Don’t walk to second-hand stores, run. Saving money and rocking a unique style has never been so easy. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

Finding clothes and accessories in college can be a real struggle, especially with a tight budget. Between expenses for living costs, books, and other fees, buying something at retail price is laughable. Here are some tips on saving money while shopping and making extra cash on the side. 

Over the past few years, I have been finding cheap clothing for my own closet from thrift stores and I have made about $2,000 from getting rid of things I no longer use.

Second-hand stores are some of the best places to find new items for your closet. Goodwill, Savers, and Salvation Army have a great selection of clothing and you never know what you’ll find hidden on one of the racks. Most of the prices are below $10 for shirts and camisoles, while outwear can range from $11-$20 depending on the brand and quality. Pants and skirts are also around the $10 range. At the Goodwill location on Beretania, shoes are a set price at $8.99 for a pair. Most of the items have been used before being donated, so a few minor flaws are typical. There are items that have their original tag on, though they may be a little pricier. Be sure to wash and clean all your thrift finds before using them.

If you’re looking to be even more frugal with your money, be on the look out for additional deals or sale days. Both Savers and Goodwill discount certain colored tags after they have been on the racks for a certain amount of time. Additionally, signing up for a rewards account at each store can also help save a few extra bucks. After spending a certain amount, most members will earn enough points to receive a small discount on either an individual item or their whole purchase. 

Plato’s Closet, located on Beretania Street a few blocks from Goodwill, is another great store to check out for the latest trends at a cheaper price. Unlike Goodwill and Savers, Plato’s Closet will purchase clothes from shoppers according to what’s fashionable and resell it for a profit. However, items at Plato’s tend to be more expensive than what you’d find at other places, though it is still cheaper than retail. 

When it comes to making money on the side, don’t be afraid to use reselling apps like Depop and Mercari. They are user friendly and have options to ship through the app so you don’t have to go to the post office and stand in line. The United States Postal Service is the most common shipping service, followed by FedEx and UPS. All parcels will be based on weight, so the heavier the item, the more expensive shipping will be. Sellers can also choose whether they’d like to offer buyers free shipping or have them cover the cost. 

Listing an item is even simpler than understanding shipping. Depending on what the item is, the app will prompt sellers to list size, color, condition, and their asking price. There is also a space for sellers to describe their item in depth and each listing can have up to 12 videos and images. If there are any flaws on your item, be sure to point it out to potential buyers so they know exactly what they’re purchasing.

Last but not least, have fun thrifting and reselling things. It’s a great way to clear out your closet while also making extra cash, and you’re helping the environment by reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. So the next time you’re out shopping with friends, think twice about buying an item at retail price when you could find something just as great at a second-hand store.