Meet Salvation Army.
Or Goodwill….or any other thrift store in your local area. Most often, they are LOADED with stuff and more stuff, and then stuff upon stuff. There is just so much STUFF that you may not even be sure where to begin.
Hi 🖐. I’m a Master at this task, and I’ll get us through the thrift store both efficiently and successfully, and we will save $$.
1. KNOW YOUR LOCAL STORE LAYOUT.
Once you know how your local store is laid out, you can plan how you would like to navigate each department. I usually hit all departments because DEALS. For each thrift store visited, I use the same route through the store as in previous visits. This gives me advantage to know what items were there before, and to be able to survey any new item placement.
2. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.
Are you looking for furniture? Kids clothes? A “new” dress? Pay particularly close attention to items in these areas.
Clothing for example, will often not be sized. There may be clothes grouped together in sizes x-small to x-large! Don’t stress!! Need larger pants for your tween? Look for the pants that are the longest in their department, and then assess colors and fabrics that may be desirable to them. Use this same routine for smaller clothes. When I am looking for my kids, I go in knowing what they like. Under Armour is popular here, so I automatically scan racks for hoodies and fabrics common in that brand. If you find an item you like, check and then double-check for stains and holes!
I also often buy clothes out of season, or slightly larger, when I see them available. People donate clothes at the end of each season, so even though you may not need it now, you could save money by buying it a bit ahead of time instead of when the item is in demand. I usually find the best winter coats this way. #northface #gerry
It is also important for you to know measurements for any desired items you may buy. Often there are “No Return” policies at these stores, so if you plan to buy furniture, curtains, or the like, know the size you need when you go in (and check for imperfections) or you may be stuck with it forever.
3. KNOW YOUR PRICES.
Don’t go into a thrift store thinking everything is a good deal. This is NOT the case. Make sure you know generally how much the things you are looking for cost new or on sale. Choose items wisely based on this, the brand, and considering the item’s condition. In the past, I’ve literally bought Gucci pants for myself at a Goodwill. #notkidding
Prices at thrift stores vary. Thrift stores are NOT garage sales. They are working to make money for the causes they so choose, therefore, some thrift stores do not have every item priced to sell.
4. KNOW THE DEAL OF THE DAY.
Many thrift stores will have designated sales on the day you visit. Sometimes certain departments or tag color will be a __ percentage off. Know this BEFORE you start shopping so you can determine the actual cost and savings when purchasing your items.
5. ONLY BUY ITEMS YOU WILL USE.
It is tempting sometimes to buy more than you may need when you go thrift shopping. There are days when TONS of items that fit your list’s description are available! Get the items that you like best and leave the rest. Too much of anything will just sit in a corner or closet and there are NO savings in that!
6. SHOP OFTEN!
The only way to truly be able to navigate a thrift store efficiently is to go often. I go about every to every-other week, depending on the thrift store. Items turn over quickly, so the more often you go, the better chance you have to find an item you’ve been searching for!
Here are some of my items from Salvation Army TODAY…Under Armour, Zara Baby, Nike, and Adidas!
If you haven’t thrift shopped lately, give it a go with my recommendations!