In recent years, thrift store shopping has evolved into almost a sport. If you’re a thrift store shopper, you know what I mean! Who will be the first to find that treasure… that one of a kind, diamond in the rough, overlooked, Antiques Road Show worthy item? Maybe you’re looking for an unusual piece of furniture to fit in an unusual space, perhaps that one item to complete the collection started by your great-grandmother, or clothing with the perfect designer label.
Or just something strange that strikes your fancy.
Thrift stores have all that and more! On any given day, items are dropped off at our back doors as donations, no longer of value to the donor but still of considerable worth to someone.
Give yourself plenty of time.
Thrift stores, unlike department stores, do not have the luxury of knowing what types of merchandise will arrive at their door from day to day. Some stores are much more organized than others, but at their best, they still have the challenge of organizing massive amounts of clothing and dissimilar merchandise. Give yourself time to look at everything. Pick up what catches your eye – it might not be there in 10 minutes when you go back for it!
Have a use in mind.
It may be a bargain but what will you do with it? If you like an item but are not sure what you would do with it – pass on it. If you purchase the item and bring it home it may just turn into more clutter. More often than not, it may end up in the donation pile down the road.
And be creative.
Look through each department with an open mind. Do you love a frame but not necessarily the picture in it? The lines of a piece of furniture that could use a little paint or pampering? A fabric table cloth that might make a wonderful skirt? If you are handy with needle and thread or a paintbrush, think outside the box to what these items can become.
Try it on!
If you are shopping for clothing, try everything on. And try shoes on twice! Are all the buttons sewn on well? Does the zipper work? Don’t purchase an item just because of a designer label. Consider how the item will fit into your wardrobe. If it doesn’t fit – put it back!
If you are looking for a specific item, you may not find it on your first visit, or your second. You may have to check back several times or visit multiple thrift shops in order to find what you have in mind.