Friday, August 12, 2011

Thrift Stores Really Are Thrifty

I'll admit - I used to turn my nose up at thrift stores.  Who wants dirty, worn USED items?  Not me!  However, family members urged me to go with them to the stores and I became hooked.  I soon learned that there are great deals to be had if you are willing to rummage through all the junk (yes, no matter what thrift store you go to, you are bound to see a lot of junk).

Believe it or not, some thrift stores have sales. "Sales??!" you are thinking. "Aren't you getting a steal of a deal already?" I don't know why they have sales, but I'll take it. I have seen multiple stores give a 25% discount on Mondays and a 50% discount on holidays.

Guess how much the clothes, book, and goodies (in their original packaging) pictured above cost?  $2.89 + tax!  See the table below?  It retails for $40. I got it for $1.49(!!) and it works perfectly.

Okay, I'll stop bragging. On to the good stuff - here are some tips that I have learned:

1. Bring hand sanitizer for when you leave the store...not all the items are in pristine condition.
2. Don't bring the kids if you can help it.  They are sure to touch all those less-than-pristine items.
3. If thrift stores in your area have sale days, go on those days if you can.  Go early to avoid the crowds.
4. Most thrift stores have a return policy: No Returns.  Even if you'd be getting a killer deal, make sure you really want and could use the items before you purchase them.
5. Buy clothes for your children - they grow out of them so quickly, so who wants to pay full price for them?  Don't buy too far in advance, though, as it is difficult to predict what sizes will be appropriate in the future.
6. Children's toys are great items to buy as well.  Make sure any electronic toys work before purchasing.  I only like to buy plastic toys that can be wiped down with sanitizing wipes.  I personally avoid stuffed animals.
7. Bring cash in case your thrift store does not accept credit cards.
8. Give yourself ample time to find the deals.

I challenge you to put your preconceived notions aside for an hour or so and...

...Go get your thrift on!

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