Saturday, August 27, 2016

Advice From a Serial Thrift Store Shopper

I have had several requests asking how I manage to always get the good stuff when I am thrifting....

I will provide a few tips to help you on your thrift store journey

1. You cannot pop into a thrift shop once in a while and expect to find that specific item that you were looking for. Thrift shops don't operate that way. You have to go often and several different shops, Like ALL the time. The more you shop, the better your chances are. If you need something specific that day, just head to the mall. 

2. Know your shops! Each shop has a different "specialty" if you will. Some are good for furniture, some for clothing, some for housewares, some for books, some for linens. I have yet to find a shop that caters to all of my needs. Which is why I go to a variety of shops.

3. Map out your shopping route. I find that many shops are in a cluster. I have it mapped out where I can hit 5 or 6 shops in one shopping day. (4 hours of my time)

4. Know the special sale days, For example, some shops have a 50% off day, Some shops have certain color price stickers on sale that day. Pay attention. And get a punch card. 3 of the shops I go to have punch cards. 

5. Know that some days will be a bounty of vintage goodness, and some days you will leave empty handed. It is what is it. They are thrift shops, Not every day will be a score.

6. I shop about 2 times a week. And 2 times a year, I take a road trip 1-2 hours away to venture to some new shops, have to keep things fresh.

7. Once in a while you score big. I almost peed myself when I saw these:

I purchased 2 large unused sketchbooks $5 each and a brand new still in wrapping prismacolor set of 24 colored pencils for $3 (which is the cost of one pencil retail) So I go to pay, drooling all over myself and this incredible deal, only to find out that green tags were 75% off! I am not fucking kidding! All this stuff for under $3 total!  Let it be known that that is a rare score. But it happens, I do get lots of incredible things....mainly because I go ALL THE TIME.

8. This bit of advice seems very unfun. However it is important: don't bring a friend that is shopping for the same stuff as you. Don't. It can ruin a friendship when you are both clamoring for the same vintage treasure. 

9. Don't try to make your shopping day on a Sunday. Many thrift shops are church affiliated and tend to be closed on Sunday. 

10. Don't be afraid to dig around. Ask for a discount if you are buying a lot of stuff. 

11. Make friends with the employees. 

Again, I can not state enough, that the key to success is to go frequently. That's how you will get the "good stuff". That is my number one key to success. Also,  try not to go on weekends as the stores are overcrowded and picked over. 

Keep checking back on my blog to see me feature some of  the vintage goodies that I find in my travels. 

Also follow me on Instagram, Tumblr, twitter and pinterest for sneak peeks

Shop at my 2 vintage shops, click on the shop links on the right hand side bar. 

Any advice that you can share? Comment and let me know!


  1. Thank you for the advice! Number 1 describes me. I should go often an not only every 3 months or so. :)

  2. Replies
    1. i think I probably have more suggestions, but this was a quickie post.