My love for thrift shopping started long before Mackelmore brought back its popularity. Thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, discount stores… if there are interesting items out there at a low price, I am all over it.
With my drive to live a simple life, I’ve put a halt on purchasing anything at retail price. Luckily, it hasn’t been a big transition because I’ve never been a retail shopper. I’d rather find a deal than walk away with a (wanted, not needed) item at retail price.
Whether you are a thrift shopping goddess, or you are trying to accept that one (wo)man’s trash is another’s treasure, there’s always a deal to be found. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few thrifting tips on how to score the best finds and I’d love to share them with you!
1. Check your local non-profit agency, church, etc.
Hands down, churches have the best rummage and thrift sales. The sales are usually large-scale and donated to by several members of the church. Better yet, the money you spend is going right back into the church to help support the community. This past weekend, I nabbed 12 books and a vintage Heinz’s tin for a whopping $3.50 at a church rummage sale.
2. Prepare a thrift location list before you leave to shop.
Thrifting isn’t like shopping at Target or Macy’s. You can’t walk in and find a wide selection of items you need. Instead, you sometimes need to bounce from one thrift store to another if you have a certain item in mind. Check out the local thrift stores in your area through The Thrift Shopper and make a list of places to visit!
3. Become best friends with sellers who don’t know the value of their treasure.
The best deals are from people who are just sick of looking at “their junk”. Some sellers don’t know the value behind their items and will gladly hand it away at a low cost. Recently at a flea market, I spotted this beautiful vintage car that holds a scotch bottle and shot glasses. The seller explained that it used to work as a music box as well, but the last owner broke the mechanism. She shrugged as she offered, “How’s $20.00 sound?” After a quick internet search, I found that even with the broken musical mechanism, the car’s value was $65.00 to $100.00. Sold!
4. Always look through boxes, and ask when you cannot see.
Whether you’re at a thrift shop or a yard sale, most of the “gold” is stuffed in a box under a table or at the bottom of an aisle’s shelving. Before picking through items that are clearly visible, do some digging! Also, never be afraid to ask the seller questions. If you find an item you like, ask the seller if they remember any similar items in the lot.
5. Take a weekend drive, and load up on freebies!
Sundays are my favorite for thrifting. Check your local yard sale listings and make note of when the sales are ending. Once the yard sale ends, head on over! I’m always amazed at how many people put their unsold yard sale items out for free. If it’s not yard sale season, still take a drive (preferably through a wealthy town) and check for free piles of goodies. I was beaming after finding these two free prints road-side while taking a leisurely drive on a lunch break.
Do you like thrift shopping and/or yard sales?
What thrifting tips do you have?