How To Thrift Shop Like A Pro for Menswear

By default, if you are thrift shopping for men’s suits, sportscoats, and other fine menswear, you will save lots of money. By shopping online on marketplaces such as and, you can easily find second-hand men’s suits that retail when new for over $500.00 for less than $50.00 in excellent condition. I show you how to do this in my guide, Where to Buy Used Suits and How.

How do you find exceptional suits and sportcoats at ultra-low prices when shopping online?

Here are a few ‘pro’ thrifting tips for those who want to elevate their thrifting skills and learn how to sniff out the exceptional low-priced bargains that others miss. Thrift shop like a pro!

I like to do what I call ‘bottom fishing.’ This is when I  seek out second-hand menswear priced near or below $10.00 online that should be valued much higher. For example: Would you buy the sportscoat shown below based on this online seller’s photo?

Not very appealing, is it? I saw this sportscoat on drop continually in price as it remained unsold for weeks. Finally, the seller set the price at $8.00. I purchased it, knowing that it was an exceptional bargain. I am wearing that sportscoat below:

How To Thrift Shop Like a Pro - Men

This is a Joseph Abboud silk & wool sportscoat that when new, retailed for over $400.00. At only $8.00 it was an absolute bargain. It should sell for more! How did I know that the greenish frog-like photo shown by the online seller was, in fact, a sportscoat fit for a prince? Here are the steps I take to uncover exceptional bargains like this one and thrift shop like a pro:

Research the Label or Brand

By doing a quick Google search, I discovered that this brand name (Joseph Abboud) makes better-quality suits and sportscoats that retailed for $350.00 – $1000.00. Online menswear forums often discuss the quality of menswear brands. Or, you can go to the manufacturer’s website for information. I was able to gather enough information to discern the level of quality I could expect from this sportscoat. Doing research like this doesn’t take much time and can help you to determine the true value of the garment you consider buying.

Draw Upon An Accumulated Knowledge of Menswear

If you like quality clothing, you should be cultivating a body of knowledge about brands and fashion that gives you a sixth sense about second-hand clothing offered online for sale. I already owned suits made by this brand and knew that it would fit well. From prior experience, I also knew that I had to go one size smaller than my regular fit when buying suits and sportscoats from this brand.

Look Beyond The Poor Photos and Descriptions of the Garment

Clearly, the photo shown by the seller was shot indoors under fluorescent lighting, most likely with a smartphone. If the camera’s white balance is not set properly, it will give a green cast to the photo, as seen here. That gave the jacket its ghoulish green appearance. Also, the jacket was not pressed and was presented in a very unappealing way. More than likely, for these reasons most people would not consider buying this jacket. However, I was certain that this sportscoat looked much better than the photo revealed. The ability to make this sort of judgment improves as you practice your thrift shopping skills.

Be Patient and Persistent

As I saw the price of this sportscoat drop over a period of weeks in the online posting, I waited until the price became irresistibly low. By waiting, I took the risk that no one else was considering buying this jacket due to the poor photos. At other times, you can uncover exceptional second-hand menswear bargains by persistently checking new listings every day on eBay or Poshmark for freshly listed low-cost items.

thrift shopping - sportscoat - photo by Don P
A Like-New Italian Sportscoat Purchased on for $10.00

I have uncovered a number of exceptional bargains in second-hand men’s clothing by using these ‘pro’ techniques. My wardrobe is fairly full, so I budget about $20 per month now for ‘bottom fishing’ for hidden second-hand gems in tailored menswear. Try it yourself! It’s a great way to add exceptional items to your wardrobe very inexpensively. It’s also a lot of fun. Thrift shop like a pro!