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Publish Date: September 20, 2018

Marion's 10 Goodwill Thrifting Tips

Hi, I’m Marion and I’ve loved thrifting since I was 10 years old and moving here to Calgary was really great for this (we don’t have so many second-hand shops in France, especially in Aix en Provence – most of them are ”vintage shops”).

So when Goodwill Alberta proposed I do an Instagram Takeover **  for them and of course I said yes! I already shop a lot at Goodwill, I spend a lot (too much) time on Instagram, and it was an amazing opportunity to help others discover that Goodwill is not only a second-hand shop but also a non-profit social enterprise. The revenue from their sales goes to providing career training and job opportunities for Albertans’ with disabilities.

** An Instagram takeover is the process of taking over someone else’s Instagram account temporarily and sharing content with their audience.

Why I love Shopping at Goodwill

  • It’s fun: You never know what you will find in the store!
  • It’s cheap: come on, why would you pay $80 for jeans when it’s only $10 second-hand?
  • It’s eco-friendly: producing new clothing requires energy and so much water !! Buying second-hand reducing the impact on the planet.
  • As it’s cheap, you can buy some clothes that you wouldn’t afford or wear normally and experiment! (For example for me: fake fur jacket, or green clothes). And if you only wear that red shirt with dots a few times, it’s ok, it was only $3 (and then you can still re-donate it to Goodwill).
  • Clothes are unique: you won’t run into somebody wearing the same piece as you.
  • It’s higher quality: these clothes have already been worn, washed, ironed … and still look good !!!

My 10 my tips for a successful second-hand shopping:

  1. Be ready: Are you looking for something? Make a list.
  2. Budget: How much do you want to spend? Decide a budget and stick to it -  I know it’s hard.
  3. Try and choose the right size. Yes I know, this Chanel wool skirt is amazing, and cost only $15, but if it’s too small (or large) you won’t ever wear it! (Size doesn't always matter: if this large pullover looks good on you, but you're normally a size XS, then go for it!
  4. Use a shopping cart (or a basket) then do a loop around the entire store and grab everything that catches your attention, even if you are not sure about it. Then try everything!
  5. Pay attention to the material: no stain, no hole, they’re are no-go!!!
  6. Patience: don’t be in a hurry, take your time. I do spend a lot of time when I go to Goodwill. I would advise you to have 2 hours in front of you dedicated to your shopping session.
  7. Get comfy:  when you go shopping, wear comfy shoes and outfit, and good underwear (that flatters you).
  8. Know which brands look good on you (for me Banana Republic and Gap).
  9. Take a second look through the shop: you may have missed some treasures!
  10. At the end of your shopping choose what’s worth buying: sometimes I find a lot of nice items, but do I really need a fourth pair of black jeans? The answer is no. Try to buy pieces that will work with your actual wardrobe.

Why I love shopping at Goodwill Chinook store?

  1. The staff is nice and efficient! It’s always nice to shop there!
  2. This shop is big, but not too huge (with 4 changing rooms).
  3. I often find Banana Republic pieces and Gap jeans (1966 – size 27, the ones I wear every day),
  4. It’s nearby the C-Train.
  5. Prices are great!
  6. I feel part of a community as I know that the $ I spent will help people (88.8% of every dollar spent in Goodwill thrift stores goes into programs).
View Marion's Instagram Takeover on Goodwill Alberta's story highlights or follower her account on Instagram @wittymaary for more thrifted fashion inspiration. 
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