With hundreds of stores stacked on top of each other, the fast-paced consumerism and loads of people can make mall shopping an overwhelming venture. Shopping at thrift stores — instead of the mall — not only saves you money, but is also a much calmer event. But the rules and etiquette of the mall do not translate to thrift stores. Below are several do’s and don’ts of thrift shopping that every consignment consumer should take note of.

Make a lap around the store before starting

Before the thrifting begins, it’s important to get the lay of the land. Taking a lap around the store lets you learn where all of the sections are, what’s in all of the aisles and where the dressing rooms are located. On this quick walk-through, scout out items that look particularly interesting to you, and find the section where you want to start your thrifting journey.

Look for the discounted area first

In many thrift and consignment stores, there is an area where clothes are even more discounted from their already marked-down prices. The best pieces in this discount pile usually go the fastest, so it’s important to get to them as quickly as you can. Then you can compare anything else you find to the clearance clothes, and see if they’re worth the extra money.  

Carry around items you’re thinking about purchasing

When you find something you really like, keep it with you while you continue shopping. Though your arms may tire out as your pile grows, it’s worth it to keep wardrobe contenders close by. This way, they won’t be taken by another shopper with similar taste. Carrying around potential buys also allows you to look at them for a longer amount of time to decide if you really want them or not.

Don’t go in with a list or an agenda

Going into a thrift store with a list or a specific idea of what you want can lead to disappointment and frustration. When thrift shopping, it’s better to go in with a completely open mind and no agenda. By doing so, you’ll be able to see the potential in clothes much more easily and not cloud your judgement with ideas of what you wanted before walking into the store.

Don’t talk too loudly or be overly disruptive

The thrift store environment is much different from that of the mall. Instead of rapid consumerism seen in designer stores, thrift shops tend to be much more calm and pensive. Therefore, being too loud could upset other shoppers or create a distraction to the normal thrift store calm.

Don’t be upset if you don’t find anything

Shopping at a thrift store has no guarantees. You are not necessarily going to walk out with an amazing haul. But it’s important not to let this hinder your experience. Part of the fun of shopping at thrift stores is that you never know what you’ll find. The downside to this is that there will be times when you don’t find anything.