Thrift Store Shopping Tips

February 7, 2008

Thrift Store ClothesI 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.


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



December 20, 20092 found this helpful
Top Comment

As a former Goodwill Production Manager I completely agree with you Lisa. Goodwill knows that people will keep shopping their stores so they will keep raising the prices. It has gotten out of control and outrageous over the past few years. They know it!

I now shop at the local Habitat Store for a mere 10¢ on the exact same item at GW for $2.00. To me, it is worth the extra mile of gas to get the much better deals.

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October 27, 2011

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.


November 1, 2011

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.


June 25, 2019

I love thrift stores. My mom took my 5 sisters and me to the same store every time we went to the beach. That store is still there and I still shop there. Almost any thrift store has something I need. But they're not equal.

A rack of clothing at a thrift store.


September 9, 2009

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


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
November 28, 2017

I go to my local thrift store at least once a week. You never know what you are going to find. Today I found an Alex and Ani bracelet for $1, which my daughter will love.


This bracelet would have cost $28 new.

A designer bracelet found at a thrift store.


August 12, 2010

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.


May 3, 2006

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.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
August 10, 2010

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!


February 8, 2013

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.


March 1, 2005

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


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 27, 2016

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.

Shop Thrift Stores in January


September 7, 2005

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.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
October 2, 2006

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.


November 17, 2004

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.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
August 7, 2007

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!


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
July 20, 2007

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.


November 4, 2004

If you frequent thrift stores, ask when new shipments generally arrive and find out how long it typically takes for the store staff to get the merchandise out on the floor for sale. This info will allow you to avoid searching through the same items over again without waiting so long that the "good stuff" is picked over. By Leann D



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

January 15, 2010

I shop at Goodwill regularly. I have problems removing the price off of non-clothing items like dishes, etc. The price is written in black directly on the item. I have tried soap, bleach, etc. and nothing works. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

By Vera from Little River, SC


January 15, 20101 found this helpful

As a former employee I can say the best thing to use is regular hairspray. It may take a couple of applications, work in a circular motion.
I used to get so annoyed at the way things were marked. Tried my best to change it but they wouldn't budge. My thoughts were it ruins an item where it is placed, no one seemed to care. Just move the merchandise. My local store has even over priced it's way from being a thrift store. Is a shame the company has seemed to forget it's founding fathers and why it was created.


Good luck!

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August 16, 2005

Tips for getting the most out of thrift store shopping. Post your ideas.


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
March 11, 20050 found this helpful

I go to the Goodwill on one-half off days (holidays or first Saturday of the month), as it makes my dollars go farther. I pick up things for my five grandchildren and others I know that are living on a minimum wage income. This way we all win--Goodwill, my family, friends, the people who donate to Goodwill, and myself, as I am helping others.

By Rosanna Stefano

March 11, 20050 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to get the ink mark off of the bottom of tennis shoes bought at goodwill?

March 11, 20050 found this helpful

You may want to try the orange cleaner you can pick up at a dollar store. I have used it on a lot of things and it has successfully removed them!

Good Luck!


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
March 11, 20050 found this helpful

You could try hairspray on the bottom of the tennis shoe. Or perfume or rubbing alcohol.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 104 Feedbacks
March 11, 20050 found this helpful

Shop at thrift stores regularly - you can't just walk in and find what you want like you can in a retail store so you need to look often. Also have a list of your needs. Its not very thrifty to buy whatever you see that you fancy if you don't really need it so keep a list in your purse, (e.g. appliances, gaps in your wardrobe, furniture), and then you will know if you actually need the item you are considering, or just want it!



March 15, 20050 found this helpful

I shop at Good Will, Salvation Army,and Volunteers of America. When I buy something I always say keep the change or add a couple dollars to it.
Lets face it they are doing me more a favor then say A chain store does.
I have been where those workers are.

No. I buy only what I need and I usually donate to them stuff I no longer use several times a year.

You can't beat those thrift shops for books. Puzzles,furniture and Nic-Nacs,
I'm sorry I can't wear the clothes I am just too tall.
I guess not many tall people donate.

One thing Salvation Army And Volunteers Of America do.
They have sales every day on diffeant stuff.
One dat It Furniture another day Books.
They usually have the days of sales on the wall inside the door.

And the clothes have different colored tickets that tell you how much you get off listed prices.

Happy Thrifty Shopping
Mr. Thrifty

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November 25, 2008

With a lot of people using thrift stores, how "safe" are the donations? Can you "catch" anything from what you buy?

Kathy from Coatesville, PA

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November 27, 2017

Shopping at thrift stores can be a good way to find inexpensive gifts for family and friends. Sometimes money is tight and having a thrift store christmas is the best way to celebrate the gift giving associated with Christmas.

Girl with Present

July 27, 2016

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 hiding under that tarnish. This is a page about finding silver at thrift shops.

A pile of silver jewelry on a wooden surface.

March 20, 2018

You can find great deals on decorator pieces for a small price tag at your local thrift store. This is a page about decorating with thrift store finds.

Woman holding picture frame she has purchased

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