Tips of the Trade

Here are some tips to help you in your thrifting adventures. Feel free to share your own!

  • Many thrift shops usually have colored tag sales every day. This means that each day all price tags of a specific color will be on sale. It is usually half off. This usually is the deciding factor if I am going to buy an item or not. For example, if all blue tickets are on sale and I see a cute top that has a red ticket I will put it back on the rack in favor of another top that is a blue ticket. Exceptions can be made if you simply must have that particular gem.
  • Wash your hands afterwards. Yes your hands can get quite dusty after sifting through tons of old items. Please wash your hands very well.
  • Fill up your cart/basket and sort everything out later. That is my strategy when thrifting on a budget. I usually fill up my cart/basket with all of the items that caught my fancy. When I am done making my rounds I sift through all of the collected items and take out the ones that my conscience can talk me out of buying.
  • If you go to the Salvation Army kindly ask about “Family Day.” Family Day is one day out of the week when nearly all tickets are on sale regardless of their color. At my favorite Salvation Army spot Family Day is every Wednesday. I try to only go on Wednesdays because I am only spending half of what I would have spent if I went on a regular day.
  • Be friendly with the cashiers. If you are nice enough you can negotiate the prices of some really fine gems. At this one Salvation Army I frequented there was this one cashier who always gave me everything half off no matter the day of the week. She even gave me items free at times. Was it right? It sure felt right!
  • Check the crotch of any shorts/pants that you are purchasing. I learned the hard way with this one. I once bought a pair of jeans. They were really cute. I took them home and then examined them. The crotch was DISGUSTING to say the least. Closely examine whatever you buy and if it looks too dirty/used…don’t buy it.
  • Don’t bring a competition. While it’s always fun to go thrifting with a partner there are times when you may go and your partner may find a gem that you would kill to have found. This is when companion thrifting can get ugly. If you do bring a companion, either make sure you have different styles/sizes or are not like me and will get upset if your companion finds cuter gems than you. 
  • Check the internet. When traveling check online to find addresses of local thrift shops. When you are at the thrift shop ask the cashier if she/he can recommend any other good thrift shops in the area.
  • If you can’t see yourself using it or wearing it in the near future then don’t buy it. Of course that’s how I got stock with my “collectibles.” You will save a ton of money and space in your home if you actually stop and think about what you’re buying.
  • Don’t buy underwear from thrift shops. I don’t need to explain this one any further.
  • I wouldn’t buy eating utensils from thrift shops.
  • Plates are fine to buy.
  • Don’t purchase rusted pots/pans from thrift shops. 
  • Got any of your own to share? Feel free to comment!
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About thirstythrift

20-something-years-old. Professional thrifter by way of passion. NYC resident.
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3 Responses to Tips of the Trade

  1. Terrance says:

    Great Site! Nice Start look forward to future posts!

    -Terrance

  2. 2ndSarah says:

    I agree with all your tips, especially the first one! I rarely buy items at full price unless I can’t walk out of the store with it! Underwear, eating utensils and used footspas are definite no-no’s!

  3. Know of any good thrift stores in Northern New Jersey or New York City ?

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