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The Hunt for the Best Price: A Thrift Shop Guide

Written by Nicole Kohn  |  19. August 2013

When you think of a thrift shop, what’s the first thing that comes to mind other than the Thrift Shop song by Macklemore? If you thought of saving money then you’re on the right page.
 
Thrift shops are a great place to make your hard earned money stretch a bit further, and can help you to keep within a reasonable budget. They stock a wide variety of unique items, including appliances, furniture, children toys, jewelry ( both elegant and costume), books, DVDs, antiques, shoes and a big selection of clothes to choose from. 
 
Thrifting can be a lot of fun and when it comes to getting the most out of your trip to a thrift shop, following some key rules will help you. Walking into a thrift shop and not having a budget or an idea of what you’re looking for can make thrift shopping more difficult and more expensive. So go in with a good attitude and a plan and you’ll be sure to find yourself some great second hand treasures.
 
Here are some great tips to follow while thrifting, to maximize your money and find the best deals out there. 
 
1. Set Yourself a Budget: You can challenge yourself to  This may sound hard, but walk in telling yourself you are only going to spend $20. You can challenge yourself to see how much you can buy (that you need) for $20. 
 
2. Know What Days They Gold Specials & Sales: Often, bigger thrift shops such as Island Thrift, have days where certain tags are marked 50% off; this is a great day to shop. Try calling the shop ahead of time to see what sales are being offered. Scoop out bargain sales by looking for the color tags that are marked down. Remember, make sure to arrive on the early side because a lot of other people wait for this day to shop as well. 
 
3. If You Like It, Put It in Your Cart: If you find something you like, but you are not positive if you want to purchase it, don’t put it back. Place it in your cart and as you are looking around you can decided whether or not you want the item. It’s best to always have the option then to go back to find that someone else has already picked it up.  
 
4. Bring a Thrifting Buddy: It is hard to look through a rack of clothes by yourself. So make a trip to the thrift shop, a “girls day out”, making the trip a lot more fun and you can tackle the shopping in half the time.
 
5. Check Your Closet Beforehand: It is easy to forget what you have hanging in your closet - so make sure you take a quick check through your wardrobe and accessories and make a list of things you want to look out for.
 
6. Have Patience: It is important to have some time and patience. Not being in a great mood can affect the outcome of your trip, so you might want to think about leaving the shopping for another day. When you're in a good mood and have an open mind, it’s more likely you will run into some great finds. Also, don’t give up if you can’t find something in the first shop you walk into. Just make your way to the next one, and you eventually find something that is right up your alley. 
 
7. Check Your Finds Before Buying Them: Before you pay for all your great finds, make sure you check that there are no stains or holes in the clothing and test that the zipper works on jeans and sweatshirts. Also check the pockets, seams etc. 
 
8. Try Things On: If it doesn’t fit, DON’T buy it! It will sit in your closet and never get worn - you’ll end up not saving money on things but rather waste money on things you’ll never wear. You may think that you can squeeze into the cute pair of heels you have in your hand, even though they are not your size. But if the shoe doesn’t fit then it’s not a good deal.
 
9. Shop for Things Other Than Clothes: There is more to thrifting than just clothes. Thrift shops are a great place to find cheap books, CDs and movies. You can find yourself spending $15 on five books rather than spending the same amount on one book. Thrift shops are a great place to find cheap furniture for people who have just recently moved into an apartment, or college students who don’t want to spend a lot of money.
 
10. Most Importantly, Give Back: Go through your closet and donate everything that doesn’t fit you to the thrift shop you purchase from.
 
 
Thrift shopping lets you determine your own style, instead of the amount of money you have in your wallet doing it for you. It’s something you can do with a group of friends, or by yourself, and the satisfaction of finding something that you love and paying little to nothing for it, now that’s priceless. But don’t stop there, in the summer/fall season, Garage sales are another great way to save some money, and do a little “treasure hunting.” 
 
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and hunt some treasures, before someone else finds it.
 
Do you have a thrift shop find that you are proud of? Share it with us, and let us know where you found it! 
 
 
[Sources: All Women's Talk, Thrifty Hunter
 

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