I have mentioned it before and I’m going to bring it up again…I am a thrift store junkie. I live for finding good deals and hidden treasures anywhere I can. Now in the “Thrift” category I include garage sales, pawn shops, liquidators etc.
Now, not everyone is as excited about thrift shopping as I am. Some don’t love the idea of having second-hand furniture, some don’t love the actually process of buying and some just don’t love it. I just wish I could take every single person and show them how great thrifting can really be. Not only do you save a ton of money, by not buying full price retail, it can be a super fun adventure as you never know what you’re going to find!
Before I get into the tips and tricks for getting the most out of your next thrift shop, I want to highlight some of my favorite treasures. Now, keep in mind some of what you see below is from Craigslist but you get the idea. Because we have been doing this for 3 years, I always try to document my finds through my Instagram and below I have highlighted some of the best of the best!
Tips & Tricks For Getting The Most Out Of Your Next Thrift Shop:
- Make A List: Just like at a grocery store, it is a good idea to head to the thrift store with a list. Not only will it help you stay on task, it will keep you from buying extra items if your on a budget.
- Check For Coupons: Thrift stores have started getting on board with sales and coupons. Most will offer a monthly coupon, that could save you a ton of money! Make sure to check for available ones prior to your shop. Also, look for upcoming sales and deals.
- Bring A Friend: Have a thrifty friend who loves to hunt for deals? Bring them along! It is good to have someone with you who knows how to work a thrift store, as sometimes they will have an eye for amazing treasures.
- Time: Having time to shop couldn’t be more important when it comes to thrifting. Sometimes, stores can be disorganized or the stores are HUGE! So, make sure to give yourself lots of time to shop and take your time looking around. You might just find that treasure that’s hiding behind the shoes.
- Take A Second Look: Saw something that caught your eye? Look a little closer. My rule of thumb is if an item grabs my attention, I need to check it out to see if it’s something that will work for me or our home. Sometimes, in that second look you realize it’s exactly what you wanted all along.
- Make A Deal: Did you know at most thrift stores you can barter? Now, this usually only applies to items that have cosmetic damage or a slight defect, but it never hurts to ask. Be fair and make fair offers and if the item is a good price, buy it and run home with your prize.
- Shop A Season Ahead: This refers more to holiday decorations and decor. Usually, thrift stores place the holiday stock for the upcoming season on the shelves weeks before. If you can get your mind to think ahead, you can save a TON of money by stocking up early.
- Look Beyond The Glass: Does your store have glass cases or shelves behind the registers? That’s where you will find the best stuff. Anything that is in glass or kept close to the registers means it’s of high value and they want to keep an eye on it. This is where I have found some of my best stuff, so make sure to pay extra attention to this area.
- Lose The “Junk” Mindset: Just because it’s in a thrift store, doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of your time. Give all products a good look and try to use your imagination when you are looking for project items.
- Wardrobe Reinvent: If you haven’t already, try clothes shopping in a thrift store. It is so easy to find designer and sometimes new items mixed in the racks and all it takes is a little time. The best part is, you can get several new outfits and not break the bank. Just make sure to wash or dry clean whatever you buy before wearing (Most stores pre wash, but a little extra never hurt).
*Bonus Tip:* I want to share my tried and true method of thrift store shopping. I start by following a route of the store that I have set out for myself, I start at back and work my way forward. I do this every time to make sure I am covering the whole store. Next, I always try to look at an item with a mental check list: Do we need it? Where will it go? and Will it serve a purpose or am I just buying it because it’s pretty? It sounds easy, but surprisingly it can be really easy to buy an item on a whim and get it home only to find out it won’t work. Lastly, I stick to my gut feelings. If I see an item I like but can’t decide on, I throw it in my buggy and keep shopping. This way I can have extra time to think it over and no one can take it home in the meantime. I have seen to many items come and go purely because I couldn’t decide, and that makes for a sad day.
I hope that if you haven’t already you will grab a coffee on a Saturday morning and head over to your local thrift store. Maybe you’ll find just what you’re looking for.
Do you thrift shop? What’s your best tip for shopping a thrift store?