There is this myth out there that you must be rich to dress well. That is a total lie, you just need to learn how to find used clothing!
My whole life has been dedicated to thrifting, I truly love it and want to share it with everyone. You really never know what someone has donated, so it really is like a treasure hunt! We talk about making money all of the time on here, but let’s change focus a bit & talk about finding stuff for YOU!
You can’t keep everything
Something that I learned early on is that i am a business and these items are mainly to make a profit on. Sure, some things that are amazing or fit perfect can make it to my closet, but the rest must be turned into cash.
Please have this same mindset. I don’t want you to just buy clothing because its cheap & let it sit in your closet. That is not the point of this. In fact, id prefer you throw everything you own away & only keep like 10 things.
Don’t be a hoarder & store stuff thinking “one day i’ll wear it”, you wont. Make money off your finds! No reason to skip on cool stuff, you can still take them home, but
they must be sold!
Now that we got that out of the way….
Expensive clothing – why?
This post isn’t meant to be an in-depth post on high fashion & all the minor details you need to know, mainly it is just a rough overview.
People have this issue that they think with their own bank accounts. Guess what? Tons of people have wayyyy more money than you do!
I learned this early on while selling suits in NYC. Guys would blow $4000 on their lunch break, that was their monthly budget for suits. Don’t think that just because you don’t wear $80 t-shirts, that someone out there doesn’t!
So why on earth are people wearing $80 t-shirts, $110 sweat pants & $100 basic crewnecks?
Because of fit, style, & branding.
Those three reasons are good enough i’d say. I kept stuff out of this haul for those three reasons at-least. I love how these items fit me, they look great, & the collaboration is with two companies I like.
Now this may mean nothing to you at all. If you have zero interest in clothing, this whole post may just seem stupid. Maybe you have never worn a piece of “high end” clothing. All of that is fine, but knowing these random details is what helps you make money.
Could I go to Walmart and get a basic gray hoodie & t shirt for probably under $25? Yup…
but it will fit like a $25 outfit that was created for a mass population.
That is the point of nicer clothing, it is a bit more intentional. The patterns of the actual garments are a bit more specific, sizing is usually better & slimmer fitting. When companies like Hanes mass produce t shirts, they need them to fit a variety of people.
High-end designers don’t care if their t-shirts fit the majority of Americans (overweight), they just want it to work well for the 1% of people who will actually buy it.
Point is, expensive clothes will fit & feel better and are marketed towards a certain crowd.
Clothing & being “cool”
I’m not sure about you, but my earliest memories of clothing start back in elementary school. I grew up in a crazy place (Key West) & had a-lot of social pressures to try to be cool (I wasn’t).
As early as 3rd grade, I was already looking up to the Cuban kids with their Jordans on & their shoe laces not even tied. It was so cool to me, but also so foreign.
My parents are immigrants from Poland & had no interest whatsoever in my fashion. Needless to say, the struggle was real for me. Never did I feel cool as a kid. Never did I fit in.
I remember one day in 5th grade, I wanted new sneakers so bad that I went home & took a knife to the only pair of Nikes that I had just so my mom was forced to buy me new ones.
That is a true story.
When I was in 5th grade, I literally went home and butchered my only pair of sneakers with a chefs knife.
That is how desperate I was to try to fit in. Clothing back then was such a mystery to me, but now with my own son, I’ll never let him fall into that trap of searching to “fit in” simply because of clothing.
My confidence with clothing didn’t come until I was around 26/27 years old. It took that long to get any sort of swagger & understanding of basic fashion concepts.
How I learned about clothing
I switched careers early on from culinary to sales, my first gig being at a suit shop in the middle of NYC. One of the busiest shopping districts in the world & they hired a kid who had NEVER worn a suit before to sell them…
My favorite way to learn is to just get my hands dirty. I hate school & classes, I don’t learn like that. So that is what I did. I talked to everyone & asked questions about everything.
The amazing thing about working for Suitsupply was that the mix of employees was impress. We had people that were pharmacists, influencers, high volume sales people, & ultra creatives. These people usually weren’t fast food employees, they were passionate & driven about their careers.
For me, I had no knowledge of clothes and was pretty new to the city, but I had ONE in with these people… My passion was fashion photography!
Since we worked in literally one of the most amazing neighborhoods in the world (visually), lunch breaks were filled with photo shoots. Since the streets are old & brick lined, getting high quality content, quickly, was really easy.
This was a daily thing, since we had so many employees, there was always someone looking to get their photo taken. Here I was photographing $1000 jackets and $1000 boots, but I had no previous knowledge of that stuff. But that is how I learned, I asked. I asked why they were having me photograph a plain t shirt, later to find out it was super rare and worth $300.
Being surround by these people all of the time made it easy to talk the talk & to learn the lingo quickly. Value becomes apparent once you get a few things nailed down!
How to determine cheap vs expensive
There are a-lot of high end clothing brands out there and identifying them can be pretty easy once you spot a few. Before I say anymore, counterfeits are a very legitimate problem. I don’t care if you “think” something is legit, become the expert on everything you sell!
Don’t sell fake crap as real.
Again, this topic can be 20 blog posts by itself, but let’s just condense it into a few paragraphs!
When i’m at the thrift store browsing through thousands of pieces of clothing, this is how I spot higher end items…
It is all in the details
That is why these companies charge more for their stuff. The fabric choice, where the item is made, & the amount of pieces that are made all determine it’s value & quality.
Using just this one hoodie, we will show you some clear cut differences to be aware of when comparing basic & high end clothing.
See how this hoodie is made in Canada? That is kinda weird huh? How often do you see this? Im serious, think about all of the clothing you have EVER bought. I bet you have probably never had something that is made in Canada.
Why? Because it is not that common. Sure, a-lot of clothes are made in Canada, but A-LOT more clothes are made in China & Asian countries. Whenever I see a odd place of manufacture, I always stop to check it out.
Places like Ireland & Australia are known for fabrics & these pieces can bring a large premium just because they are made there.
Collaborations are the thing now
See how this hoodie says Champion + Todd Snyder? That is a collaboration, all of the major companies out there are doing them now.
Even the big guys like Louis Vuitton are doing collabs with streetwear brands like Supreme. It is the “cool” thing right now & it is important to know about this.
The brand Champion by itself isn’t that special, you can go to Ross and get a full outfit right now for under $50. Todd Snyder is a bit more upscale, but by no means main stream fashion. These two companies came together to create a collection that can show people the quality and style of Todd Snyder, but with the familiar aspect of Champions classic branding.
It wont be hard to find who companies collab with and what is worth money. The market value of these things is well known and usually not a guessing game.
Places like stockx.com can help you learn what items are trending & what they are selling for.
Also, Ebay sold listings are a great way to gauge sales, learn how to do that is our free classes HERE
Gotta touch everything
Something I tell new people starting out in their thrifting journey is to go downtown to a really high end store. Not to buy anything, but to literally just browse, touch, & smell.
Expensive things feel expensive
That statement may seem so simple & stupid, but it’s all you really need to learn. Study what quality tailoring looks like, see if items have really blatant imperfections, & feel the fabric against your skin.
When we go to the goodwill outlets (places with the large totes of clothes or “bins”), there are no gloves on.
Why? Because I want to feel every fabric in that pile!
Wool feels different than nylon, but nylon and gore-tex are almost indistinguishable, but one is worth way more money. Learning common tell tale signs of quality wether by fabric or manufacturing standards will help you find the best clothes, for the lowest prices!
Thrift store hacks & tips
Guys, i’m a professional thrifter.
If you are just finding us by the blog & this article, my name is Sebastian.
Years ago, my wife Shyanne & I quit working and started hustling online. That choice changed our lives & now we sell used clothing for a full time income. We both stay home with our son & our business requires minimal effort to maintain. We teach people how to make money in non-traditional ways!
Thrift stores require a certain level of skill sets to master. You need to be quick, neat, observant, & research like a crazy person. That is how you win.
I’m not going to write a whole essay on this topic, but here are
10 of my best thrift store tips for finding awesome clothing for yourself (especially you young dads!)
- Find out what days your store has sales
- Join local stores social media for deals
- Go at opening, be one of the first in the door
- Grab a cart, do not carry stuff!
- Start with what you know – shop section by section
- Take it slow, no need to rush at first, spend 1-2 hours looking stuff up
- Be real – some stuff may be really damaged, look it over
- Don’t shop for yourself – when re-selling, buy crazy sizes! They sell better
- Open your eyes – there is so much money around you!
- Have fun – I have found so many amazing things over the years, just have a blast!
I love thrifting and want to start a cult around it. If you found this helpful at all, please share & follow us on social media @reselljunkie__
Take our free classes to get started selling stuff today!