Thursday, May 31, 2012

Helpful Tips for Thrift Store Shopping

Hello Fellow Thrifters and Friends,

     I just love thrift store shopping, and people sometimes ask me what some of my tips are for finding great deals and fun treasures. So I decided it was time to unleash my secrets and share them with the world. Ok they are not really secrets, but I have never written them down so here I go.

#1- Search ALL of the aisles. 

I can't tell you how many awesome treasures I have found because someone stuck it in the Christmas Section. Remember you are not in a department store, so move stuff around to see whats behind those cute mice Santas. Things are NOT going to be put away nicely or properly so it is your job as the treasure hunter to go and find those treasures.

#2 - Just because you have never seen that item before does not mean you should buy it

Ok I know that finding that one of kind item is very in style right now, but there are many items at the thrift store that should be left at the thrift store. I think that is all the advice I can give on this subject. (Plus the picture above seems to prove my point for me)

#3 - Always check the new carts that come in with new stock

If your like me and you go to the Thrifty stores often the cart that comes from the back is like gold. It's the stuff you have never seen before. When I see a car being brought out I instantly hop over to the cart to see what "new" treasures just arrived. 

#4 - If you like it hold onto it

If you see something that you love but you are not sure if you are going to buy it, pick it up anyways. If you put the treasure back on the shelf and walk around and decide you love it by the time you go back ITS GONE! Trust me I have learned this lesson the hard way so many times. Remember you can carry your "maybe" treasure around and then change your mind that you don't really love it. Then you don't lose it to the lady who looks like she lives in the thrift store. 

#5 - Figure out the Discount Schedule

I know at my local Good Will every Saturday a new color is chosen and any item with that color is 50% off. They also choose shorts, shirts, or pants, etc. that go to a lower price.I try to go the day when the colors change to see if I can find some new treasures at 50% off.

#6 - Shop Often

People think I found all of my treasures from one visit to a thrift store. That is so far from the truth.  I have to visit a thrift store sometimes 10 times before I find a "Treasure." Keep going and be patient because you might eventually find that item you love. Also go to those thrift stores that you have previously not found anything at because one day that shop might surprise you with the item you have always wanted or didn't know you wanted. 

#7 - Think outside the box

Use your imagination when you are shopping. Try to look at items and see what their potential is. For instance when I saw the spice jars pictured above I had a flood of ideas come to mind. Some of the things that came to mind were, I could take the labels off and put jewelry in them for a present,  I could use them as little vases, I could keep store office supplies such as paper clips inside of them. That is just one example of the great ideas you can do when you think outside the box.

Donations benefit the thrift store and help clear up clutter in your house. But the best part of donating is seeing how much they are going to charge some other treasure hunter for your junk treasures.

Most importantly have fun, and laugh at all the weird stuff that shows up on the shelves.

The Joyful Thrifter

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  1. Such great tips! (By the way, I'm the lady that looks like she lives in the thrift store! Hahahahaha.) #1 & #4 are especially true in my own experience.....

  2. Hello joyful! I agree with all of your tips and yes, it does take many, many trips for real treasures. I'd also add to check out the item closely in natural light (if possible) for flaws in clothing, cracks in ceramics, etc.

    And whatchatalkinboutwillis - the lady that lives there (at the thrift shops), did you see me on your last visit? I have a route of about 8 shops I frequent ~

    I try to stick to the "one bag in - one bag out" rule, many of my finds cycle back into the great Thrift Shop Beyond.

  3. Good tips for sure. My other tip is I know what I will pay and even if I love it and it's too much, I don't buy it. That's one of the ways my finds are so cheap...cause I am!!

  4. such a great list of tips & all very true. since I am a teacher, summers are when I get my real thrift on, early in the day, and OFTEN! here's to many more thrifting finds

  5. Amen! So true on all your points. Especially #6. I can go to a thrift store three days in a row, and come out with nothing, then day 4 stuff just magically appears. "Hey that wasn't there yesterday!". Sometimes vise versa I test my will power and try not to go so often, then the one day I decide to go that week and major scores (not always the case, but those days are great).

  6. Awesome tips! I've been making a big attempt to do #8 more. I like what Tami said- I try to do a "one sweater in, one sweater out" thing :)

    Ally @ Fever Thrift

  7. All excellent tips. Thanks for sharing!

    I always note to carefully check items for size and some thrifts have a no-return policy.

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting


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