Unless you’re the kind of person who has saved your 1970s outfits for recent theme parties, you’ve probably been to a thrift store or garage sale to check what groovy threads other people have finally abandoned.

Searching through bins and racks to find that perfect disco outfit may be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

We’ve asked an expert thrift store manager and owner what are the key things to look for when rifling through items to find just what you need.

Julie Haugh, manager of LIFT-UP Community Thrift Store, said the majority of what the store sells is clothing and smaller items such as housewares and knickknacks.

“We try to set up some section of the store if we have a lot of a certain item,” Haugh said. “I wish we’d get more (decade clothing).”

With clothes being their biggest item sold, Haugh said many people come in to look at labels to find out if the item is worth the price. It’s a good indication of the value, Haugh said.

“We don’t raise the price for clothing just because we know it came from an expensive store,” Haugh said.

“Does it look old?” Haugh said of a question shoppers should ask themselves. “I recommend if something is intriguing and you don’t know the value, buy it if it’s something that’s speaking to you.”

If you’re in the market for linens and bedding, second-hand stores and garage sales are great venues for that.

“When winter comes, we get such great things for winter,” Haugh said of winter coats. “We get new stuff all the time.”

Karen Rhoads, owner of Rummagers and founder of LIFT-UP, said people typically come into the store looking for collectibles, knickknacks or craft projects.

Refurbishing old to make new is a hobby for many second-hand shoppers, Rhoads said.

“Be willing to put some work into it and use items as craft projects,” Rhoads said.

Compiled by Kelly Silva

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