To wash or not to wash?

You should wash your thrift finds before wearing them, smoking them, eating them, etc.

I admit it, I am guilty of finding fabulous items and not washing them.

However, this bad habit is not to be imitated.

The overarching reason is due to the fact that fabrics can host a variety of microbial organisms. Some of them good.

Some of them bad.

According to Popular Science ” Microbes can live on household surfaces and fabrics for hundreds of years(https://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2002-08/how-long-do-microbes-bacteria-and-viruses-live-surfaces-home-normal-room-tem/). Harmful bacteria can be responsible for a variety of health issues within living organisms. Health issues ranging from wilted plants, to food poisoning to death.

Thankfully, there currently exists a broad range of household cleaners, laundry detergents, and fabric cleaners to combat these issues and kill bacteria!

My favorite laundry detergent to kill bacteria is Lysol Laundry Sanitizer Additive.

By favorite I mean it’s the best one based on reviews and analyzation of its ingredients. I haven’t actually used it, yet. I told y’all that I don’t wash my thrift clothes before wearing them like I should.

But even if you do not disinfect your preowned fabrics and household items, growing up in a place close to nature and surrounded by animals is not only beneficial for our bodies, but it also strengthens our mental health”. This conclusion was drawn based on the effects drawn from a study done by researchers from University of Ulm and University of Colorado Boulder.

The study studied the immune and stress indicators in a group of 40 males between the ages of 20 and 40. In the study half the men grew up in the country and the other half in the city.

The results that came out were unexpected. The group of men who grew up in the city showed significantly higher levels of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), a known immune system component which appears when a person is under stress.

The group raised in the country also evidenced stronger immune systems as a result of higher levels of commensal bacteria.

According to Science Daily commensal bacteria is described as “most species are harmless or perform beneficial functions, such as aiding digestion”.

Bacteria is able to live and be transferred via fabrics therefore the benefits of commensal bacteria on articles of clothing will be transferred to you!

So would you wash your thrift finds? Or let the bacteria wash all over your body?

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The Twinkie of the thrift store

So quite a few posts ago I affectionately crowned flannel shirts the”roach of the thrift store”. I crowned them that due to their presence in EVERY thrift store and home in America.

Well, roaches have to eat and I imagine that if roaches had a choice they would eat twinkies.

Twinkies are creamy, sweet, and taste good.

Get your mind out of the gutter! We’re talking about Twinkies here!

Roaches and twinkies are a lot alike. They would both survive a nuclear disaster, their prevalent in most homes, and they taste good fried.

They would definitely date each other, and like praying mantis roaches would eat the twinkie after they got it on.

So it’s only fair to speak about the twinkie of the thrift store after speaking on the love of it’s life the roach of it. Not speaking on it would be like talking about Romeo and no Juliet, Milk and no cereal, peanut butter and no jelly.

So the twinkie of the thrift store is the mom jean.

Mom jeans are a part of popular culture. They’ve been everywhere from the white house to the rhythm nation tour. The mom jean gets around πŸ˜‰

Something about moms is alluring. Ask the billions of kids under ten who can’t live without them. Hell, ask anyone under 25! My mom was out here holding it down with the home cooked meals up until a few years ago.

Moms are superheroes, and people like to dress like superheros. I can’t walk down the street without seeing at least five Ms. Incredible wannabes.



Moms will hit you with the power of bringing home the bacon, cooking the bacon, and then being the bacon. All while being cute.

Sounds like a superhero to me!

The amazing wardrobe staple called the mom jean can be found at a thrift store near you. Also real twinkies can be found at a grocery store near you. Or your pantry. Or if you are “one of those” in your fridge.

Do you own a pair of mom jeans?

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Reasons why Thrifting is good for the environment (and you!)

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Ahhhh 2018 :).  This will forever be the year of colored hair and vegans.  The year in which reducing carbon footprints are prioritized and recycling is almost mandatory.  The year were you will be canceled for putting your  groceries in a plastic bag and Earth Day is bigger than Easter in some cities.  (sidenote-Easter is my favorite holiday, it’s so chill!).

Everything is getting a green tint, why not dye your wardrobe green?  I don’t mean literally dye your clothes green.  Green ain’t for everybody.

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So if you can’t  pull of the color green, don’t fret!  You can turn your wardrobe green in another, more important, way.  You can actively get your wardrobe from an environmentally conscious place, thrift stores!  So following are 5 reasons why thrift stores are good for the environment and society, also included are the reasons why thrifting is good for self.

Reduces waste and pollution

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Landfills are full of clothing that is thrown away instead of being reused.   According to the Environment Select Committee textile waste had risen from 7% of total waste to 30% in the last five years, claiming the rise of fast fashion chains were to blame for the phenomenon.  Americans, specifically, are to blame for filling landfills with thousands of pounds each year in clothing waste.  This significant increase in textile waste contributing to the over indulged landfills can be reduced by eliminating the throwing away of used clothing and by buying and reselling clothing secondhand.

Directly benefits charity

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Most of us would love to volunteer at an animal shelter or feed the hungry in a soup kitchen line, but with our hectic schedules volunteering directly is out of reach.  Thankfully for less than a dollar a day you can help someone in need; and no, I am not talking about those big eyed precious dogs on that commercial.

I’m talking about people and organizations!  (Organizations that could possibly include the SPCA, which the big eyed Eyes of an Angel commercial is for.  I found that out in my research,  I can’t be the only one who had no idea what that commercial was actually for lol).  Most thrift stores are directly associated with a charity organization.  Also notable is the fact that Goodwill employs differently abled people!  They don’t just claim that they do then actually don’t, like every other organization.

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 Reduces the high costs of production

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As beautiful as it is to think that clothes just appear out of thin air and then appear in stores for us to buy that is not true.  The truth is that an article of clothing, regardless of price, requires large amounts of time and manpower as well as materials from various countries to produce.  In addition to that high costs related to transport are also associated with that. Teleportation of clothing items is not an option (yet).  The environmental costs associated with producing an item are significant, those costs are eliminated when buying  an item secondhand at a thriftstore.

Promotes diversity among aesthetics

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In a world where every other person is rocking a babydoll top from H&M  it’s easy to feel like everyone looks the same.  When still victim to the world of fast fashion I felt as if I was a citizen in a dystopian novel where people had to wear uniforms.  The costume set for women was a pair of skinny jeans and a plain cotton top, preferably babydoll.  I was faced constantly by this de facto uniform that muted the diversity amongst individuals.  Luckily thrift stores came along.  With the advent of thrifting one can stand out outwardly as much as they do internally. 

Thrifting is a cheap form of self-care

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Self-care is important.  Self-care is defined by Psych Central as “any activity that we deliberately do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health”.  The number one activity falling into this category for many of us is shopping!  Unfortunately, shopping often isn’t exactly good for the wallet.  When a self-care binge leads you to not being able to afford your rent it leads one to question how beneficial it is.  Fortunately,thrifting offers you a way to satisfy your need for self-care through shopping and also be able to pay your cellphone bill so that you can snap photos of you looking cute in your new clothes!

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How to resell thrift store items and make money part 2

So you read part 1 of the series titled How to sell items at a thrift store for profit and used the tips you got from that article to buy some items that you now wish to sell!  Congratulations you are now on the next step!  So now that you have the items you need to know where you can sell them, luckily that information can be found below as the 6 best reselling vendors to use are listed below.

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A common debate among resellers is whether it is better to sell clothes on Mercari or Postmark.  I, personally, am on the fence about that debate as I like buying and selling on both apps.  There are obvious benefits to selling on Poshmark.  Among them is the fact that shipping costs are covered by the buyer.  This alleviates a lot of stress on behalf of the seller.  Another plus is that Poshmark allows you share pieces in your closet with possible buyers.  It’s like free advertising!  A negative aspect of the site is that Poshmark takes 20% of your sales revenue, forcing you to have to raise prices to account for this.

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I personally have found the greatest success in selling nostalgic items such as toys and the now extinct Barnum Animal Cracker box (RIP) as I have found the electronics market to be oversaturated with items and the clothing section to be so full of extremely cheap, fast fashion items that sellers are not willing to pay more than $10.00.  However, Ebay does come equipped with an easy to use site as well as international name recognition that offers buyers hailing from countries other than just the USA.

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On Mercari you can sell any item, from clothing to electronics!  I have noticed, however, that clothing seems to sell faster on this app.  That leads me to another point, Mercari is only available as an app and not a website.  Therefore you do not have the option of listing items from your computer.  Also of note is the fact that Mercari is VERY strict, the app will kick you off for something as simple as using stock photos.  Thankfully the app does not take a share of your earnings allowing you to keep all revenue for yourself.

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This is also an app on your phone that you can download which is akin ti Craigslist.  You are able to meet buyers and sell to them directly in person.

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This store is kind of like Craigslist in that you list pieces of furniture then the buyer come to you to get it and pays you for it directly.  There is no middle man involved meaning that revenue for the seller is usually higher as it has no fees to account for.

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Snupps is an app that really combines eBay and social media.  It’s like if Facebook and Ebay had a baby that child would be Snupps.  Snaps allows you to connect your Ebay store so that those interested in purchasing an item can also do so from there.  Soups also has a really cool feature called groups.  It allows you to create a group with a theme and people who want to buy or sell or just interested in that theme can join the group and post there.

What are your favorite places to sell your finds?

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How to resell thrift store items and make money part 1

In part one I want to list the best items to resell

A great way to make some extra cash is by reselling thrift store items on a platform like Ebay or Postmark for a profit.  Many people have done this successfully over the years.  One such person who has found success in this venture is  Alexandra Marques. She makes $5,000 per month reselling clothes and accessories on Poshmark.

Now reselling items is even easier with the emergence of  online thrift stores.  This alleviates the stress of having to tug yourself and maybe a couple little ones through a crowded store.  Now you can relax with a glass of wine and peruse online for items to buy and resell.  Below is a list of the top 8 items to buy and resell at thrift stores.

1. Name Brand Clothing

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A lot of people want name brands and the perceived elevated status that wearing them will bring but do not want to spend the loads of money that name brand clothing typically requires.  Luckily there are some people who sell name brand clothing items for half the price that one could buy them at a department store.  One of those people will be you soon!

Name brand clothing is also really high-selling because many buyers specifically look for items from a particular brand.

2. Video Games

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Video games or toys can be so nostalgic.  A game of Pokemon yellow on your Gameboy color can bring up warm memories of spending weekends at your grandmas house :).  What was your first or favorite video game as a child?  Was it for Atari?  Nintendo 64? Gameboy color?  The answer doesn’t really matter, what does is that a lot of people would pay large sums of money for those memories.  Thankfully their desires can be fulfilled through online vendors who purchase older video games at thrift stores and resell them.

3.Mugs

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According to the Motley Fool on average Americans spend $929 on gifts per year.  That;s a lot of money spent on “Best dad ever” and “#1 Boyfriend” mugs.  Not to mention those cheesy valentines day mugs stuffed with tissue paper and a stuffed animal on top.  No matter what the holiday, a nice mug makes for a great gift.  A lot of persons opt for a mug making them highly demanded and super profitable when adequately priced.

4. Toys

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A lot like video games toys can play upon nostalgia.  For this reason older toys that are no longer produced have greater selling power.  My mother always quipped about toys from  her childhood that she would pay large sums of money for.  I don’t particularly have a nostalgic connection to any toys other than games for the Gameboy or Nintendo 64, do you?

5. Plates

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Collectible plates are a big thing and collectors will pay large sums to add to their collection.  Thrift stores have loads of dinnerware in their inventory.  Although one may view a Disney plate for .25 cents undesirable that plate may be apart of a collection and a plate collector might be willing to pay hundreds of dollars for that .25 cent plate.  Plates are really profitable.

6. Clothing with tags

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The number one rule of thrift store flipping is that if it has a tag, buy it.  You can list the item as new with tags and it will fetch a much higher price than that same item without tags.  There is actually a large group of buyers who only buy clothing with tags.

7.  Books and Textbooks

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I purchased all of my books in college from thrift stores.  Thrift stores are great places to find textbooks as students donate them without knowing their resale value and thrift stores tend to sell them at a really low price.  Book collections are also really great sellers.  Book lots that are subject themed or contain a series are really great sellers.  Book collectors are pretty serious about books they want.  I know because I am one.  I once as in a bid war for a Cirque du Freak box set that went up to $300!

8. Sporting Equipment

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Sporting Equipment is expensive, so many look at online retailers to buy sporting equipment.  Sporting goods are also great to sell in lots.  Rather then sell everything individually it is better to sell a “softball bundle” or “football starter kit” etc. with everything needed.  It’s a hassle to go around looking for cleats on one site, pads on another etc,  Getting to buy everything in one fell swoop os relieving!

Tune in for part 2 to discover more tips on reselling items!

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Aliexpress is far from crappy

At work one day I overheard a coworker ask another coworker how were the products on Aliexpress.  She responded that they were crappy and then proceeded to show her online examples of the product failures received by patrons of  Alieepress.  Upon hearing her response of “crappy” in response to the question posed of how was Alieexpress I strongly disagreed, I have had nothing but positive experiences from them and have referred numerous friends to them with success.  I disagreed but I did not say anything because that’s how you get your wig split, jumping into other people’s conversations.  I was taught to eavesdrop in silence πŸ˜‰.

So as I eavesdropped others joined in on the roast of Aliexpress.  Common admonishmenat stated were that you could only buy poor quality knockoff club dresses and shoes from the site.  As I listened to them in my wig from aliexpress it dawned on me that many do not know how great alieexpress is or the vast array of products they sell.  A need to eradicate that fueled this post!  So here are 7 things you can buy on Alieexpress that are awesome!

1. Wigs and Weaves

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I am an avid buyer of hair from Aliexpress.  I faithfully brought bundles from the website from 2012-2016.  I started buying weave my Junior year of college and transitioned to wigs during my second year of graduate school and of course I went to Aliexpress for my needs.  Hair quality varies on Aliexpress based on seller.  So in the beginning of your journey there are a lot of hits and misses.  But once you find the perfect hair for cheap all you’re searching will be well; worth it.

 

2. Jewelry

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Aliexpress of course offers a wide variety of jewelry options.  This is nice because jewelry trends come and go faster than Usain Bolt.  Last year minimalist jewelry was everywhere, the year before that all you could find were jewelry pieces that made you look like a dominatrix or prisoner, and back in my day it was all about statement jewelry. If you are just riding jewelry trend chances are you don’t want to spend too much on pieces anyway.  I buy ALL of my jewelry on Aliexpress and frankly have never been let down.  The quality of the metals used to craft the jewelry is akin to that of any fast fashion store but the crafting is a lot better because many manufacturers on Alieexpress are small home-based businesses that really care about providing a good product.

3.   Knockoff Bags

There are a lot of mixed feelings about knockoff purses and wallets.  There are many who have moral reasons for not wanting to buy knockoffs as they consider knockoffs to be physical representation of theft from an artist.  Then on the other hand you have people like me, those girls with champagne tastes on a beer budget; and that’s who knockoff purses are made for!  We can have a Birkin and still have coin left to treat ourselves to Ihop ;}.

4. Winter Jackets

Those who live in places where it actually gets cold will probably disagree on my Screenshot 2018-08-10 12.21.52assertion that Aliexpress has really cute and warm winter jackets, but I live in New Orleans and they work for me.  The coats and jackets on Aliexpress are cute and comfortable. I was able to get three coats and a scarf for the price of what I would pay for one coat!

 

 

 

5. Sweaters

Warm and comfy sweaters are one of those things that you don’t realize you need until Screenshot 2018-08-10 12.06.26you have one, like socks.  Sweaters are the socks of outer garments.  They are not appreciated until they are there.  Sweaters are also really great gifts.  Last christmas I purchased about 10 random sweaters with phrases like “Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal” and assorted memes and gave them as presents.  The best part was that I could give awesome and memorable presents for cheap.

Aliexpress is not only good for joke sweaters but fashionable ones as well!  I have purchased many sweaters from the site, my favorite being the one in the image to the right!

What’s your favorite thing to buy on Aliexpress?

 

 

 

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How to find luxury items at the thrift store

 

So most of us are familiar with the “urban legend” of finding a luxury item in a pile of Mens tee shirts and children socks at Goodwill.  Stories of finding Birkin bags or Loubotins at a thrift store are commonly dismissed as aspirational stories that could never possibly happen.  But that phenomenon has happened frequently in the past and can happen to you! To learn how to make that happen click read more.


Tips to finding expensive items at thrift stores

Go often

A lot of thrift stores stock their racks daily.  Hidden treasures get scooped up quickly most times on

the same day that they are put out.   To increase your chances of finding a hidden treasure you’ll want to peruse the racks daily.

Check ALL of the racks

Many of us are guilty of “hiding” a clothing item that we want intending to come back for it later.  It’s not uncommon to find a nice pair of jeans on the rack with Mens shirts or a pretty dress in the pajamas section.  Just as it is common for persons to hide regular beautiful items it is also common for them to hide luxury items.  So comb through the pajamas rack, you never know what hidden treasure you may find.

Bring a snack

With going often and having to comb through all the racks you will probably find yourself losing patience and getting cranky.  With these ailments you are less likely to have the patience to adequately search and may overlook good finds.  The best cure for the cranks is food.  So when you feel it coming combat it with some peanut butter crackers or an apple.

Become friends with the workers

Talk to the workers and become friends with them, then divulge what specific luxury items you are looking for.  Then when those items come into the store they are likely to save it just for you.  This tip probably comes off as a bit manipulative, and that’s because it is.  Thrifting successfully is a sport, and as with most sports you have to get dirty during games, and if making a new friend is the dirtiest you will get then so be it.  Take that chance.

Take a friend

Shop for each other!  They take one half of the store and you take the other.  You guys meet in the middle and together you comb the entire store.

Location

Shop in a thrift store that’s in a location with a high income bracket.  Thrift stores stock merchandise donated locally, and if the residents in the local area have the coin to buy and tire of a pair of Loubotins it is more likely that you will find them at their thrift store!

Go to Estate Sales

Estate sales are basically bourgeois garage sales.  Someones classy grandma moves to a home in Florida and her kids do not have the space for all her stuff so they sell it in an estate sale!  Estate sales are awesome because rarely does the seller go through the items beforehand to pick out the valuables.  The result is all these great, high-end items going for unimaginably low prices.

Look at furniture items

More specifically the large furniture.  Like in estate sales the new owners do not typically have room to house the furniture and therefore do not look it over thoroughly before  e donating it to the local thrift shop.  As a result you can find some nice antique furniture items for a fraction of what you would pay for them at a furniture store.  Remember that grandma from the estate sale?  She had a china cabinet.  And her family made beautiful one of a kind carvings in it, like in The Piano Lesson.  Think of finding that gem!  And if you’re like me and have nowhere to put it you can sell it and use your profits to buy that Birkin😜.

What are your favorite finds at a thrift store?

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Best sewing machine for thrifting projects

You have been on the hunt for a pair of high-rise flared denim jeans without embellished back pockets.  You can imagine how great they will look on you.  Not to mention how fashion forward they will be!  You have seen them in all the high-fashion magazines and street wear blogs and know they are about to be mainstream.  You are determined to rock them before they become mainstream, because when things become mainstream that signals the beginning of the end.  You want to nurse a newborn, not a grown man.  This jeans will be your newborn.  So determined to find them you scour the racks of every clothing store within a 30 mile radius.  You spend hours frantically combing through jeans then your desperation leads you to search the clearance aisles.  Still no luck.  Finally you admit defeat and conclude that you will never find  pair of high rise flared denim jeans without embellished back pockets.


Sad you decide to get a throw away cheap shirt that you can cry in and spill ice cream on.

To find that shirt you go to the thrift shop next to the mall.  You enter the shop and as if it was meant to be the  perfect pair of  pair of high-rise flared denim jeans without embellished back pockets stares at you.  The chorus to Sias song Chandelier starts plying and suddenly the imaginary camera crew around you is spinning.

  

It’s like faith when you find that perfect pair of jeans.  You start crying but not the sad tears you anticipated but happy ones.

You run to look at the jeans closely and upon further inspection are blown away by how close to perfection the really are.  The medium wash fabric as well as the use of three buttons to close the pants are exactly what you are looking for.  The pants are in your size!  Ahhh everything is perfect.  Except for one thing.  The perfect jeans are too long! What are you going to do?!

If you are a regular thrifter chances are you’ve encountered the problems above.  I have encountered them plenty of times!  Unfortunately, I was not blessed with speedy fingers that can hem a pair of pants in 5 minutes or sew some decorative buttons on a plain blazer etc.  I also was not blessed with the financial ability to fork out $100+ on a sewing machine.  Oh, and I wasn’t blessed with space.  So what WAS I blessed with???  The superpower of finding a way 😎.  


So I found this super cheap, tiny, sewing machine that is absolutely perfect for adjustments to clothing found at thrift stores.  The sewing machine is titled the iBoost Portable Sewing Machine and I purchased it on Amazon for 18.99! (oh yeah this post is not sponsored).  The best part of this sewing machine is that its battery operated!  So you don’t have to run up your electric bill taking in the waist of a pair of pants from the thrift store.  The ability to alter items gives me the ability to not have to worry about whether clothes are too big or too long.  The freedom has given me the opportunity to purchase brilliant pants, blazers, and shit from the men’s section as well as awesome women pieces in larger sizes.  A sewing machine enabled me to take my thrifting to the next level.  The iBoost enabled me to level up while staying in my budget.  So, in the words of Ciara, level up.

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