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13 Tips to Get The Most from Thrift Store Shopping

If you love thrift shopping then you probably love saving money. Going thrifting can be more profitable when you plan your trip out in advance. Issues like the timing of donations, location, and your own personal schedule can mean the difference between finding something great and going home with a questionable object. Here are 13 tips and tricks to help make your next thrifting trip a hands down success.

13) Look for Quality

Do some research beforehand if you’re shopping for something specific. The brush strokes on a painting or the stitches on a leather bag can be clear signs of quality- but only if you know what you’re looking for.

12) Small Town Shopping

If you have a choice between city and small town thrifting, choose the small town option. Since chains like Goodwill often have a surplus of city inventory, they will ship extra donated goods to stores in smaller towns.

11) Shop by Neighborhood

The nicer the area the more likely you are to find high end items. Also, keep in mind the personality of the neighborhood. Do lots of young families live there? Retirees? Hipsters? This will affect what kinds of items you will find at each location.

10) Plan Your Trip

Go in the middle of the week since there will be fewer shoppers (and hopefully more inventory) on non-weekend days.

9) Check the Other Racks

For clothing check the racks near the dressing rooms. These might be brand name, high dollar, or vintage items that just happened to not fit whoever tried them on. These pieces certainly are seeing some action so its worth checking out.

8) Use Your Discounts

Whether it’s a senior discount, coupons, or student discount use them to your advantage. Go when certain sales favor your discount (like seniors day) or use that coupon on a higher-priced item for the best possible discount.

7) Consider the Season

Buying a coat for cheap in the spring time when people are cleaning out their closets just makes good sense. However, many stores like Value Village and Goodwill will have many more coats out at the beginning of the season (and most often for a higher price). The same is true for holiday decorations, swimsuits, and Halloween costumes.

6) Timed Shopping

Set a time limit if you’re going to more than one store. We’ve all fallen down the thrift store rabbit hole, but staying focused and sticking to your pre-determined time limit will mean you have more energy left for the next stores you shop at.

5) Be Patient

It usually takes about 3 weeks for an item to go on sale. If you saw something you liked, look again on later visits because items rotate much more quickly than a traditional retail store.

4) Always Test Electronics

You should never trust that something works. Instead test it out if at all possible. Any decent shop shouldn’t mind you doing so.

3) Look for New Items

There’s no better deal than getting a band new item for a great price. Look for clothing with original tags and home goods with original price tags for some great deals.

2) Know the Game

Furniture and kids’ items are some of the best deals out there in thrift stores. Furniture can go for a pittance, but be prepared to put in some work on it. Children’s items can be a great deal since many hardly get used before being donated.

1) Don’t Pay Too Much

Thrift stores should be offering between 80-95% off retail pricing. If you see something priced too high then just know that you can probably snag a much better deal at a later time.

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