Who doesn't love a good deal?! The reason I love thrift store shopping is because you can always find a wide variety of items and at great prices! Whether it be toys, housewares, clothes, books, electronics, furniture, whatever, there's so much to look at and so many bargains out there waiting for you!
2. Take your time. In order to really find a good deal it may take some time, especially if you are shopping for clothes. One thing I have learned is that I need more time when in Goodwill because their clothes are not organized by size, just by style. So, it takes more time going through to find something that will fit you. Some of the other stores I frequently visit do have their clothes by size and it makes it much easier to find something!
3. Sales. Look at Goodwill's white board next to the door when you walk in to check out what's on sale that day! Salvation Army frequently has sales as well and sometimes it's 50% off everything in the store. If your area thrift store has a facebook page, make sure to follow it to see when they are having a sale!
4. Know your store and be objective . If you frequently shop your area thrift stores, then you know where everything is. If there is a certain item you might be looking for to finish a project or outfit, you can go right in and look for it. Remember, there's probably only going to be one maybe two of any item in the store. Be objective for what you're looking for so you can spot it, grab it and beat someone else to it! ;)
5. Look for the potential. Just because something may not look that appealing at first glance, think about what it COULD look like. Spray paint does wonders on many things. Also if you sew, you can find a pattern you like on a certain clothing item and alter it to make something that fits you or turn it into a purse, scarf, etc.
6. Lots of kid stuff. Oh my goodness do I find some great kid items at thrift stores. Although I don't have any kids myself, I have found some great gifts for others. Many times you can find children's books that still look brand new! At Goodwill, since they get in clearance items from Target, you can find NEW clothing, shoes and toys with tags still on and in original packages. Be sure if you do buy something used, it can be washed!
7. Don't get discouraged. There have been plenty of times that I walked out of a thrift store with nothing or just one small item. That's OK! As I said, they get new items in on a daily basis so go back and next time you may find a whole cart full of great finds!
BONUS: Goodwill always gets NEW items from Target that were on clearance and didn't sell. They usually get their new shipment of Target items on Wednesdays, so I like to go on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning to get the best deals.
Thrift stores in Southern Illinois I frequently visit:
1. Goodwill (Marion)
2. RENEW Second Hand Store (Marion)
3. Shepherd's Closet (Marion)
4. Salvation Army (Marion)
5. The Junk Box (Energy/Herrin)
6.Community Thrift Store & Food Pantry (Carterville)
7. Create a Smile Thrift Store (Carterville)
8. Goodwill (Carbondale)
9. Thrift Shop (Carbondale)
10. SPIN Thrift Store (Murphysboro)
If there are other tips you have or stores you like to shop at, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE WITH US! :)