I recently scored these brand new Rag & Bone booties at the thrift store. The retail price is around $500. Crazy right? After all of these years of thrifting, it still surprises me when I find something like this at a thrift store. I guess I’m just stunned that not everyone consigns their high-end stuff. I found them at the Village Discount Outlet online and honestly couldn’t believe my eyes, considering their condition. These are some quality shoes. The suede is soft and lovely.(If you’re in the market for a pair of Rag & Bone booties, these are listed in my Poshmark store).
One of the reasons why I thrift is obvious: you find incredible deals. Some thrifters are on a mission to find brand names. I’m open to it all and am more of an ‘everything’ thirfter because shopping beyond the labels helps to diversify your wardrobe. Needless to say, finding brand name items is always a score. If you’re new to thrifting, shopping for labels is a great place to start. Designer items are usually higher quality, have a great resell value, and are typically in excellent condition, despite having been pre-loved. These items will usually jump out at you for those very reasons at the thrift store.
Learn the labels!
Learning the names of brands that appeal to you beyond the common names most of know (Prada, Coach, etc.) really helps you spot brand names quickly. One way to learn names is to browse websites like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks, or the the Real Real. Another way is to physically visit these stores to become familiar with the labels, styles, and fabrics.
Quality fabrics will stand out.
Learning about fabrics will also help you. But you don’t have to run off to become a textile expert, simply training your eye to spot quality fabrics is enough. Plus, quality fabrics will always stand out on a rack of clothing. There was something about the Tracy Reese coat that looked expensive and well made.
One really easy way to identify higher-end pieces is to touch everything while you’re shopping. I found these J.Crew jeans for $5 without knowing they were J.Crew, but I knew within seconds that they were quality jeans just by touching them on the rack. This is also how I always spot cashmere and silk sweaters.
Look for items with tags. You’ll often find department store items with tags still attached. Browse the rack quickly for tags hanging off the clothes. That’s an easy, no major skill required tip!
If you’re not familiar with the brand, Google it right there at the store
I do a quick Google, eBay, etsy, Poshmark and / or Pinterest search when I’m at the thrift store if I’m unsure of a brand or value. That’s exactly what I did with the Tracy Reese coat; I could just tell it was expensive so I googled it and saw that it retailed for $400.
Shopping high-end locations – myth or fact?
In some cities, certain stores will have a number brand name labels because of their donation base. However, this isn’t a rule you should follow religiously. Many thrift stores in Ohio, for example distribute their clothes among their terority. Some thrift stores have drop-off trucks, so these donations get spread out among a number of locations. So in other words, a thrift store in an unsuspecting neighborhood could carry some seriously high end names. Keep your options open. If you’re curious, ask someone at your local thrift store how they sort their clothes. It’s not a big secret.