Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The DOs and DONTs of Thrift Store Shopping

First of all there are no pictures in this post. Why, you ask? Well my son has decided to start a You Tube art tutorial video and we taped last week and I have it in my drop box waiting to be edited. And it clogged up my whole dropbox!

That's okay, I have some good stuff to discuss regardless.

I snagged a book at a library book sale called GET REAL! WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE YOU BUYING Seriously so fantastic, and both my kids read it as well. It should be mandatory reading in the schools. It discusses everything environmental, advertising, sweat shops etc etc.

So although there are many things that my family and I can work on, I realize that we are probably better than 90% of the population in regards to being conscientious consumers.

Which brings me to the point about how important buying SECOND HAND really is. I am proud to buy and sell second hand. Its cool AND its better for our planet. AND there is so much to go around!

So I have included some DOs and DONTs of thrift store shopping:

DO: Make friends with the cashiers and staff. The more you go, the more they get to know you. They will give you deals and discounts and sometimes if you are lucky, they will let you sneak in the backroom!

DO: Check items twice for damage. Once before you put it in your cart, and again before you put it on the counter to pay. (I swear I find more damage when I put it on the counter)

DO: Check for sales and discounts on a sign as you enter. Most stores advertise their specials as you come in (ex 50% off yellow tags, 25% off of furniture)

DO: Dig! Dig through piles and racks. Don't be afraid to get a little dirty. The good stuff is often hiding.

DO: Ask for a box when you leave to put your items in. It stabilizes better when you drive, preventing breakage/damage. Plus, you have a free box for shipping!

DO: Ask for a discount if something is dirty. You know damn well you can clean it with the magic of Bar Keepers Friend or Magic Eraser. So may as well try to get a discount.

DON'T: Dress fancy. Seriously, why would you dress fancy at a thrift shop!?

DON'T: Snub your nose at the shoppers. You are not better than them. You will run into all sorts of characters. I have seen grown men stock up on womens underwear. You know, whatever floats your boat! Anyhow, remember that the original purpose of thrift stores was to provide affordable items to those who struggle financially, NOT for people on the hunt for VINTAGE PYREX. So show them some respect. (By the way, the interesting people is what make shopping thrift so fun!)

DON'T: Bring a friend who is looking for the exact same things as you! Nothing will ruin a friendship like 2 bitches fighting over a Fire King bowl. I used to shop with a friend that was on the hunt for vintage clothing. (Not something I was looking for) It made us a great team!

DONT: Leave your cart unattended. I almost had a 12 year old boy try to snatch some cool SIMPSONS stuff I scored.

DON'T: Forget to check every nook and cranny. Once I found PYREX Butterprint in the electronics department!

DON'T forget punch cards, many stores offer them. And don't forget your receipt, if you are all good about taxes and shit.

.....and most importantly....DON'T go shopping on a full bladder! OMG you don't want to be anywhere near a thrift shop bathroom! They are as scary as they get. In fact, one of the shops I frequent is in a shady part of town, and they closed their bathroom to the public because people were going in there to use drugs and they were finding needles on the floor. STAY away from thrift shop bathrooms! Go in a cup in your car if you must. AND if you are lucky enough to stand and pee, do that outside behind a building.  This may be the most important advice I offer you!

I am sure you have more to add, so feel free to chime in!

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