift Core blog.

    I love our thrift adventures, Birdie!

  11. I would occasionally frequent yard and estate sales before the downturn but never really ventured into thrift stores. Not until 2008 when I worked at a thrift store did I really start seeing what I could actually purchase at thrift stores and for what little I had to spend. Now big box retail bores me, everything looks the same and too high! Don't see the trend abating anytime soon.

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