How to Shop and Score at Thrift Stores
In today's economy, more families are turning to second-hand shopping for basic needs. I ventured into Goodwill for the first time a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Thrift shopping opened a whole new world of brand names for less into my life. I have not set foot in a mall since!
If you have never tried thrift shopping, you may be pleasantly surprised by the experience. The stores are not the dingy messes you may imagine. Most are well lit, organized and staffed with friendly faces. The constantly changing selection can be overwhelming, but can pay off big time when you find worthy "treasures".
Here are 7 tips for making the most of thrift store shopping:
1. Have a plan. Know your needs before hitting the store. For example, you may need specific clothing pieces for an upcoming holiday or family portrait. Focusing on these items will control your impulse purchases.
2. Rock the brand names. My closet is full of Banana Republic, GAP, Ann Taylor LOFT and JCrew, all at 80-90% savings. These usually fit better and last longer than bargain brands, but I am still paying far less.
3. Double check for damage. A button can easily be replaced or a hem retacked if necessary, but avoid stains and tears.
4. Shop on sale days. You may have to fight the crowds, but the extra savings are worth it. Why not score a shirt for 2 dollars instead of 4?
5. Leave the kids at home. Racks in thrift stores are perfect hiding places for toddlers. Ask me how I know.
6. Look for items with potential. An old lamp can be transformed with a can of spray paint. Don't hesitate to get creative and make things new again.
7. Be ready to dig. Thrift store shopping can take a little longer, since you have to hunt for those treasures. Shop on a full stomach with a bottle of water and allow some extra time for digging.
Are you a thrift store shopper? What are your favorite finds for less?