Thrifting involves shopping for affordable items at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and similar stores. The items may be pre-loved, pre-owned, upcycled, or brand new but are generally a mere fraction of what they would cost at a shop selling only new items.
Anyone can call themselves a thrift shopper, but there are ways to genuinely master the craft. The next time you hit the shops ready to grab a bargain, arm yourself with the following tips:
Compare New Prices to Used
Not all thrift store owners keep up to date with how much certain items cost when they’re brand new, so it’s a lot easier than you might think to spend more on something used than it would cost new.
Sometimes, the best price on cookware sets, appliances, and similar items is actually to be found online. When sales arise, you may be able to get a better deal on new items than you would on used items at the thrift store. So, before you go thrift shopping, research the price of the things you’re hunting for to ensure you get genuine bargains.
Visit on Weekdays
If you don’t work nine to five during the week or want to make the best use of your lunch break, go thrift shopping on weekdays. Many people make a weekend event of thrift shopping, which means there is often stiff competition for the best items. Weekdays often provide you with a better selection of goods and shorter lines for the checkout and changing rooms.
Learn About the Sale Days
Most thrift stores have sale days, which is when they try to clear out as much stock as possible to make space for incoming goods. Find out when these days are to get more bang for your buck. There is potential to spend a mere fraction of what you would have just by waiting a day or two before venturing out.
Take Your Time
There are over 25,000 thrift stores in the United States, which means your closest city likely has more than one for you to explore. Bargain hunting isn’t always a fast process, so set plenty of time aside to visit as many thrift stores in your areas as possible and take a thorough look at all the offerings. Sometimes, some of the best bargains are tucked away out of sight – easy to miss if you’re in a rush.
Learn the Neighborhoods
Most people who donate items do so in their own neighborhood. Think about the trends of each area, and you may just discover an abundance of those goods in the closest stores.
For example, you may find an assortment of vintage and designer items in older, wealthier areas but plenty of essentials, children’s clothing, and workout gear in your standard suburban neighborhood. Write notes of your general discoveries in different stores so that you can refer to them later when you’re on the hunt for something specific.
Your local Target or Walmart may have mostly the same merchandise each time you visit, but thrift stores are different. They always have an eclectic mix of goods dropped in from people of all walks of life, which means each time you visit is an opportunity to find something new. Don’t be afraid to stop by several times a week, as this may increase your chances of discovering something exciting.
Thrift shopping is a fun pastime and an excellent way to save money on everyday goods. By paying attention to the tips above, you’ll be primed to hunt down the best bargains.