How to Shop at a Thrift Store like a Pro

If you’ve been inspired to start shopping at thrift stores to save money after reading about the 5 best things to buy at thrift stores, then you’ll want to make note of this post. I’m going to give you the secrets to making the most out of shopping at thrift stores. Over the years, I’ve developed some tips and tricks for making my thrift store shopping days more productive and less likely to see me come home with stuff I really don’t need.

  • Be Prepared. The Girl Guide motto is highly useful when it comes to thrift store shopping.
    1. Take Pictures – are you looking for the perfect painting for your living room? Do you need accent pieces for your bedroom? Take photos with your cell phone so that you know what colours or design schemes you’re trying to match. Nothing is worse than getting a dark green throw when you needed a light green one.
    2. Measure it! Get a small measuring tape and keep it in your purse or your car. It would suck to find the perfect piece of furniture only to find out you either can’t get it home, or can’t get it up / down the stairs!
    3. Make a List – what do you need? What are you looking for? Write it down in a small notebook or on your phone so that you don’t forget to look for the items you need.
  • I have a kit that I call my Thrift Store Necessities – it includes a notebook, pen, my smartphone (with pictures on it), a measuring tape, and a small flashlight to look INSIDE drawers etc to make sure there aren’t any cracks or splits in wooden furniture.

    My Thrift Store Shopping Kit
    My Thrift Store Shopping Kit
  1. Be Persistent – Unless you have a very short list, you won’t find everything on it on the first try. Keep going back to the stores and keep your list current so that you know what you’re looking for. Half the fun of shopping in thrift stores is the hunt!

 

  1. Be Strategic – If you think you might want something, grab it the minute you see it! Don’t leave it on the rack and think about it – it will probably be gone before you get back to it. Use a cart and put anything you think you might want in it. Then, when you’re done shopping, sift through and pare down to items you love.

 

  1. Be Efficient – If you need a purse, go straight to the purse section and look around. Don’t be tempted by the books or shoes. Once you’ve looked for the item(s) you are shopping for, then browse. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone else walk out with the item you wanted.

By following these tips, you can become a thrift store super shopper.

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