It’s HERE!! Your HOW TO THRIFT lesson!! Some tips about thrift success, and my road to successful thrifting. Often, when I share my thrift finds, people lament to me, that they wished they had good thrift stores in their area… and I usually say, that I don’t think thrifting success has much to do with the store itself. When I was younger, I didn’t have much sucess thrifting, but my grandmother did. She was ALWAYS finding things at the thrift store. I heard people tell her that she had a knack… that they never had success in the very stores she shopped. She would tell them… “you just have to go a lot!”
I didn’t understand at the time, but she was so right. Success at thrifting IS about going a lot. For a few reasons.
- Visiting thrift stores regualarly gives you PRACTICE. You have to practice to get good. As you “practice” thrifting, you’ll start to learn how things are organized… you’ll start to spot those THINGS that equal a find… you’ll LEARN WHAT YOU LIKE, and you’ll start to see those things more often in the stores. Not because suddenly, there are tons of that item in the store. I think of it in the same way that you start to see cars like the one you just bought. They were always THERE, but now that YOU have one (or are looking to buy one) you NOTICE them. It’s the same with regular thrifting. Over time, as your taste develops, you NOTICE what you like more easily in amoungst the clutter of a thrift environment.
- Second, regular thrifting is a MUST for finds, because inventory is NEVER the same. Things trickle in, and in order to spot that lone item that you enjoy, you have to CHECK to see what’s there. There are MANY times when I visit my stores locally, and check my “hot spots” and there is nothing to be found.
- HotSpots are another reason to thrift regularly. As you practice thrifting, you’ll learn the spots to check automatically. It’s like visiting a strange grocery store. You don’t know where things are, and things can be harder to find, but when you visit the grocery store you shop at every week, you know just where to look, and find what you need quickly and easily. It’s the same with regular thrifting.
I want to show you my local thrift store. Just yesterday, I found a VERY good find, and had the thought to ask permission to shoot photos of the store in order to SHOW you… my store is no different or special than yours. Here’s my first photo:
My VERY good find is in this photo. Can you see it? I wouldn’t have noticed it if I didn’t know what to look for. I was scanning the shelves, and noticed the case. I took it off the shelves, and looked inside, and sure enough, it was what I thought it was. For $4.50!!
YEP. This was on those shelves!! Look again. It was on the VERY bottom shelf, at the left of the picture. In a black plastic case.
Here are some more areas of the store I regularly find things. This section, is where the sewing goodies I find usually are.
This is where I found these patterns, for 5 cents each.
It’s also where I find my vintage ribbon a lot. (most times, though, there’s no ribbon there.)
Here is another area that I always check. It’s the game area. I check for playing cards, and games with neat pieces, and most of all… SCRABBLE…
This section, is the book section in the thrift store. It’s probably one of the least organized areas. Recently, I found some neat old record albums in that section.
They have some GREAT graphics on them!!
This last section, I usually check when I need things like vintage crepe paper (which I took four rolls of recently!!) and buy cards in packages for their envelopes. Can’t beat 25 cents to $1 for 8-10 envelopes!!
See those crepe paper rolls in the top right corner? 80 cents for 500YARDS of yumminess!!
A few other places that I check each time I visit the thrift stores:
- the Jewelry rack. I look for clip on earings with rhinestones, and strands of pearls for disassemble.
- the dishes. I look for milk glass vases, and I find salt and pepper shakers for my collections.
- suitcases. I use them at home when I find good ones that I like, for storage.
Another tip or two when you are thrifting: Think OUTSIDE THE BOX. This can be tough, but when you are looking for something specific, think minimally. For example, when you go into the store looking to find shelves for your scrap area… think in terms of STRUCTURE. Suddenly, you see that lonely headboard would work in the same way a shelf would. That wooden winerack, turned on it’s side would work too… Need some drawers for storing your goods? That tall drink of old army file cabinets would do the trick!! Need a trelis for your garden? That metal (or wooden) headboard is looking mighty good!!
Remember that good hauls sometime take time… a little here, and a little there, and five thrifting trips later, you have this:
So go OUT!! Go IN!! Start practicing!! Don’t get discouraged when you only find one thing, or nothing!! Don’t buy something because someone ELSE might like it. Buy what YOU like. Even if you have NO idea what you might use it for. Over time, you’ll find, that the things you like, end up a collection of goodies that you CAN make something with.
Do you have any thrifting advice? I’d love to hear what make YOU successful!
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