If you’re looking to restock your home or revamp your closet on a budget, thrift stores are a great alternative to traditional retail. Despite dingy lighting and overwhelming piles of product, thrift stores are treasure troves for those who know how and where to look. Follow these tips to score some exciting finds on your next thrift store trip.
Visit often. Thrift stores don’t put in regular orders or carry standard merchandise. What’s available depends on what has been brought in most recently. Find out the days and times your thrift store restocks its shelves to get first dibs on all the latest items.
Check the back racks. Unlike a traditional retail environment, thrift stores don’t typically carry multiples of an item. Some of the best pieces may be on the racks at the back of the store near the dressing rooms. These items have already been searched out and deemed valuable enough to try on. Just because they weren’t a good fit for the person who originally found them doesn’t mean they won’t work for you.
Dress appropriately. Not all thrift stores have dressing rooms so be sure to wear tight fitting clothing so you can try on pieces over what you’re already wearing.
Check clothes carefully. Check clothes for stains, loose threading, missing buttons and other potential problems. Be sure to turn items inside out, too, for a full assessment. If you’re considering an electronic purchase, plug it in to be sure it works. Even books should be scanned for missing or damaged pages. Any and all damage should be noted before making a purchase. Can you fix it? Will it be worth the cost?
Ask for a discount. This might be more difficult at some of the larger thrift stores, but remember, all thrift shops need to get rid of items to clear the way for new inventory so it’s in their best interest to sell. If there is a defect, don’t be afraid to point it out and ask for a lower price. If they can’t change the price of that item, maybe they can throw in another small item for free.
Cash in on deals and specials. Many thrift stores offer discounts to certain groups, including seniors and students. They might also have special days or hours where items go on sale. Some stores may offer a discount for paying with cash. To stay up to date on the latest thrift store deals and promos, follow your favorite locations on social media.