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 and linens, decorative pillows, candleholders and fancy drink glasses, framed art and much more, all of the things I admire in gift shops, but find too expensive. So when I find them in a thrift shop, I snap them up. And when I use them, no one has to know where they came from, unless I want them to know.
I once had a person tell me that she made extra money by purchasing any item of clothing that was high end and in good shape.. any size, but neutrals are best in color. She took them home washed, repaired, and pressed. Then she took them to a consignment store to be sold. She was able to pocket the extra dollars she made.
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