6 Tips To Make Your Thrift Store Experience A Success

Thrift shop neon sign on brick wall background.


I have been in and around the thrift store business for most of my life.  The evolution of thrifting has changed in so many ways, but the biggest changes is with the stigma.  Thrift stores used to have a negative connotation attached to them and visiting a thrift was not for the price savy customer searching for a deal, or a unique fashion item.  No no!  It used to be the last place that a smart shopper would be seen.  With the introduction of technology, many customers are seeing and hearing about thrift stores and the treasures they offer.  So I’ve decided to share some inside thoughts on how to maximize your thrift store experience, no matter which store is your favorite.


Most thrift stores stock items daily.  That unique, cool, desired item may be placed out for sale on Tuesday and by Wednesday many people have seen it, considered it, and looked it over.  If you want to have a first look for those items, you have to come often.  Some stores rotate inventory fairly quickly so even waiting for an item to go on sale could lead to missing out.  Go often to conduct your hunt and be prepared to act on your find.



Because thrift stores receive so many unique and unusual items, not everything fits on a shelf, hanger, or display.  As such, these cool and unique items may be tucked away in a corner or underneath something that is not of interest.  Some stores sell items in bulk or by the pound and digging with intent is required to be successful.  In the clothing racks, items are usually categorized by gender and type (for example, ladies shorts).  To find that special summer wear, be prepared to look!



Many thrift stores stock items certain days of the week.  If a store ends their oldest sale items on a Sunday, then they start with their newly stocked items Monday.  I find it best to wait until a few days of stocking to get your best chances of success.  By Wednesday (in this scenario), many different items are out and ready to be discovered.  By the end of the week, those items have been seen by other thrifters so learn the turn and try to come in the middle of the stocking process.



Thrift stores will discount in an effort to rotate older inventory to make room for new inventory or to inspire customers to visit.  Customer love to get coupons or specials to make a great deal even better.  If your local thrift store offers a text club, VIP program, or some form of special notification you have to take advantage of this and make your experience even more of a success.  Many stores are offering coupons or specials electronically, so there is no reason you can’t jump on their list to get notified of that special flash sale, weekend discount, or even VIP birthday offer!



Due to the nature of what thrift stores sell, it is difficult for many to offer a return policy.  Without formal inventory processes, the store’s management has limited resources to confirm your reason for returning a particular item or even confirm the actual item is what they sold you.  Learn their rules and respect them.  If they don’t offer returns and don’t offer a fitting room, then be prepared to experience some misses.  If they offer a fitting room take advantage of it.  Many electronic items are difficult to test and warranties are not part of a thrift store’s offering.  Learn your store rules and understand the reasons for them.




Customers who love to thrift, love to have fun.  They love the thrill of the hunt and the euphoria they get when they find something they have always wanted, or something they never knew they wanted but ran across it.  The beauty of a thrift store is that there is no way to know what lies inside until you go in, check it out and have some fun with it.  And following the previous 5 suggestion will only add to that!


Happy Thrifting!!



Shopping Spring Trends at Sunshine Thrift


Spring is just a week away, and it is finally time to bring out the flora’s and put away that winter wear! While the temperatures say it’s already Spring, maybe your Spring wardrobe (like your Spring garden) could need a little tending to. Once a new season starts approaching, I start thinking ahead to what I want to include in my wardrobe for that season. I’m a fashion-lover by nature, so I’m always excited to see what’s on the Spring runways, trends that are emerging, and current styles that might be missing from my closet. My favorite places for inspiration are Vogue, Pinterest, Instagram, and good old-fashioned magazines!

Next, I’ll do a Spring cleaning of my wardrobe, and weed out anything I don’t wear anymore, regardless of season, so I can start with an idea of what I have. I, of course always donate or sell items I’m no longer using. Never throw clothes away when you can help benefit your community and environment by donating used clothes! Then the fun part… shopping at Sunshine Thrift for my Spring wardrobe!

After my Spring fashion researching, I knew what I was looking for on my shopping trip. I came up with a list of Spring trends to find at Sunshine Thrift. The 2019 Spring fashion trends I noted were:

  • Spring colors: lime, marigold, hot magenta
  • Bermuda shorts
  • Ultra-feminine
  • Puff Sleeves
  • Animal Print
  • All cream outfits
  • Ruffles
  • Polka dots
  • Anything 80s
  • Tie Dye
  • Crochet
  • Biker shorts
  • Utility style
  • Scarf print
  • Shells

I went in with some of these ideas, and some outfits I drew inspiration from, and was able to find at least a dozen of these Spring trends in Sunshine Thrift! I ended up putting together 3 looks with 3 of the Spring 2019 trends I found and was really happy that I only spent $25 on 10 pieces! I feel confident knowing I was able to shop all these trends second-hand and not have the same items as everyone else all while supporting a great cause. There’s really no better place than Sunshine Thrift to try out the season’s trends on a budget!

Here are the looks I created! Enjoy, and happy thrift shopping!

Trend: LIME GREEN – Lime green top found at Sunshine Thrift for $6

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Trend: ANIMAL PRINT & LIME – Dress found at Sunshine Thrift for $6

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Trend: BERMUDA SHORTS, ULTRA FEMININE, HOT MAGENTA – Shorts found at Sunshine Thrift for $3

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Written by: Taylor Hawkes
Hi! I’m Taylor, creator of my thrift fashion blog taylormadestyle.com  I’m 25 years old, living in Nashville, TN, with a passion for thrift and vintage. Through my blog, I inspire others to thrift, and most of all, to be bold in cultivating their own personal style. Fashion is limitless! Taylor Made Style is where I share my unique finds and individual style, and discuss all things thrift and vintage, style, and life. Follow me along!

Instagram: @taylor_made_style
Blog: www.taylormadestyle.com

There’s A Sale For Everyone at Sunshine Thrift


Did you know that Sunshine Thrift is the home of the best clothing sales in Florida. We have a sale for everyone; whether you are a veteran in the military, senior, or part of our exclusive text and email club, you can enjoy deep discounts on some of your favorite brands and clothing.  Below we are going to review all the different sales available for you to save when shopping at Sunshine Thrift Stores.


2 Color Tags

know the deal


Every week there are two color tags 50% Off. These colors rotate weekly and ensure that the clothing that has been out the longest gets discounted. This gives you the opportunity to find some gems at deep savings but also makes room for all the new arrivals to fill the racks. You can find which color tags are on sale by visiting our website or at each store.


Senior Discount (Tuesday’s)


Every Tuesday is our Senior Discount. The Senior Discount is one of our most popular sale days and is for anyone 55 years or older. Seniors get to enjoy 25% Off the entire purchase with the exclusion of jewelry and new items. Everything else is fair game, so if you are a senior or know someone who else do not miss out.


Military Discount (Wednesday’s)


Wednesday’s is the day that we honor our Military, Law Enforcement and First Responders with a big sale of 25% Off the entire purchase. Like the Senior Discount, this sale excludes jewelry and new items. This is our newest sale and is growing quickly in popularity. Everyone at Sunshine Thrift wants to extend a big thank you to all of our services men and women.


50% Off All Clothing Sale

50 clothing

Our biggest sale, by far, is the 50% off all clothing sale that happens every month! The Tampa and Bradenton store run this promotion the second Thursday of every month. While the St. Pete store runs this sale the third Thursday of every month.


Text Club

Text Blast Details


When you join our text club you get exclusive access to our biggest sales and deals. Be the first one to know about our Flash Sales by joining the text club. Would you like 50 cent sales on women and kids clothing? If so, this club is for you!


DIY Valentine Sweater

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and it’s time to break out the pink and red! Pink has been trendy for the past few years, but I love any excuse to wear it even more than I already do. From festive sweaters, to girly skirts, it’s the perfect time to break out something a little special to celebrate a Valentine’s Day in style!



Retailers everywhere are coming out with their Valentine’s inspired clothing right now. When I happened upon this sweater  with heart shaped elbow patches, I knew immediately that I needed to DIY it! This is a super simple DIY that only requires you to cut a few things out, and either sew or glue it on a sweater. I’m giving you step by step directions on how to create your own DIY Valentine’s Sweater!

Supplies Needed:
– Sweater
– Scissors
– 1 Piece of Paper
– Felt or Fabric for 2 Heart Patches
– Needle and Thread
– 2 Pins
**Option: If you don’t sew, no problem! Use fabric glue instead of sewing for an even easier DIY.
1. Head to Sunshine Thrift and thrift a sweater! I chose a pink sweater, but white, black, or pink would also work well. You can really mix it up with any colors you want!


2. Start by finding a heart image online. I did a quick search for “heart transparent” and used the image below.


3. Adjust the heart on your computer to the size that fits your sweater and elbows the best, print, and cut out. I had to print and cut a few before I got the right size, so it might take a few tries!

4. Take your piece of felt or fabric and trace two hearts onto the fabric. Cut the hearts out.


5. Try your sweater on, and pin where you want the hearts to hit on the sleeve.



6. Thread your needle and sew your heart elbow patches onto sweater sleeves. I used a running stitch (over-under) because it’s a very simple, easy stitch, and I liked the contrasting of the red thread and white heart against the pink sweater. **If you are opting to use fabric glue instead of sewing, then glue your hearts on, and let it dry.

7. Take out your pins, and your sweater is ready for Valentine’s Day!


I love this DIY because Sunshine Thrift has so many great sweater options, that there’s no way you wouldn’t be able to recreate this! I already had felt to use for the heart elbow patches, so I used that, but I also suggest thrifting the fabric for the heart elbow patches at Sunshine Thrift. They have so many pieces that could be repurposed for the fabric, making Sunshine Thrift a one-stop shop for this DIY!

I styled mine with a white tulle skirt, pink beret, and red boots for a pop of color! It would also be great with a pair of jeans and heels, or even layered under a dress or jumper! If you try this DIY, please tag us on Instagram @sunshine_thrift !


Written by: Taylor Hawkes
Hi! I’m Taylor, creator of my thrift fashion blog taylormadestyle.com  I’m 25 years old, living in Nashville, TN, with a passion for thrift and vintage. Through my blog, I inspire others to thrift, and most of all, to be bold in cultivating their own personal style. Fashion is limitless! Taylor Made Style is where I share my unique finds and individual style, and discuss all things thrift and vintage, style, and life. Follow me along!

Instagram: @taylor_made_style
Blog: www.taylormadestyle.com

Thrift Store Misconceptions

As a thrift blogger, I get some pretty funny reactions when I tell people I buy my clothing from thrift stores. They are in total disbelief and have a genuine surprised look on their faces. Which encouraged me to write this blog to shed some light on some misconceptions there are about thrifting.

Misconception #1 – You can’t find good quality items at thrift stores?

Wrong! You can actually find some amazing pieces in fabulous condition at thrift stores. A majority of my closet is filled with clothing from thrift stores and I only buy clothing in good condition.  I’m not saying everything at thrift stores is perfect and you do need to inspect your selections before purchasing but you can find some great items in excellent condition. Take these dresses for example one is Antonio Melani and the other is Bebe. Both dresses are in fabulous condition.


Misconception #2- You can’t find any name brands at thrift stores?

Thrift stores are filled with some amazing name brands at deeply discounted prices. You have to look but you will find some great name brand clothing, shoes and purses at thrift stores. Take these jeans, for example, Zara, Hollister and Banana Republic. All three of these jeans are on trend and no one would know you did not pay retail for them.


Misconception #3- You can only find outdated clothing at thrift stores?

That is definitely a misconception! Check out these skirts you have a genuine leather skirt, a fabulous embellished skirt in perfect condition from White House Black Market and this green skirt from Tahari. Proving that you can find great quality pieces that are unique at your local thrift store.


Misconception #4- Thrift stores are not organized and are dirty!

WRONG! Thrift stores have their merchandise organized by category type and sized within each category. Some even go the extra mile and colorize them within the category and size. Thrift stores generally are clean. The rotation of merchandise is so frequent it does not sit very long and Sunshine Thrift even fills the air with the smell of freshly popped popcorn!


I hope this sheds some light on thrift store shopping if you are new to the game and inspires you to explore what’s available at your local Sunshine Thrift! Thanks for reading!


Nikki Platt:

In college Nikki headed to London to study abroad, and after graduation was NYC bound. Since returning to Florida, Nikki has built her fashion resume and now started her own fashion styling business and blog Style-Rehab.com! Recently Nikki earned accolades as an on air Fashion Contributor for NBC’s Daytime and a Stylist for International Plaza.

Top 5 Tips For Thrift Shoppers

Top 5 Tips for Thrift Shopping

Thrifting has gained some serious traction as of late and it likely all started with the mainstream introduction from Macklemore a few years ago. Now, several years removed from the Macklemore thrift song, people have become full blown thrifting experts and being a professional thrifter requires knowledge and experience. So here are some tips on how to thrift like a pro!

Urban Dictionary defines thrifting as When one visits several different thrift shops, second-hand shops, and vintage clothing stores in the hopes of buying several items of cheap and unusual clothing and other items.


Tip 1: Game Plan

game plan

When you go into a thrift store, do not look at every piece of clothing. That would take forever.  Scan the racks looking for interesting colors or prints anything that catches your eye. Only scan racks, so if it doesn’t jump out at you, move on.

Having a strategy is key especially if you are new to thrifting it could seem overwhelming at first. If you are looking for work tops, then start off in the blouse section. Tackling the store in sections can make this seem less intimidating.


Tip 2: Know the Deal

know the deal

If you want to get the most out of your experience you have to know the subtle tricks that will help you save big. Each thrift store has its own specials and deals and knowing what and when they are available is vital. Sunshine Thrift Store for example has 2 color tags 50% off every day and the colors change every week. So, always keep your eye out for the tags that are on sale, sometimes you will find gems at half price.

We also suggest you ask a store employee about other upcoming sales and join any text or email list that are available. Thrift stores like to inform shoppers of sales using email and text blast.

Tip 3: Keep an Open Mind

Keep open mind

Thrifting like a pro usually means thinking outside the box and being very creative with your finds. You will find clothes that are unique and not found at your typical retailer. This is a good thing and is what makes thrifting so special. It also allows you to stand out. So, when your friends ask you where you got that outfit you can tell them with a sense of pride, “I thrifted it.”


Tip 4: Examine Everything



Examine your pieces thoroughly before you pay for them. Check the buttons, check all the seams: shoulders, back, bust, hips, side seams, etc.

Thrift stores do not accept returns, so once you pay for your items, they are yours. So, examine your selection but also try them on. Make sure they fit you the way you want. Most thrift stores provide fitting rooms so there are no excuses, unless you are in a rush (which we do not recommend).


Tip 5: Take Your Time



Thrifting requires time and patience. You need to take your time and enjoy the hunt. If you go thrifting and expect to find something in the first few minutes, you might get lucky, but most likely you will have to keep looking. Don’t worry though, once you find something you like it will be a rewarding feeling, as if you found a diamond in the rough.

You can also take time to look in different departments, you might find something you didn’t expect in the jewelry or miscellaneous sections. Thrift stores usually have a good variety of things that will interest you.


Final Thoughts


Go often!  Sunshine Thrift stores receive merchandise DAILY so new fresh merchandise will be available every time you go. Know the store’s sale days –or the color sale tag rotation like at Sunshine Thrift. I hope these tips helped and Happy Thrifting!


Written By Nikki Platt:

Florida native Nikki Platt, in college Nikki headed to London to study abroad, and after graduation was NYC bound. Since returning to Florida, Nikki has built her fashion resume and now started her own fashion styling business and blog Style-Rehab.com! Recently earning such accolades as on air Fashion Contributor for NBC’s Daytime and a Stylist for International Plaza Nikki’s career shows no sign of slowing down.

Christmas Shopping at Sunshine Thrift

This is the season for ugly Christmas sweaters, Secret Santa gifts and holiday decorations.  It is a fun time of the year but it can also be an expensive time. Between finding gifts for your family, friends, co-workers and yourself you may be looking for a way you can save some money. That’s where Sunshine thrift comes in.  At Sunshine Thrift Stores you can find all the ugly sweaters, secret Santa gifts and home decorations you’ll need to have a successful holiday season.  Below you will find some examples of the type of stuff you can find at your local thrift store.


Ugly Christmas Sweaters




Ugly Christmas sweaters, oddly enough, have become a part of all the Christmas festivities. At almost every Christmas party you attend there will surly be someone wearing a hideous Christmas Sweater that everyone will love. Most big box retailers have ugly sweaters available during the holidays but it’s no fun buying them there, unless you want the same sweater everyone else will have. At Sunshine Thrift you can find unique ugly sweaters that will help you stand out and also help you save money. The ugly sweaters at Sunshine Thrift range from $6-$20 depending on the quality and uniqueness.


Secret Santa Gifts




Finding the right secret Santa gift can get tricky. You want to get something nice but you also can not go over the budget. So, what do you do? Visit your neighborhood thrift store and find the perfect gift that won’t break the bank. At Sunshine Thrift you can find quality name brand watches, purses and other cool miscellaneous items that are in great condition (like new) and are very reasonably priced. For example, the Betty Boop purse above is only $15, the Citizen Eco watch is priced at only $40 and the brand-new flying LED Ball is only $5. You cannot beat these prices and they are perfect for a gift. Come find you secret Santa gifts at Sunshine Thrift.


Holiday Decorations




What’s the Holidays without a house, room or office space fully decorated for Christmas? One very cool thing about Sunshine Thrift stores is the very big miscellaneous selection for Christmas decorations. You can find almost anything, from full size Santa’s, to small snow globes and everything in between. Christmas items start as low as $0.40! If you are looking to decorate your office, or your home visit us and see what you can find.


Christmas is almost here but you still have time to get your last minutes Christmas items from Sunshine Thrift! At all Sunshine Thrift stores, starting Friday (December 21, 2018) through Monday (December 24, 2018) all Christmas items will be 50% off! Get some stuff for this year or begin shopping for next Christmas, either way, visit us and see what Thriftmas is all about.


Sunshine Thrift Stores

Tampa Bay’s #1 Thrift Store

Holiday Fashion On A Budget


Holiday Fashion on a Budget

It’s December which means the invitations to Holiday parties and festivities will be rolling in. Everything from office parties, ugly sweater parties, and New Year’s Eve. While we all enjoy spending this time with our family and friends between the gift giving and holiday celebrations this can leave you a little strapped for cash. Luckily Sunshine Thrift has some amazing options to get you holiday-ready on a budget.

Office Holiday Party

At your office holiday party, you want to look festive but not inappropriate. After all, these are your work peers and superiors you don’t want them referencing your scandalous outfit well into 2019.

This look strikes the perfect balance of festiveness and appropriateness. The plaid button front top is a huge trend this season. The green wool blazer adds structure and keeps you warm if the temps dip, while the black leather skirt lends some toughness. Paired with these sweet ASOS patent leather loafers you can dance and mingle with your colleagues all night.

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Ugly Sweater Party

It used to be rather difficult to find an ugly sweater for an ugly sweater party, well that is no longer the case. Whether you want the vintage one’s your Grandmother used to wear or the current funny one’s whatever your fancy Sunshine Thrift has you covered. If you’re like me and want to still look fabulous in your ugly sweater pair it with bottoms you love like some cool denim, a leather skirt or leather leggings. This with a pair of great heels is the combination of a perfect ugly sweater party look.

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Friends and Family

If you’re attending a low-key affair with friends or family you still want to dress for the occasion, but not be too overdressed. This cozy sweater and fabulous snake print jeans are the perfect outfit for a casual day of food and conversation. Worn with these brown boots you will be comfortable and chic.

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New Year’s Eve 

Finally, the big kahuna. NYE! Going out on New Year’s can be pricey luckily Sunshine Thrift has a myriad of stunning party dresses to get ready for the big night without breaking the bank. Fabrications like velvet which are on trend for the season, to animal print, sparkly, or flirty you can find whatever you are looking for at your local thrift store.

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Those are our holiday outfit picks and styling tips!  Hope you found them useful and thanks for reading! Wishing all of our Sunshine Thrift shoppers a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Written By:

Nikki Platt

Wardrobe Consultant/Fashion Stylist



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