Finding an excellent deal is a great feeling, but it entails more than just stumbling on a cheap price tag; it’s a science. Here is your complete buyer’s guide to the do’s and don’ts of thrift shopping. Save yourself time, money, and effort by following these tips when you visit your next thrift store.
Do Your Homework
Before heading out to the store, do your diligence and check which places have the best deals. Some stores may offer better discounts on certain days of the week, typically on weekdays since most people go shopping on the weekends. For example, Goodwill provides a higher percentage off their merchandise on certain days of the week.
There are a few thrift stores that have reward programs that you can take advantage of as well. These programs generally offer special discounts for birthdays, customer anniversaries, and holidays. Sign up for a rewards program today and save more!
Follow Store Policies
Many thrift stores offer significant savings on their items, but that doesn’t mean they’re open to bargaining for an even lower price. If you see something that you’d like to purchase at a lower price, it may be worth asking the store about it, but try to be understanding if they cannot lower the cost for you.
Thrift shops typically have their own store policies that differ from major retail stores, so be sure to check the store’s policies before going there. You may even be able to price match at a thrift store, depending on their sales policies.
Prioritize What You Can Splurge On
Buying new makeup may be a bit more expensive, but it’s safer than buying “pre-owned” makeup. Be attentive to what you’re buying at thrift stores. For instance, buying used hats may seem innocent, but caps that can’t be washed or sanitized can carry lice and other harmful bacteria from strangers. Keep in mind that you don’t know what you could catch from those items when buying secondhand products. A general rule of thumb is to only purchase items that you can clean before using them. Budget your spending money wisely and be okay with splurging on new items when you need to.
Visit Garage Sales
Garage sales are essentially a thrift shop right in your neighborhood! There are a few benefits to buying your items at a garage sale, like having the freedom to haggle a price. While some thrift stores may not allow haggling, you can talk with the homeowner and settle on a price that’s good for both of you. Another benefit of visiting garage sales is that you get to find out more about the item, like how long they’ve owned it and its condition, instead of a thrift shop where you don’t know where the item came from. Many neighborhoods will host community garage sales as well. Just make sure you bring cash when you visit your next garage sale!
Save on Holiday Decorations
A great way to get the best deal on holiday decorations is buying the décor after the holiday. This is a smart way to stock up on brand-new seasonal décor for the next year. Many big retail stores like Target, Walmart, or Meijer will have seasonal sections where everything is between 50 percent and 75 percent off. Some items are sold for as cheap as $0.99. Now that’s what we call good savings! According to the law of supply and demand, stores will drive up their prices of certain seasonal products the closer we get to that season.
Buy High-End Clothing
You can find great deals on high-end clothing. Some people donate clothes that they’ve never worn and will even keep the price tag attached. These are the clothing items you want to go for in a thrift store because they provide the biggest bang for your buck. Not sure if that clothing item fits you? Head to the store in an outfit that you can easily pull clothes over to see if it suits you before purchasing it.
Be Prepared To Walk Away
Some days we walk out of the store with an armful of significant items, but then there are other days that we don’t, and that’s okay. Part of the thrift shopping process is trying to find the best deal for the best items. This includes being prepared to walk away from a price if it doesn’t align with what you’re looking for or your budget goals. Walking away from an item doesn’t mean you’re losing it forever. You may even find something better for a lower price. We love when that happens!
Use the Internet to Your Advantage
Lots of thrift stores have websites that you can shop through as well. In fact, some thrift shops have a strong online presence and will offer unique social media discounts that you can score with the touch of a button. With the help of online shopping, you no longer have to be in a physical store to get good deals.
For instance, buying children’s clothes secondhand is an excellent idea because kids are constantly growing—why buy new clothes when you end up donating them after a few months anyway? You can find some great secondhand children’s clothes for sale online! There are many great secondhand items you can find online, making it easier for you to save more.
Track Your Coupons
A great way to get great deals is by using coupons. You don’t have to thrift shop only at thrift stores! You can buy high-quality items at a fraction of the price by using the couponing method. Subscribe to coupon magazines to get local discounts on your daily items. The best way to keep track of your coupons is by keeping them organized in a binder and buying in bulk.
When shopping at your local thrift store, be sure to closely examine your items before buying them. If you’re purchasing something that requires power, check the store to see if you can use any open outlets to try out the device. Most thrift shops do not allow returns or refunds, so you want to make sure that the item is not only in good shape but that it works properly before you take it home.
Thrift shopping doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t require years of experience. By following our complete buyer’s guide to thrift shopping, you can save more money today!