Thriftiquette: Thrift Store Etiquette Primer

It is important to remember that although we are on the hunt, we are not savages. There are some basic rules of etiquette to follow when thrifting. Why follow these rules? Well, because there is such a thing as consumer karma, and indeed thrifting karma. If you want the Thrifting Gods to smile down upon you with that first edition classic or perfect dress you've been looking for, you absolutely must play by the rules and respect your fellow thrifters.

Grab a basket or cart. Although it may seem cumbersome, you're not doing anyone and favors dropping items on the floor that you may end up walking away from and getting in other shoppers' way because you're fumbling with your items. If you don't end up grabbing much or walking out with it, it's not a big deal.

Don't haggle. Some places it may be okay like flea markets or certain antique stores, but don't do it in a thrift store. Keep in mind that most thrift stores benefit a charity. Do you really want to be that guy who says, "hey, I know that the $2 I'm paying for this will go to helping a kid fighting cancer, but instead of two, could we make it a buck-fifty?"

Don't hide things. Don't hide your items in random racks so that you can come back and find it later. It's not in the spirit of the hunt. If you need a cart, grab a cart, but don't abandon items and hide them from the view of a potential new home. If you really cared that much, you'd either take the item home or place it on hold, if the store will allow you to do so. Otherwise just put it back and hope it's there later. That is how you respect the thrift gods.

Don't snatch from other people's unattended carts. It's mean, unsportsmanlike, and low. It's stealing the food on someone else's plate.

Don't go Commando. There is a fair chance you will be trying things on. Do not go without sufficient underthings, if not for everyone else's sake then for your own. That means no thongs. Go for the granny panties.

Don't eat in the store. You don't want to soil anything in there with your french-fry-oiled hands. Eat before or after and always wash your hands. As far as drinking I'd stick to water, maybe a lemonade or juice, but soda and coffees are typically not okay. If you bring a drink in, make sure it's resealable. Stores themselves typically have a policy on this as well.

Doesn't matter when you saw it. First person to grab an item gets it. You may respectfully attempt to negotiate with whom ever has gotten the item first, but don't hassle them.
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