Don’t put anything down!
If you even think there is a chance you might purchase the item, for the love of thrifting DON’T PUT IT DOWN! As soon as you toss it, there will be someone behind you to swoop it up (No I’m not paranoid it’s true).
Walk every isle! Look with your hands not just your eyes. Second hand stores stack stuff on more stuff. The best finds might be hiding. After you have walked every isle, do it again (I mean it). More than likely you will find something that didn’t catch your eye the first time through. Eight times out of ten my best finds are on my second walk through (See the lovely jewelry boxes pictured above…yep second stroll).
Look past the dust, color, rust, and stains.
Instead, think about what it could be. Don't box yourself in by first appearances or all you'll see is... junk. Try and repurpose it in your mind before buying it! Sometimes the best finds only need a little love and some spray paint. (See Diner Caddy DIY for inspiration)
Thrifting and friends don’t always mix!
Go with people who have different styles than you for less competition (told you this is a sport) or roll solo. I once witnessed two of my best friends, Ian and Claire, kill each other for silver candle sticks...Claire won…dinner was awkward.
Wash everything you buy!
This sounds obvious, but seriously. I had a friend (she will remain anonymous) who got a rash from an unwashed scarf!
Ask for discounts
Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. You would be surprised how often I’m able to get money off my thrift store purchases. The worst someone will say is no. Don’t be shy.
Thrift on the regular
I have a list of my favorite local thrift stores that I frequent. Going once in a blue moon will not lead to great finds. Stop in weekly, especially if you are looking for a particular item. Also ask when they put out their new merchandise, so you can have an advantage over your fellow thrifters.
Don’t forget about garage sales
Don’t be that person who turns thier nose up at a garage sale, but walks into Goodwill a second later. It’s the same damn thing! One just has less overhead cost.
Save money on the simple things
Look for things that usually cost a fortune in a regular store. These items include picture frames (ignore the weird poodle picture), baskets (not the right color…spray paint), and stemware to name a few.
Bribery never hurt…
Make sure to get your significant other something while you are out (preferably something new and shiny). This will hopefully distract them from your personal hoarding problem!
These tips should have you thrifting like a pro in no time. Remember not every trip to Goodwill will end with a fabulous find, but the trips that do will be worth it. And if you see me at a thrift store, you better watch out...just because I shared my tips doesn’t mean I’ll share my finds...thrift to the death people!