Thrift stores offer a great opportunity to save some money on gently used (or even new) merchandise! Most communities have many different thrift store options ranging from the well-known names to smaller privately managed stores. As for me, Salvation Army is one of my favorite thrift stores. Not only re their stores generally clean, bright, and well-merchandised, but the prices are usually quite fair.
Even with cheap prices, there are things you can do to save even more money on your next shopping trip. Here are some of my favorite thrift store money-saving tips. If you know these six tips for saving money at resale stores, you can walk away with some thrifty treasures!
CHECK THE TAGS
My local Salvation Army prices their merchandise with colored tags. Each week, one color is marked 50% off. That means, if you find a sweater priced at $5 with a yellow tag and yellow is the discounted tag color that week, you would get the sweater for just $2.50. Knowing what color price tag is being discounted that week can help you spot some great bargains! Many thrift stores discount their merchandise using a similar method.
KNOW WHEN SALES ARE HAPPENING
Many Salvation Army stores across the county have one day each week where they will discount nearly everything in the store. For instance, the store near my house designates Wednesday as “Family Day” all everything in the store except for the very newest products (designated with a specific color of price tag) will be 50% off. I only shop at Salvation Army on Wednesdays now as I am addicted to getting that 50% discount. Some thrift stores will offer deep discounts one day a month to try to clear out old merchandise. Know when the best discounts are offered and plan your shopping trip accordingly.
MAKE A LIST TO AVOID IMPULSE BUYING
Just because stuff is dirt cheap doesn’t mean you should spend recklessly. Impulse buying can hit us rather we shop at a pricey boutique or a discount thrift store. The trick is to shop with a list and only purchase items that are on the list. If you entered the store looking for new boots, don’t even browse the furniture section of the store. Why set yourself up for failure by deviating from your plan?
TRY ON EVERYTHING
Shopping at a thrift store is not like shopping at Nordstrom’s. They don’t have an awesome no questions asked return policy. Once you buy an items it is yours – like it or not. While resale shops certainly is not known for the most glamorous fitting rooms, they are there for a reason so use them! Even with their dirt cheap prices, it is silly to waste money on items that you ultimately won’t wear because they either don’t fit you or just aren’t your style.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO HAGGLE
Most thrift store merchandise is used. Therefore, it is entirely possible to find items damaged in some way or another. If you notice such damage such as a missing door nob on a dresser, a tear in a seam of a skirt, or missing buttons on a jacket and you have the skill set to fix the item, don’t be afraid to buy the produce and ask for a discount in the process. I have been given an extra 50% discount on items this way.
SHOP IN NICE NEIGHBORHOODS
Most of the merchandise thrift stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army sells comes from donations from those in the community. It goes without saying that people who buy high-end items are also going to donate high-end items. It is also a fair assumption to assume that when these people make their donations, they will do so close to home. So… if you want to up your chances of finding some great high end, designer-labeled merchandise at a discount, head to the better part of town!
Do you shop at thrift stores? What are your tips for saving money at thrift stores? What is the best thrift store find you have found?
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