If there was such a thing as Thrifters Anonymous meetings, I would be chairing them these days. I think it is an understatement to say that I am ADDICTED and hooked on the hunt for pre-loved treasures. I go often and as a result, I have some pretty damn good luck! Many people say to me "I don't even know where to start". Well, I've gathered up some of the tips and tricks that I have learned along the way that I feel any hopeful future thrifter should know:
Ask when your thrift store restocks so you can choose the best day or time of day to shop. Thrifting is really all about timing because if you miss out on an item, the likelihood of you coming across it again is very slim! If you can get to the thrift store shortly after they re-stock, you will get the best selection to search through.
Many stores will have their “speciality” in items that they stock. Other stores may ship their excess items to them as a result. Pay attention to the size of their “areas” designated to certain items (ie. Clothes vs furniture) to identify which store will specialize in what you’re looking for. From my experience, Goodwill is fantastic for larger furniture pieces while Value Village is great for decorating accessories.
SKIP WEALTHY NEIGHBOURHOODS AND FOCUS ON SMALL TOWNS
Small towns don’t normally get as many donations so they end up receiving donation shipments from bigger cities that have too much. You might THINK that you would find the best hidden gems in bigger and more wealthy neighbourhoods but that’s sometimes not the case!
Give yourself a 45-minute time limit in each thrift store and attempt to visit more often rather than longer.
WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES
You have to do most of the physical labour when shopping so if you need to lug out a big dresser, you best believe you will hate yourself if you’re wearing heels!
Thrift stores frequently price like-items at a single price, regardless of quality. If you spot something that you want but it is lightly damaged, don’t be afraid to ask for a deeper discount.
Some thrift stores will have “50% off Wednesdays” (or similar) and seasonal sales. If you are looking to purchase more bigger ticket items (ie. furniture), these are the best times to snag them!
Donate something of your own and receive a discount coupon for your next purchase!
Some thrift stores or Restores have agreements with commercial stores and receive brand new items from them if they didn’t sell or were out of season. My favourite Habitat Restore is sponsored by the local Homesense and receives all of their leftover clearance goodies. SCORE!