Thrift Store Hunting

best tips for thrifting high end items

best tips for thrifting high end items

On my first thrift trip ever, I was not holding out much hope for fining anything spectacular. I walked around aimlessly for a while, overwhelmed on where to start. I finally found myself near a rack of purses and I decided to poke around to see what I could find. After looking for a few minutes I stumbled across a vintage Chanel bag. DEAD. ASS. SERIOUS. I squealed and inspected it from top to bottom in utter shock of my amazing find. My joy turned a bit cold when I realized this purse was going to be out of my price range. I quickly searched for a price tag and to my disbelief it was listed for $2.00. I blinked to make sure it didn’t read $200.00, but nope it was $2.00!! Holy Cow! I wanted to leap through the roof! I ran to the register paid for my treasure and went to sit in the car waiting for my friend to come out so we could leave. The first person I called was a college girlfriend of mine who bragged constantly of all the amazing things she was able to find in thrift stores. She was floored and a bit jealous and that made me smile. This purse was my show piece and I’ve only worn it out once in all the years I’ve had it. This was the moment I became hooked to shopping in the thrift stores!

About 3 years ago I was looking at a show that talked about how to spot fake high end designer items and when the segment on Chanel came up, I jumped up and ran to get my bag to follow along. After about 30 seconds I came to realize my bag was a FAKE!!! I couldn’t believe it and I actually tossed the bag to the floor; I mean it’s not real anyway! I still have have to bag but I’ve never been able to look at the same way again.

Vowing to never have this happen to me again, I took the time to learn how to spot designer knock offs. Now I’m no expert but I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that have helped me not make the same mistake of the past.

  1. Do Your Research! The internet has a wealth of information for helping people make informed decisions regarding high end designer items. I recently purchased a Christian Dior coat but before I did, I went on YouTube to be sure it was the real deal! Sites like Purse Blog include a special section called the PURSE FORUM where you can post pictures and get feedback from others on the authenticity of your bag. If you are buying high end designer items second hand out of a thrift shop, its very important to be well versed on what to look for and how to spot a fake; so PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD do you research!!!
  2. Ask Store Employees! This can be hit or miss at times, but just simply asking a store employee if the item you want to purchase is authentic can be a lot of help. Many will shy away because they don’t want to take the blame if they say its real and it turns out to be fake but it never hurts to ask.
  3. On the Floor vs. Behind the Desk! For me this is the starting point; if a Gucci bag is just hanging out with other bags, most likely its fake but if that Gucci bag is behind the register or in a case that has to be unlocked by a store employee then there is a chance it could be real. Still do your research but for me this is always a good sign.
  4. Call the Brand! This tip will vary from brand to brand but in some cases you are able to call the brand personally to verify its authenticity. Now I have only found this to work with items that have serial numbers but it is worth a try.
  5. Trust Your Gut! There is no better tip I can give. If the price is too good to be true, if it looks off in someway to you just don’t get it. Don’t risk spending even $2 if the item is fake. Your gut is the best detector of fake high end designer items…and cheating boyfriends lol!

These are just a few tips I have found to be helpful in buying high end designer items in the thrift store. If you have any good tips, share them in the comment section below!



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  1. November 9, 2017 / 10:50 am

    Thats a steal! Always a great day in thrifting when you come up on a expensive piece or brand. I gotta get back to thrifting soon!

    • Shanna
      November 9, 2017 / 10:13 pm

      I know! It makes you feel like superwoman right?!!? Yes, you need to get back into to ASAP!