Do you desire to find that perfect “something”, that no one else has; a piece of art to refurbish that completes your feature wall, a vintage tin to finish off a seasonal display, or a necklace that adds just the right pop of colour to your new outfit? Well look no further, I have your ultimate guide to mastering the thrift store so that you don’t become discouraged and give up. It’s all about planning and being strategic. Follow these 10 easy tips and turn frustration into excitement and adventure!
1. GO OFTEN – I mean if I could go every day I probably would, but then the store might get to look the same and the fun goes out of it (and then I might call it an addiction). So go at least once a week to each of your favorite thrift stores.
2. SIGN UP FOR SALE DAYS – (usually via email) and go early on those days!
3. GET TO KNOW THE STORE AND STAFF – You never know who might point items out that they know you are looking if you take the time to learn their name(s) and be conversational with them. I’ve made great finds because a staff member knew me and what I was looking for.
The above tray, chalk paint by Americana and chalk pen were all purchased at a Dollar Store called “Buck or Two” (which is just as good as the thrift store sometimes). Check out “Hatch Some Fun” for a quick and easy DIY tutorial.
4. BE PATIENT – Take your time and enjoy the treasure hunt. Look for the hidden gems that get misplaced.
5. SEARCH ALL SIZES WHEN LOOKING FOR CLOTHES/SHOES – I have found my size in another size section due to a staff or customer misplacing it.
The Ikea frame for this jewelry display was purchased at a Value Village. Many of my necklaces and earrings on this display are also from Value Village. Check out my easy DIY jewelry display called “Get the Hang of It”.
6. BE STRATEGIC – Rate what areas are most eye catching to you, so you have a system to work through the store especially on those days when you don’t have a ton of time (lunch breaks from work).
7. KNOW WHEN NEW STOCK COMES IN – This way you are aware of new to the store items and can get a (designer) leg up on the competition.
The Twinings tea tin for the “Not Sew Succulent” easy felt DIY craft arrangement was purchased at a Value Village years ago.
8. IF YOU SEE IT AND LOVE IT – BUY IT!!! Don’t second guess it or put it back, as chances are it won’t be there when you change your mind and decide to come back. (Been there, done that and bought the thrift store t-shirt). If you check out the store’s return policy, chances are you can get an exchange or store credit.
9. CHECK OUT THE STORE’S INCENTIVE PROGRAM – Every time I donate to my favorite thrift store (Value Village), I get a punch on a card that builds by 5% to 10% off each time I bring clothes or household items in.
The milk glass vases and blue vintage bowl were thrift store finds over the years. Find how to arrange vintage vases for a home decor display in “5 Vintage Inspired DIY Displays“.
10. MAKE A BARGAIN ON A BARGAIN – If something feels overpriced or there is a spot of damage on the item ask for a manager and give a good reason as to why you should have a discount. (I once purchased a designer chiffon dress with a rip at the bottom as I knew it would still be valuable to me as I was going to make it shorter anyway. I got it for a steal at $4.99!!). Do not bargain on the discount though, just take the discount they give you. After all, you are getting a great deal.
11. BONUS!! Know your favorite brands and go for the higher end, higher quality products (especially in clothing) as the item will last longer because remember it already has some wear and tear.
The above “Love” embroidery hoop was found for $.25 at a United Church thrift store. Check out my Easy Modern DIY Embroidery Tutorial called “Embroider with Love“.
With thrift in mind, go on and check out all of the FREE goodies in the FREE PRINTABLES gallery page!!
So go forth and conquer your nearest thrift store(s)! Enjoy your treasure hunting! Drop me a line and let me know your most recent or valued find and what you did to repurpose it. And if you like what you see and read, please share, pin or comment. Thank you!
Blessings from my house to yours,