THRIFT SHOPPING: 10 Tips To Score Fabulous Finds!
Shopping at a thrift store, consignment boutique, yard sale or flea market, is a great way to score fabulous and unique items. Even for the most seasoned second-hand shopper, these places can be daunting. However, if you keep the following tips in mind, you can find amazing, one-of-a-kind pieces, that you wouldn't find anywhere else.
1. SHOP WITH AN AGENDA
Have desired items to look for, so that your excursion has a purpose. If you go just to browse, you may buy items that you're not in-love with, or find nothing at all.
2. RESEARCH YOUR FINDS
Luckily most of us have Smartphones. Use them to research your finds before you buy them. What do people pay for the brand if it was new? Ideal for clothing and furniture finds, you can tell how high-end/desired the item is. Consignment or vintage stores are great places to get high-end brands at significantly reduced prices.
3. BE OPEN TO RE-PURPOSING
Often you'll find an item that is the wrong color, or needs a little TLC. Don't dismiss it just because it is used. A fresh coat of paint, or a little tailoring may be in order to restore that piece with potential.
4. DON'T RUSH
Thrift/vintage shopping takes time. You need to go through racks with a find toothed comb to find those rare gems. It can be tedious and often you'll leave empty handed. However, when you find that gorgeous, too-good-to-be-true item(s)...it is SO worth it.
5. MAKE SURE YOU'RE DRESSED APPROPRIATELY
I don't mean looking the part of a vintage hunter. I mean, wearing something that allows you to try items on, even when there is no set dressing room. I suggest leggings and a form fitting tank (with something over if you wish). That way you can try things on over the tank and leggings, without having to strip to your skivvies.
6. BE IN-THE-KNOW
You can look online for yard sale date/time announcements, and check with your local stores for any sales or specials they run regularly. Often smaller thrift store will have set days where they put out new merchandise, so knowing this will allow you to get first dibs on new items. Make sure to get there super early, as the good stuff always goes first!
7. USE YOUR BARGAINING SKILLS
Yard sales, flea markets and estate sales are places where haggling is allowed, and expected. Don't just accept the sticker price! Start with a lower offer, and negotiate a discount on that already lower price.
8. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN
It doesn't matter what it is, find a way to clean it. Clothing can be machine washed or dry-cleaned, and household items should be dusted and scrubbed.
9. SMALLER STORES YIELD BETTER FINDS
Big stores, in popular areas, are often more popular than the off-the-beaten-path tiny ones. Branch out to more remote places where thrifting isn't as popular, and you'll score better stuff.
10. TEST-DRIVE BEFORE BUYING
Try on clothing to make sure they fit. Insist on trying electronics, lamps or battery powered items. Most places will have batteries you can borrow, or electrical outlets you can use. Others will give a money back guarantee within a certain time period, so you can try it out at home.
(Check out the amazing antler chandelier below).