Being that I’m out of town for work and my plans for California thrifting drastically changed with my lack of a rental car, I thought it may be a great opportunity to share some insight on thrifting all together. Much to my surprise, not everyone thrifts as regularly as I do (I can’t imagine why.) I even get some pretty good questions from those who hear of my weekly habit. I’m no expert, but here is some of the best advice I could muster up.
1. Figure out what you always search for no matter the store or place.
Thrift stores can be overwhelming at times. There is so much to look at and sometimes there isn’t enough time or patience to see everything. If I have the time and the desire I will walk around searching for other finds after I hit my go-to sections. For example: I always check for the following items:
- Vintage sheets
- Craft supplies
- Office supplies
2. Think outside of the box
A thrift store is like a huge opportunity for restyling and renovation. Don’t let something pass you by that could be potentially amazing because it doesn’t suit you as is. Imagine all the things you could do with that piece of furniture, what that vase would look like in white or how cute that dress would be without the shoulder pads and a higher hem. I often have a specific project in mind when I go.
3. Map out the stores in your area.
While I do frequent Goodwill and Savers, they’re not my favorites. There are so many smaller gems hidden among tiny stripmalls next to nail salons and behind bowling allies. I keep a list of all the stores I find and when they have their specials. One store I go to has all their clothing priced at $2 on Mondays and Thursdays.
4. Don’t forget about garage sales.
While thrift stores are out to make money, many people’s motivation for a garage sale is to purge unwanted things. This means you can often get better deals and bust out your negotiating skills. If you don’t think something is worth the asking price, you can suggest a lower amount and in many cases the owner will just be happy to get it off their hands. This is something that Goodwill won’t do, beleive me I have tried. They look at you like you have 3 heads.
I hope this is some advice that will encourage you to get out there.