It is as much fun to hunt out new thrift stores and resale shops as it is to hunt the stores themselves. Almost every town has one or two, even itty bitty towns. They are like downsized department stores. They are not all about one thing – you have clothes, furniture, housewares, books, bedding…on and on. That means the possibilities are endless on what you may wander across. Here are my top 5 tips on how to thrift shop to the max.
1. Frequency – If you find a local store that you like, go frequently. By this I mean at least once a month if not more. It depends on what your looking for and the store type. Stores that run off donations tend to have a high turnover of items. Especially furniture. The larger the town the bigger the turnover, you could go once a week and find new stuff.
2. Vary when you go – Go different days of the week. Are they open on Sunday or Monday? Go then. After a big weekend off drop offs the good stuff is fresh out the box. But a Wednesday may work too. You just never know. Talk to the employees. They will let you in on the flow of the store and give you the best tips on peek times to find new items.
3. Ask for the best price – These stores negotiate price. You can almost always get at least a 10% discount just for asking. Some stores even have local coupons. It never hurts to ask…what can they say? Just no. I find “what is your best price on this?” to be a non offensive way to negotiate. You aren’t insulting them with a low ball price and aren’t really leaving money on the table. Once the price is given either walk away or accept. Don’t haggle more. If you walk away and they really want to sell, they will initiate further discussion.
4. Get out of town – I like to thrift on vacation or when just passing through somewhere. You will find local items and have a unique way to grab a vacay souvenir. Different parts of the country have different personalities. You will find this reflected in the merchandise in thrift & resale stores.
5. Have an open mind – This is the most important tip of all. Look at items from the angle of what they have the potential to be, don’t just see them for what they are now. Love the pattern and colors in a comforter you see? Make it into pillows. A great sweater? Christmas ornaments in waiting. Trays, bowls, trinkets and gadgets galore await a magical transformation and loving home in these stores. Have fun and hunt away.
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