|Via Blissfully Domestic|
I am a HUGE thrift store fan. I frequent Deseret Industries, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. etc. I am telling you, I practically live there. So, I thought that I might give a few pointers on what to look for in a bargain, and if it's really worth it.
- Shop ALL sizes. There are so many different styles of clothing available at thrift stores, which means so many different size measurements. Get to know your body and style and shop for what FITS, not for a stupid number.
- Look for tears, rips, etc. You may find an amazing cardigan that you simply MUST have, only to realize after purchasing it, that it has a huge hole in the arm pit. If you can't fix it, don't buy it.
- Check for new arrivals frequently. I go into the DI down the street from my condo at least twice a week. As a reminder: You don't have to buy something every time you go into the shop. Yes, it's for a good cause, but don't let yourself get guilted into buying something you don't need.
- Look for good brand names. I have found quite a few good pieces of Banana Republic, Silver Jeans, and Calvin Klein that are now staples in my wardrobe. However, not all good pieces are going to be brand name. Keep an open mind when browsing. You never know what will draw your attention until you see it.
- Test! Test! Test!! Always make sure that the piece is what you are expecting it to be!! I've had friends buy couches that look amazing, but after one person sit down a spring comes loose. Yes, it may be a steal, but it doesn't mean that you must buy it. Look over furniture for tears, missing pieces, and necessary hardware. If it doesn't have it, and you can't pick up a replacement at another store, it's not worth it.
- Do your research. Is the price reasonable? I surf the internet for like pieces or for pieces that I would like to have, so I know what the general asking price is. Don't let yourself get sucked in.
- If purchasing items for restoration or DIY projects, always make sure that the item is indeed practical for such an adventure. If the piece is too complicated to take apart and put back together, using it for a project is not going to be fun. I guarantee that by the end, you will want to use it for firewood, instead.
- Know what you want. Don't settle for something completely different, just because it's all they have. Be patient and check back in every few days. The good stuff goes fast, so you need to be diligent.
- Look past a bad paint job. That is one thing can always be fixed, and quite easily at that! Don't be afraid of the neon orange dresser due to its color! Buy it cheap and paint it white and voila! Brand new dresser.
- Use your imagination when it comes to other items. Create new uses for standard items; DON'T BE AFRAID TO STEP OUTSIDE THE BOX!! There are so many possibilities, don't be afraid to try them!
- Again, look for quality. No holes, tears, broken parts, etc. An item that has been treated well will last a lot longer than one that is regularly abused.
- Price. Always know what you are willing to pay for an item. I have a friend that won't pay more than $10 for wall decor and no more than $100 for larger items, such as furniture. Research and see what things are worth, it'll surprise you what people will pay for things.