When I posted recently about finding the mirror at Goodwill, a friend responded “How do you always find such good stuff?” So I figured I’d share some tips that might help make your thrift store shopping more successful. And I will say that I’m at a bit of advantage because we have 3 Goodwills in Johnson City, so that helps a lot!
1) Go often – Merchandise is constantly changing at thrift stores, as they restock the shelves daily. So the more often you go the better your chances are of finding good stuff. I’ve probably been to Goodwill once a week this summer.
2) Go at the beginning of the week – Like I said, merchandise changes daily, but Mondays and Tuesdays tend to have the newest and/or nicest stuff. Many people will donate things on Saturday or Monday, after cleaning out over the weekend, or if they have yard sale items that didn’t sale.
3) Just do it! – In my opinion, if you’re contemplating getting something, just buy it. Obviously thrift stores don’t offer multiples and you can’t buy it online. So many times I’ve put something back on a shelf and then gotten home and really wished I’d gotten it. I’ll go back a day or two later and it’ll be gone. And if the item is in really nice condition or something commonly used, this is especially true.
4) Shop for potential – A lot of the items you’ll see at the thrift store aren’t going to jump out at you, because they’re mostly outdated and sometimes just plain ugly. That’s why you have to look at everything as what it could be, not what it is. Lacking inspiration and ideas? Looking at decorating/crafting magazines and blogs will help a lot. You can often find articles that will show before and after projects, and ideas about how to reuse old items. And I think the more you see things you like, the easier it is to come up with it yourself. Better Homes and Gardens has a Do It Yourself magazine that is full of crafty decorating ideas, and every so often they come out with an antique edition that shows how to repurpose antiques. It’s probably my favorite magazine for this kind of thing, you should check it out!
Well, hopefully these tips will help, happy thrifting!