1. Scout your area for local thrift stores
If you've never been to a thrift store and starting from scratch, it's good to get your feet wet by going to the typical Goodwill or Savers. Don't worry about going to the "best" one, you'll find your fave very soon!
I use Yelp if I'm going to a new one to get some insider info on whether prices are low, selection and management. Doesn't hurt to know what you're getting yourself into before getting there. Ya know!
2. Have a thrift "wish list"
This is MAJOR key to a successful thrifting trip. I don't know how many times I've wandered around aimlessly and purchased so many unnecessary items I didn't need instead of getting the clothes I really need. A wish list keeps you focused. I walk in and make a bee line for the section/area of the items on my list.
For example: I'm forever looking for a the perfect pair of distressed denim shorts. So I always go straight for the shorts at the thrift store. And yes, even in the dead of summer/winter.
Having purpose when shopping has helped me find some gems but also save time to look in other areas +find more gems.
3. Go through ALL the items...
This seems excessive but this will ensure you don't miss any good deals. It's time consuming but well worth it. This doesn't mean you have to go through every single aisle and piece of clothing in the store. Focus on the sections that are in your "wish list"
4. Don't leave a good deal/find behind
Avoid this as much as possible. OMG, there have been so many times where I find something really cute and I convince myself (Idk, why?!?) not to get it.
Trust me, you'll have opposite buyer's remorse the moment you get home. Take these beauties as an example, I left them behind at a Marshall's and drove back to grab them ;)
5. Look for quality
I've been thrifting since I was 16 and one of the first things my mom taught me was to purchase good quality clothes from the thrift. Thanks mom!
Try to stay away from clothes that has alot of pilling, tears, rips or fading these pieces aren't worth it unless you're willing to make repairs.
However, you'll come across trendy H&M, Forever 21 or Zara pieces that are cute and on trend but not necessarily "good quality," I would still get those pieces because they're fun & on trend.
Lastly, have fun! I often use thrifting as my "therapeutic time" & find super cool unique items. Thrift away!