Thrift store shopping is one of the best idea when you want to enjoy a shopping splurge without worrying too much about the costs of the items you buy. It has totally brought the “shop and save” mantra to a whole new level. It has become more of an art than just an act that people do when they’re on a tight budget and wanted to shop. But then, as simple as it may seem, thrift store shopping should not be taken lightly because it requires a set of special skills that one should possess before getting yourself into it. So here are some tips to develop that “special skills” and save even more money when shopping at thrift stores.
So that you’re a productive and time efficient thrift-er, it’s important you perform pre-thrifting research to know where to travel, what to thrift and how to use a few helpful tech tools to make your shopping experience a successful one.
Pre-preparing for your thrift shopping experience guarantees that you’ll have everything you need for hours spent combing the racks, including food, water, amenities, tunes and equipment.
Know The Specials
Many thrift stores run different kinds of specials, often offering discounts of 50%, 75%, or even more off their regular daily prices. In my area, one chain takes 50% off anything with a different color tag every week, another discounts anything dated over a month ago, and still another puts out a monthly calendar with different half-off items each day (like ‘anything with a zipper”, “anything plastic”, and so on). Your stores might have discounts on a day of the week, or for certain kinds of people (military and seniors are commonly offered discounts, and sometimes students as well). Ask what’s on sale when you walk in.
Have A Use In Mind
This is a warning: don’t get carried away. Be creative, be practical, but also be sure that you can actually use everything you pick up at thrift stores. Low prices and the “here today, gone tomorrow” nature of the stock can lead to hasty purchases. Don’t shop for needs you might have, down the line — shop for things you can use immediately when you get it home.
That said, keep your eyes open for any surprising deals. It’s hit-or-miss with thrift stores, so sometimes you really hit the jackpot of gear your family truly needs. If you weren’t necessarily shopping for swimsuits, but you see a darling one in your daughter’s size this summer, then snag it up. You need to make sure what you find is actually something you need – otherwise, you’re just buying clutter, and you’re not saving money. Even so, think outside just your immediate family, and consider your extended family, your friends, or unexpected gift ideas. You could find birthday gifts for all your nieces and nephews, or you might find throw pillows in just the right shade your friend is looking for.
Check and Double-check for Quality
Intoxicated by the heady mix of a finder’s high and bargain prices, it’s easy to gloss over an item’s flaws. Don’t let that happen. Most thrift stores don’t allow returns or refunds, so unless you’re a whiz with a sewing machine or a stain stick, pay attention to such details as split seams, missing buttons, stuck zippers or discoloration on clothing. Likewise, understand your handyman limitations on furniture, appliances, bicycles and other items. Even the best bargain sours if it’s left to languish as an unfinished project on a to-do list. Focus on items in good, serviceable condition, or those with only minor defects that you’ll have the time, skill and motivation to address yourself.
Don’t stay stuck in one section section
Just because you’re a woman, don’t be a afraid to go through the men’s section. You never know what you’ll find if you don’t look through the entire store.
Take your time
Digging for treasure takes time. Making sure you take your time while going thrifting because being in a rush takes all the fun out of the process.
Get a Rapport Going With Your Cashier
Most thrift stores don’t have a set-in-stone pricing structure so striking up a conversation with your cashier and telling them how nicely their orange vest brings out their freckles couldn’t hurt, especially if you are going to be coming in on the regular. If the employees get to know you well enough, they may even be willing to set aside that elusive Pierre Cardin grandpa cardigan you’ve been on the hunt for, before it is available to the masses.
Shop with Coupons
Combine thrift store prices with coupons for an unbeatable deal. School coupon books and your local newspaper are two places to look for coupons. Have a cell phone? Some thrift stores now offer electronic coupons. Text a certain number, and they’ll respond with a coupon code. Sweet!
Clean out your closet regularly and donate your unused items to a local thrift store. Many thrift stores support people with disabilities or those who are less fortunate. What an easy way to help a great cause. And you can write it off on your taxes – just ask for a receipt!
Sources: Thrift and Shout: Thrift Tips, Save More Money at Thrift Stores, Thrift Store Shopping Tips- Top Thrifting Tips, 14 thrift store shopping tips ready to help you score some awesome stuff – AOL, 5 Expert Tips for Better Thrift Store Shopping | Money Talks News, 12 tips for thrift store shopping | The Art of Simple, A Basic Guide to Thrift Store Shopping, 34 Tips on How to Thrift Store Shop « Sammy Davis Vintage Fashion