Jan. 29, 2009 -- Not many retailers are doing well in this bad economy, but a number of thrift shop owners say their businesses are booming.
If you have a good eye and the patience to sift through racks of clothing, you can unearth some real gems at secondhand stores, including designer labels at just a fraction of what you'd pay at a department store.
"GMA" technology contributor Becky Worley has been shopping secondhand for more than a decade and says that at least half of her wardrobe is from thrift shops or liquidation sales. Check out her tips for finding bargains the second time around.
Look for labels and ask when an item gets discounted. At high-end consignment shops it's not unusual to find items from Prada to Coach to Marc Jacobs. Designer merchandise can start out pricey at thrift stores, but if it doesn't sell after 30 days, it will get marked down. Most stores mark down items on Monday, so that's often the day to get the deepest discounts.
Look for classic items like black pants and blazers, jackets, button-down shirts and even suits. Many thrift stores are well-stocked with these items so you can often find better selection and quality.
Shop for high-end jeans at secondhand stores near college campuses. The freshman 15 means a lot of jeans get dropped off at Goodwill.
Ask the people who work at the stores what's new and cool. They know what's just arrived and where the best stuff is hidden.