What is thrifting? The Thrift Stores Meaning Explained

by Janelle Bernard

The hunt for the perfect wardrobe piece, furniture item, or vintage collectible can be an exciting adventure, and thrifting offers the perfect opportunity to find what you're looking for. But what is thrifting exactly? 

Thrifting is a unique form of shopping for gently used items at discounted prices, usually from thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces. These items are usually in great condition and have plenty of useful life left.

What is a thrift store?

A thrift store is a type of retail store that specializes in selling unique pre-owned goods, which are often donated by individuals or organizations. The items are usually sold at a lower price than what one would find at a traditional retail store.

There are various types of thrift stores, each with a specific focus or specialty. Some stores may cater to a particular demographic or may specialize in selling certain types of goods such as clothing, jewelry, furniture, antiques, books, or electronics. 

Oftentimes, thrift stores are associated with charities and other nonprofit organizations as a way to raise funds and support their causes. At GiveRise, every purchase made from peer-to-peer marketplace profits supports a charity or cause of your choice.

In addition to the cost savings associated with thrifting, responsible shopping is also a major perk of this activity. Thrift stores offer shoppers the chance to reduce their environmental footprint by opting for second-hand items instead of new ones, which could otherwise end up in a landfill

The thrifting experience can be incredibly rewarding, both for the seller and the buyer. As a seller, you'll get the satisfaction of giving back to your community and potentially helping those in need. As a buyer, you'll get the satisfaction of finding a great deal on an item you love while also doing good for your community. 

what is thrifting?

What makes thrift shops different from regular stores?

The difference between thrift shops and regular stores lies in the type of items they stock. Items for sale at thrift shops are pre-owned, donated or vintage. These items often have a unique look or style that makes them one-of-a-kind and special. Regular stores usually carry items that are new or factory-made and are significantly more expensive than thrift shop items.

The thrift shop also offers a unique shopping experience. You never know what you might find as each item is unique and has its own story. Shopping is more about discovery and less about following trends, which makes it a more fun and interesting experience. When you visit a thrift shop, you don't necessarily know if you'll find what you're looking for, but it's often a pleasant surprise when you do. You buy an item that has a history, that speaks to you, and that is special in its way.

For regular stores, the focus is more on buying items that are in fashion or trendy, which can often be very expensive. The shopping experience is generally less personal and unique. In contrast, thrift stores offer a more affordable and sustainable way to shop for clothes and other items.

Who shops at thrift shops?

Everyone shops at thrift stores! From fashionistas to bargain hunters, thrifting appeals to a wide range of shoppers. Those looking for quality pieces at a lower cost often find what they need at thrift stores, while others are drawn to the unique items available. Some people even make a hobby out of thrifting, as it can be quite entertaining to browse the racks and uncover hidden gems.

Shoppers at GiveRise come from all walks of life and have different reasons for shopping thrift. Some people value the environmental impact of thrifting, while others are looking to save money. Others are in search of one-of-a-kind items or vintage pieces that can't be found anywhere else. You are likely to find six types of people in our marketplace:

  • Community-minded shoppers looking to help those in need
  • Fashionistas searching for stylish items at a discount
  • Bargain hunters who are always on the look-out for a deal
  • Thrifters looking to find unique items
  • Vintage collectors hunting down long-forgotten treasures
  • Environmental advocates looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Everyone has their reason for shopping thrift, but the common thread between us all is that we are passionate about finding great deals and helping our community! And the best part is there are rarely duplicates of the same items at thrift stores, so you can be sure that whatever you find is unique and special.

thrift stores meaning

Why are more people thrifting? Is it a trend or a fad?

Thrifting has become part of the modern lifestyle for many people. It has become trendy to buy a pre-loved item, and finding the unique item that no one else has is a thrill for some. Now when you browse your social media feeds, you see people sharing their thrift store finds, sharing their tips on how to spot a great deal, and creating looks that combine thrifted pieces with high-end items.

Thrifting is not only about the fashion demographic; there are also people making a living from purchasing furniture and upcycling them into beautiful pieces of art. We are sure you have seen on Pinterest and other platforms how people are taking furniture items from thrift stores and making them look brand new.

And with the growing awareness of sustainability and eco-friendly practices, thrifting has become an attractive lifestyle choice for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Shopping at thrift stores means that fewer clothes and items have to be produced, which significantly reduces the number of natural resources used. Yes, this is the spirit of thrifting - and it looks like it is here to stay.

Therefore, thrifting is more than just a trend or a fad. It has become a way of life for many people, and it's also a great way to save money, find unique items, and express your creativity. At GiveRise, we are passionate about helping our community and providing a great shopping experience for our customers. So, why not come join us and start your thrifting journey today?

What can you buy at a thrift store?

Different thrift stores may have different item selections, but in general, you can expect to find clothing items, accessories, books and movies, furniture and home décor items, kitchenware, toys, and other miscellaneous items.

At GiveRise, our selection of pre-loved items is ever-changing. You will find a selection of carefully curated items with great quality and prices. Here is a list of items we accept and sell:

  • Apparel: Men's, women's, and children's clothing
  • Accessories: Bags, jewelry, hats, and scarves
  • Shoes: Athletic shoes, sandals, boots, and heels
  • Home Furnishings: Living room furniture, kitchen items, décor items
  • Books & Movies: Novels, textbooks, DVDs, and video games
  • Toys: Dolls, action figures, board games, and puzzles
  • Electronics: Cell phones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles
  • Beauty & Wellness: Skincare, hair products, makeup, and fragrances 
  • Arts & Handcrafts: Paintings, sculptures, and handmade items.
  • Vintage & Antiques: Collectibles, antiques, and rare finds

what is a thrift store

Is there a good time to go to a thrift shop?

Regular stores have dedicated inventory delivery and stocking days, but thrift stores rely on donations which can come in any day and any time. The workers may try to make sure the shelves are stocked with fresh items, but at the same time, they must also deal with what comes into the store. So, what is the best time to go thrifting?

There is no specific day that's best to go to a thrift store, but if you want to be a strategic thrift store shopper, the trick is to go often. With inventory continually changing and restocking, you can find something new each time you visit the thrift store. Try to make a habit of going every week or two, and you will be surprised by what you can find.

There is no assurance that you will find what you are looking for every time you go thrifting, but what makes this activity so much fun is that you never know what you might find. There may be times when you may not find anything that interests you, but on different occasions, you may end up leaving with bags full of amazing finds. That's what makes thrifting so exciting!

Benefits of shopping thrifted items 

1. Reduce waste:

Going green and reducing waste are two main reasons why people get into thrifting. Buying pre-owned items instead of new ones keep them out of landfills, meaning less waste and a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. In addition, thrifting gives a second life to what might otherwise have been discarded, making it one of the most sustainable forms of shopping.

Canadian Fashion Report calls thrifting "the original sustainable fashion movement." Fashion blogger, Estee LALONDE explains that "Thrifting is a great way to combat what's called 'fast fashion,' which is the process of using cheaper fabrics, less intricate sewing techniques, and lower-quality materials to produce clothing quickly and cheaply."

Manufacturing, packaging, and distributing new items consume more energy and resources than what is needed when second-hand items are sold. This makes thrifting a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

2. Your purchases go towards a charity

Many thrift stores exist to serve the local community and not necessarily generate profits for stockholders. Many thrift stores are operated by churches, non-profit organizations, and charities. The money raised at these stores often goes to local charities or helps support a good cause, so when you shop thrifted items, you're helping local communities in more ways than one.

For every purchase you make at GiveRise, a minimum of 5% of the sale will be donated to one of our partnered charities. You can choose what charity to donate your purchase to, or you can let us decide on your behalf of you. We are an online thrift store that aims to make a difference in the lives of those in need, and what better way to do it than thrift shopping for what you need?

3. Get what you want at an affordable price

The thrill of the hunt for what you want is what makes thrifting so satisfying. And with quality pieces at deeply discounted prices, it's easy to stay on budget. Thrifting can be a great way to stretch your dollars and still have the satisfaction of getting what you want.

You can save on clothing, home décor, furniture, art, and more. You might even be able to find what you want for a fraction of what it would normally cost. Plus, you can often find items that are no longer available in stores, making your thrift finds even more unique. Thrifting is all about the treasure hunt, and what you find can be a real winner.

4. Get creative

When it comes to thrifting, what you do with what you find is half the fun. You can use what you find to reinvent what you already own. With the ability to customize what you find and make it your own, thrifting allows for a lot of creativity. It helps you break away from what everyone else is wearing, and what you find can be something no one else has.

thrifting meaning

Thrifting also allows you to stay on trend without breaking the bank. With new trends come higher prices, but what you find at a thrift store can keep your wardrobe up-to-date without the hefty price tag. So while others are buying what everyone else is wearing, you can be thrifting something unique to express your style.

5. Thrifting sets you up for some great DIY projects

Thrifting isn't just about what you can find in the store, it's also about what you can do with what you find. A well-rounded thrifter knows what they can do to rework what they have or what to look for that can be easily modified. Whether you're looking to upcycle what you have or create something new from what you find, thrifting can be a great source of what you need.

From transforming a sweater into a pillowcase or giving an old dresser a makeover, thrifting can provide what you need to create what you want. With a bit of creativity, what you find can be exactly what you've been looking for.

6. You can be a part of something bigger

People are making a living by thrifting, and what you find can be what you need to make it happen for yourself. From building on what's already out there to creating what's never been seen before, what you find can help get your project off the ground.

Thrifting also offers an opportunity to be a part of something bigger, by helping those in need. As mentioned before, what you buy can help support a charity or non-profit organization, which is what GiveRise is all about. By shopping what you need, what you buy can help those who are less fortunate. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved, from what you buy, to what you donate.

consignment shopping


 Does thrift mean cheap?

Thrift does not necessarily mean cheap. Thrift is more about being mindful of expenses and spending money on necessary items that can bring value not only to your life but to the lives of others. It is about being resourceful and making sure that every penny spent is used in a wise and meaningful way.

What mistakes can one make while thrift shopping?

The biggest mistake one can make while thrift shopping is not checking the items thoroughly before buying them. It's also easy to get carried away with shopping, so it's best to set a budget and stick to it. Other common mistakes include not reading the size labels properly, not inspecting items for defects or damages, and not trying on clothes before buying.

Is thrifting actually good?

Yes! Thrifting is often considered to be a great way to save money and reduce waste. It promotes sustainability by reusing items and reducing the number of new products that are being produced. Thrifting also allows you to find unique pieces at a fraction of the cost and it gives back to your community by supporting local thrift stores.

Why is thrifting so addictive?

Thrifting offers a sense of adventure as you never know what kind of treasures you may come across in any given thrift store. So when you find something unique, it is satisfying. The thrill of finding unique items that no one else has is what makes thrifting so addictive!

Do you wash clothes after thrift shopping?

Yes, it is always a good idea to wash any clothes that you purchase from a thrift store before wearing them. This will help reduce the chances of bringing home germs and bacteria that could make you sick. Washing your clothes will also help remove any unpleasant odours from the items. It's an extra step, but it is worth the peace of mind!

Can thrift shopping be done online?

Shopping has never been easier with the rise of online shopping and there are plenty of websites that specialize in thrift shopping. At GiveRise, we provide a platform that makes it easy to find what you're looking for, all from the comfort of your own home. You can shop for all your second-hand needs without ever having to leave the house. It's a great way to save money and do good at the same time.


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