Monica Marriott-Mills, a savvy shopper from Suffolk, has mastered finding Christmas gifts in charity shops, recently securing £1,000 worth of items for just £200. Sharing her strategies, she aims to help others find festive bargains.
Monica’s successful second-hand shopping spree, which she showcases on her TikTok (@themonicaway) with over 145,000 views, includes impressive finds like a Valentino dress for £1 and a luxury cashmere jumper for £3.50.
Influenced by her grandmother, a vintage seller, Monica has long been a proponent of preloved shopping. She says, “Over 50% of my gifts are preloved, and recipients are often shocked to find out.”
Her secret? It’s all about presentation. Monica suggests spending time on cleaning, repairing, and polishing second-hand finds to make them appear new.
This year, Monica’s expenditure on gifts is under £200, but their retail value is at least £1,000. She urges patience and persistence in finding the right items.
Monica, whose wardrobe is 90% vintage and preloved, offers several tips for effective thrift shopping:
Presentation is Key: Improving the appearance of second-hand items can significantly enhance their perceived value.
Quality Over Quantity: Focus on fewer, higher-quality items to avoid overspending.
Educate Yourself: Learn to identify genuine quality and authenticity in items.
Explore Less Popular Locations: Sometimes, the best deals are found in unexpected places.
Stay Hydrated and Comfortable: Bring water and wear comfy clothes for a more enjoyable shopping experience.
Use Technology: Don’t hesitate to look up brands in the store to verify if an item is a genuine bargain.
Start Small: Even one second-hand gift can make a difference. Online options are also available for those short on time.
By following these tips, Monica believes anyone can make the most of their holiday shopping, finding unique gifts at a fraction of their original price.
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