How to Shop at Thrift Stores
Shopping at Thrift Stores.
Want to learn how to shop at thrift stores? Shopping at second hand stores is a simple way to save money and reuse items that are still (usually) in great condition.
As I’m sure you know, if you want to save money on just about anything, you can do so by purchasing items used (at a thrift store, yard sale, consignment store, classifieds). This includes everything from clothing, to furniture, to toys, to dishes.
Want to save money? Buy used. It’s as simple as that.
I do most of my second-hand shopping at thrift stores. I like the variety and I like that I can take a good look at things before I decide to buy them. I know how to shop at thrift stores the “right” way, so I am able to save a considerable amount of money.
Unfortunately, thrift stores can often be very overwhelming. If it’s a large store, there can easily be thousands of items available for you to sift through. It could be hours, if not days before you get out of there.
In this article, you will find practical advice that will teach you how to shop at thrift stores in a way that makes it quick, painless and fun!
Go to thrift stores often
It’s rare that you will find a perfect item every time you set foot in a thrift store. Odds are, you won’t find anything for awhile, and then one day you’ll find something fantastic.
Try to visit your local thrift store once per week, or at least once per month. Thrift stores put out new merchandise on a daily basis, so there is always a chance to find something you love. The more often you go, the more likely you are to find that “perfect” item.
Always triple-check everything you buy
Make sure that everything you purchase is in the condition you expect. If you’re buying clothing, examine it closely for stains and tears. If you’re buying furniture, make sure it sits flat on the ground and doesn’t have any significant damage.
Pay special attention to things like toys, books and anything you need to plug in. Toys could be missing pieces (especially puzzles and board games), books could have pages torn out and items such as toasters and DVD players may not actually work.
Feel clothing for quality
Have you ever found a great article of clothing at a thrift store, looked at the tag, and not recognized the brand name? How do you know if this is a quality piece? If you’re not sure if an article of clothing is of good quality, give it the feel test.
Find a piece of cheaper clothing, like the 725 Walmart brand (sorry Walmart, but your quality isn’t that great), and feel that compared to the item you are interested in. If the feel of the item you want is the same or worse than the cheaper brand, the item may not be a very good purchase. If the clothing feels nicer, it’s likely of better quality.
Always go for the better quality clothing items if you want them to last you awhile.
Get to know the store employees
If you visit thrift stores often, you will quickly start to recognize employees – and they will recognize you. Smile. Be polite. Ask them how they’re doing.
When you’re friendly with the store employees, they are more willing to divulge exciting information, such as when the next sale is taking place, where to find the best items for sale (some stores have clearance racks) and any discounts that you can take advantage of.
Don’t look for something specific
Sure, you can go into a thrift store having something in mind that you would like to find, but don’t expect it.
Instead, be willing to look at everything and purchase items that you really love. You never know when you will come across something amazing at a thrift store.
Think of how you can change an item
If you come across a couch that you really like, but it’s in a colour or pattern you’re not crazy about, consider re-upholstering it (apparently that’s very easy!).
Also, paint can transform just about anything. Tables, chairs, light fixtures, shelving units, desks. Keep this in mind when you are looking at used items for sale.
There is no right or wrong way to shop at a thrift store, but by trying out at least once of the ideas above, I can promise you a much better thrift store shopping experience.
The amount of money you can save, and the remarkable items you can find at thrift stores is truly astonishing. Whenever possible, buy used. Not just for the savings, but for the adventure.