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5 Secrets to Thrift Shopping

Shopping at thrift stores can be intimidating and time consuming if you’ve never done it before, but the outcome is worth it! There are families out there who decorate their entire homes with items they find in thrift stores, and a lot of the time you can’t even tell they didn’t pay full retail price. If you’re ready to save money and jump into thrifting, here are a few secrets to help you get started.

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1. Have an idea of what you’re looking for.
Thrift stores can be a sea of random things. At large expos and flea markets it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the selection, or too excited about what to spend your money on. Either way, if you don’t have an idea of what you’re looking for, you may end up buying things you don’t really need.

2. Get your smartphone ready.
Your smartphone can really make a difference when thrifiting. You may not find price tags on a few specific items because the seller will want to haggle. A quick internet search will give you a general idea of how much items are worth and will keep you from getting outsmarted.

3. Try it before you buy it.
Don’t be afraid to pick something up that needs a little work. Sometimes, if you’re willing to do some simple mending, gluing, or sewing, you can get some great deals. Also, make sure whatever you buy works before you buy it. If the item you want has damage you can always try to haggle down the price.

4. Get to know the owners.
If you’re a frequent thrifter, get to know the staff or the owners of certain shops or markets. They’ll fill you in on the general shipment and restock schedule. We all know that the real prizes fly off the shelves within minutes of being stocked, so make sure you are the first one to see the wave of new items.

5. Arrive early… or late.
Do you think it’s better to get to a garage sale or a flea market very early or closer to closing hours? It’s a trick question, because both have their advantages. When you arrive early to a garage sale, you’ll find the most treasured items showcased up front. The same happens in markets and stores, people want the good stuff! But if you arrive late at the end of the day, you will discover that sellers are tired and want to clear out the rest of their belongings. If you catch them while they’re cleaning up, you will most likely get items at a heavily discounted price, or even free!

Are you a master thrift shopper? What are your secrets? Tell us on our Facebook page.