10 Tips for Street Thrifting

10 Tips for Street Thrifting

We have noticed that South Africa does not have massive retailers that sell pre-owned clothes, shoes and accessories etc. compared to overseas stores. We have to depend on street vendors mostly located in the CBD. We have also noticed that it is not everyone’s cup of tea as it can become overwhelming for some. For those that are brave enough to walk the streets of the CBD, or looking to do so, we have listed the top 10 tips that may make the process easier for you.
Tip 1: Make a list

This rule has helped me avoid getting overwhelmed and spending more money than I had intended or worse, buying items I did not need. Street thrifting is usually busy and can become congested so having a list is vital to sourcing the items you have targeted. This will also assist you filter through all the vendors and what they are selling so that you are able to get what you want in a speedy manner. Get in and get out!


Tip 2: Carry Cash  

Mboweni said national and provincial employee compensation budget would be cut by R27 billion over the next three financial years. File Photo: IOL

Most if not all thrift street vendors only accept cash as a method of payment, so it is advised to carry cash and to set a budget for what you are looking for.


Tip 3: Be Comfortable

It is also advisable to wear comfortable clothes such as your basic sneakers, a sweater and pants with lots of pockets (for cash). There are no trolleys when street thrifting so you will be guaranteed to have HUGE bags to carry. Be prepared to exercise honey!


Tip 4: Have PLENTY of shopping bags.

There are many people selling shopping bags in those areas, but it’s usually best to bring your own to avoid having to spend extra money on this. Unless of course you would like to support a brother or two! You could also ask the seller to not wrap your goods (usually in plastic) as you will put it in your shopping bag in any case. That will help reduce the use of plastics - which is environmentally friendly. 


Tip 5: Be Vigilant

This is self-explanatory. We know very well that someone who will try us outchea in these streets! So keep your eyes and ears open and remember…like most mommas used to tell us…don’t talk to strangers - unless they are a vendor.
Tip 6: Parking

Drive around the area to find secure parking, preferably with a car guard that will keep an eye on your vehicle and please give the guy a tip when you come back. It just shows good will.
Tip 7: Have hand sanitizer & a medical mask

The nature of pre-owned clothes is such that we advise you ALWAYS sanitize and clean your hands after you are done thrifting. We would also recommend a medical mask for those that suffer from sinusitis especially in the Winter. The wool material and the material from the coats can weigh heavily on your sinuses.
Tip 8: Ask

Most of vendors will be willing to assist or point you in the right direction when you’re looking for something specific. They tend to work together, which is extremely helpful for buyers. Another tip is if you would like to be one for the first to grab your hands on new stock, ask for their numbers and always communicate with them or check out their Whatsapp stories, which brings us to the second-last tip…
Tip 9: The earliest bird catches the fattest worm

That phrase is highly applicable with street thrifting. Find out from the vendors which day they usually have new stock. Then wake up VERY early in the morning to dive in. They open and release new stock or bales around 5AM- 6AM. The beauty about this is that you will be guaranteed to get the most dopest and lovely items with sizes, however…be prepared to pay a higher price (Thrifter’s higher price).
Tip 10: Have fun

It is a thrilling adventure for some of us so enjoy the thrifting. It is like digging for gold and there’s nothing as satisfying as knowing you have struck gold by the time everyone begins their day!
We hope the above will assist in making your experience as seamless as possible, if you have any more tips or tricks that we have left out, remember that sharing is caring.
Share with us by commenting below and don’t forget to share the post with someone interested. Happy Thrifting!
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Hi ladies, thank you so much for the comments and your kind words. Faith yes it is very intimidating that’s why some people cannot go there. I would assume that the main reason why there are based mainly in the CBD is that there is no rent to pay in the streets of the CBD, plus they can cover the whole area by scattering in one day, which means more profit for them.

The street thrifting is very messy and you have to be brave enough to walk those streets especially in JHB.
If you wish to go there, I would recommend you go with someone who is very much familiar with JHB CBD or you may commission someone to do the haul for you. We have heard of the #InnerCityErrandGirl @Lebogangratau on Twitter whom you can contact.

@Kamo, yes people are very cagy with where they get their items. We will publish another blog post providing the information on places to thrift nationally. Let me know if any of you ladies are based in another province besides JHB, the following are the places to street thrift in JHB. Wanderers Street near the MTN taxi rank is a gold mine!!! However you will need the courage to walk those streets. This is where we mainly stock our items.
Another is Park Station right outside the SAPS and KFC. You will find winter coats and denim jackets there, however for more products; you will have to turn left into Wanderers Street. You can also check out a store called Cheap Cheap on Eloff Street on the corner of Harrison and Bree street.

Remember if you get stuck, don’t be afraid to ask.

Thrift Happens

Only thing missing here is the actual places to thrift shop! Please share di ‘Sgodi’ tsa lona because most thrifters are stingy with information


Good morning

Your blog today is so on point.
Why are these shop only in the CBD it can be a bit intermidating.

Where do you shop from, do mind sharing names of a few shops instead of me going looking and asking people where the thrift store are.

Thanks and keep up the good work. You are doing great.

Faith Jansen

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