Thrift Store Shopping Tips

Many shoppers find exceptional bargains at their local thrift stores. This is a guide about thrift store shopping tips.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

9 found this helpful
February 7, 2008 Flag

I was just reading the comments on the "Saving Money On Jeans" post, and I agree with the poster who said that Goodwill is getting "expensive"! There was a bigger, nicer Goodwill building built here in my city a few years ago, but on recent trips there, I've noticed that the prices are rather high (at least for a thrift store, in my opinion). My best friend used to work for them, and said that they often get brand new merchandise donated to them from Target and other stores. However, there are at least two other different thrift stores here in my city, and I know that at least one of them also gets donations from Target, and they have much lower prices.

Ad


Once I bought a Target item from Goodwill, only to find it about $1.25 cheaper at Salvation Army! So my tip is to check out all the thrift stores in your area and compare prices. You might find some of the same items there, and get them cheaper than you would at Goodwill. I do still shop at Goodwill, but after I've looked at the other thrift stores first!

By Lisa from Kenosha, WI

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
December 21, 20090 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have found that Goodwill & Salvation Army are entirely different even in the same city. Local managers have a lot of room to make changes and they usually do as they please as long as money is coming in. Gainesville, FL has a "new" Goodwill that looks like a dump all the time. Their Salvation Army is a true dump. Prices are still not cheap.

Ocala, FL has a beautiful Salvation Army that sells great items but prices have recently gone up also. Goodwill here is known as the "Goodwill Boutique" because of the high prices. Another Goodwill sells everything by the pound so sometimes you can find a good buy but it takes a lot of time sorting through as lots of stuff is just thrown in "tubs".

Bargains are usually found at church or true charitable thrift stores and some yard sales. It is also very difficult to find truly disabled workers at the Goodwill stores.

Ad
ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Comments

4 found this helpful
April 12, 2016 Flag

Thrift shopping is one of my favorite ways to save money. Like it or not, we live in a materialistic culture that can be reflected in the stock of any given thrift shop. Every day clothing, furniture, and housewares are donated by those who buy too much for those who can't buy much of anything. As the old saying goes, one person's trash is another person's treasure. The following are some tips to not only make thrift shopping easier and more pleasant, but also help get the most for the least amount of money.

  1. Location, location, location: A good rule of thumb is that the thrift shop will reflect the neighborhood that they are near. By knowing the area, you don't have to waste precious time and money during your thrift shopping trip. Generally, thrift shops located near a more affluent neighborhood carry a higher end stock than, say, a shop located in a middle class neighborhood. I would recommend shopping near more affluent neighborhoods. You will spend a little more, but you can still get amazing deals on quality, minimally used goods. The shop I frequent most is located less than a half-mile from a university campus. They usually have a decent selection of books, handbags and clothing. Also keep in mind your transportation needs. You don't want to be stuck walking a mile.

  2. Don't be afraid: The very idea of thrift shopping might make one a little nervous. After all these are things others have owned and used before. Don't worry. Clothing can be washed and objects can be cleaned up nicely. It is important to note that there may be a stigma attached to buying second-hand. If you buy wisely, nobody would ever be the wiser. I've gotten more compliments on my second-hand clothing than on the clothing I buy new. The children will also be none the wiser, especially if you don't tell them.

  3. Keep an eye out for sales: Yes, thrift shops do have sales. One of my favorite shops features a week long color-code sale every week. For example, one week's sale may be on blue. If you buy something with a blue sticker or hang tag, it's 50% off. The best thing about this sale is that on Saturdays, the items marked with the featured color is 75% off. There are many different sales as there are shops so don't be hesitant to ask a friendly employee about them.

  4. Know about how big or small your body actually is: Never rely on the size tag inside a garment. Most shops size with generic small, medium, large, etc. In a lot of cases, clothing has shrunken in the wash, or has been stretched out due to improper handling or wearing in it's former life. The best way to judge size is just to eyeball it. Take your measurements if you need to or take a good objective look at yourself in a full-length mirror. This way you will not only find a really good fit for your body, but you also won't feel like pouting if those great jeans you found that fit like a dream happen to be a size or two larger than you would ordinarily take.

  5. Keep an eye out for potential: Many thrift shops have a bewildering array of unusual items. The really pretty dress with the broken zipper may be perfect for an upcoming occasion. If you're handy with a sewing machine, it wouldn't be anything to rip out the broken one and replace the broken one or replace it with another kind of closure to create a one-of-a-kind dress. An old and sturdy dresser that doesn't look the best can be repainted and repurposed to fit your needs. There's inspiration at every turn.

  6. Wear the right clothes when you shop: This is the most applicable if you must try on clothes in the store. Might I suggest wearing leggings and a close fitting top? You just never know if the person who donated the garment washed everything before donating.

  7. Take a buddy: Thrift shopping is fun when you go alone, but bringing a friend and add a lunch out can make for an amazing outing. I have a friend who works magic in a thrift shop. She managed to only pay about half of what she expected to pay, and I've learned also how to become a better thrift shopper because of what I've learned from shopping with her.
Thrift shopping is one of the more fun ways to save your hard-earned dollars. With the amazing deals you can find and your amazing good taste, you'll end up on top every time.

Related Content(article continues below)
CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
May 22, 20160 found this helpful

When you think about it, we sleep on used sheets, towels and washcloths in Motels and hospitals. We eat from dishes that many people used in a restaurant.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Comments

December 2, 2015 Flag

Look Like a Million for $2.50

CommentPin It!Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Whenever I shop, be it retail or thrift, I always have my eyes open for a great deal on formal wear. If you wait until you get an invitation, you have limited time to shop and will likely spend top-dollar.

Read More...

20 found this helpful
March 26, 2010 Flag

Look For the "Silver" Lining at Thrift Stores

CommentPin It!Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Look for the "silver" lining in that dark cloud. As a thrift store junkie, I don't know which I like more, searching out treasures or finding them at a rock bottom price.

Read More...

11 found this helpful
October 27, 2011 Flag

I learned that the Goodwill is changing their marketing strategies due to the availability of new goods coming off shelves of failing/going out-of-business/bankrupt stores. I have found a plethora of NEW in-the-box with-the-manual items at tremendously low prices.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

15 found this helpful
March 18, 2010 Flag

I desperately needed some new sweat pants but can't afford them new so I stopped at my local Goodwill Store. I was so happy when the woman at the counter asked about my age and because I am 56, I received a senior citizen discount of 20%.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

15 found this helpful
November 1, 2011 Flag

I have found treasures behind or under the glass at our local thrift stores. That is where they keep the items like bags, jeans, leather jackets, etc. Usually these items are priced way too high in my opinion because of the name, not the condition they are in.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

December 27, 2016 Flag

Shop Thrift Stores in January

CommentPin It!Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Shop in January for fantastic deals. People unload new, unwanted Christmas gifts, and older models of items they have upgraded. Also, people take advantage of the charitable contribution tax donation by donating by December 31.

Read More...

6 found this helpful
September 9, 2009 Flag

If anyone needs a reminder, though, please remember some thrift stores are done really well: having nice clothing and blankets, as well as

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

Debra Frick1 found this helpful
December 5, 2007 Flag

A Thrift Store Christmas

CommentPin It!Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

In these hard times, shopping at the thrift stores may be that the only way some of us will be able to afford a Christmas for our families. So here are some ideas of what can be done with thrift store bargains to turn them from "Trash" to "Treasure".

Read More...

6 found this helpful
October 25, 2011 Flag

Flanel pajamas, rain coat, two pairs pants with matching shirts, another shirt, and a pair of shoes in toddler sizes as well as a pair of adult sneakers and a butterfly decoration.

CommentPin It!Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

We all know shopping at thrift stores is a great way to save money on things, but I have found that I save even more if I go in late in a season to look for clothes for the next season.

Read More...

13 found this helpful
July 9, 2010 Flag

Get to know brands for the best thrift shop bargains! A $7 purse is nice, but a $7 Anne Klein purse is an even better value. The brands will probably be better made, so that the item will wear better too.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

6 found this helpful
August 12, 2010 Flag

Every year Goodwill has a membership drive -I think it's in April. They sell memberships for $5. You will get 1/2 off anything you buy that day ,and they mail you 12 coupons good for each month of the year for $5 off any $10 or more purchase.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

August 10, 2010 Flag

Think you can only get clothes and household items at thrift shops? There is often a lot of electronic and computer gear there, too. When our computer keyboard fritzed out last week, my hubby went out to the thrift shop and bought a new keyboard for about $5.00!

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

2 found this helpful
February 8, 2013 Flag

I frequently shop at Goodwill for clothing, household items, etc. I found that for only $5 I can get a mailing of monthly coupons for $5 off if you spend $10.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

1 found this helpful
July 27, 2016 Flag

Finding Silver Jewelry at Thrift Shops

CommentPin It!Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

This is a guide about finding silver jewelry at thrift shops. There are definitely bargains to be found at your local thrift store. If you know how to look, you may come upon a lovely piece of silver jewelry hiding under that tarnish.

Read More...

1 found this helpful
May 3, 2006 Flag

I grew up in a family of 4 children, a stay-at-home mom, and a father who didn't make a lot of money. We had everything we needed but I did wear a lot of boys PJs inherited from my older brother and cousins.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

10 found this helpful
July 20, 2011 Flag

Angel made from thrift store purchases

CommentPin It!Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Save on craft supplies by shopping at thrift stores. If you like to craft or have just a single project to make, you can't go wrong by checking out some thrift stores before purchasing new supplies.

Read More...

December 4, 2006 Flag

Thrift Stores For Christmas Decorations. For years, I envied pricey holiday decorations from specialty stores but they weren't in my budget. But in the last few years, I have discovered that thrift shops are a great source of really nice and classy holiday stuff.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

0 found this helpful
March 1, 2005 Flag

Go to the best town (most expensive real estate) and comb the thrift shops. Rich people throw things out too and sometimes new or near new. The quality may be better and you still pay thrift store prices. By JANET

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

0 found this helpful
September 7, 2005 Flag

Our local consignment shops have been doing stuff-a-sack (Walmart sack) for $3. I have been hitting them for the past 3 months and have gotten some great stuff.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

November 5, 2007 Flag

Just got a beautiful pair of like new red silk Stuart Weitzman designer ballerina-style flat shoes at a thrift shop for $1.99. When I researched it on the internet, they were worth at least $250! They had no wear at all, and I wondered about that until I saw that they were marked 8 1/2 and they fit me who usually wears 7 1/2 to 8.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

October 2, 2006 Flag

I got a nice black leather bag for $1 at a thrift shop. You can tell leather from vinyl by the smell. Leather wears so much better.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

March 28, 2006 Flag

Don't think of thrift shops for just utilitarian items. It's amazing, but you can often get higher-end consumer/fashion items, like fancy place mats...

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

0 found this helpful
November 17, 2004 Flag

Many times they have a super sale like a bag of clothes for $5. I've bought new hooded sweatshirts for my granddaughter with 6 fitting in a bag. Recently, they had women's clothing for $.50 each.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

0 found this helpful
October 20, 2008 Flag

I found a wonderful way to help a mother-to-be when my daughter and I went to her baby shower. I was informed that new clothes are donated to thrift stores when they are bringing in new stock. I went with my daughter to see if I could find some new clothes. What a windfall! I got beautiful new clothing for very little money as did my daughter.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

August 7, 2007 Flag

I realize that I do most of my shopping nowadays in various thrift shops. It's gotten to the point I get sticker shock when I go into a REAL store!

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...

July 20, 2007 Flag

When I am in thrift shops, I always look for little gift items - there are so many occasions to give little gifts - besides birthdays, there are get well gifts and so on.

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More...
Load More
Categories
Consumer Advice ShoppingFebruary 15, 2013
Guides
Finding Silver Jewelry at Thrift Shops
Finding Silver Jewelry at Thrift Shops
A photo of all the different actor's who played Doctor Who.
Making a Doctor Who Costume
Glass frog pencil holders.
Unique Pencil Holders
A Christmas wreath made from neckties.
Crafts Using Neckties
More
🐰
Easter Ideas!
🍀
St. Patrick's Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published by . Page generated on February 23, 2017 at 5:59:58 PM on 10.0.2.237 in 6 seconds. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of ThriftyFun's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. If you have any problems or suggestions feel free to Contact Us.
Loading Something Awesome!