Bargaining at a Thrift Store

AUDIBLE GASP! That’s right folks, I haggled (at the thrift store). It should also be noted that I also really love saying the word haggled.

Having opposed most forms of haggling at thrift stores in some previous posts, I feel I must now clarify. There’s always a time and a place for a good haggle and this was one of them: You see, my overly-technological-friendly friend Mitch has a few vinyl records but no turntable to play them on (what a chump right?), so with his birthday approaching I figured I can thrift him a turntable as a gift. I see turntables quite often and knew I’d come across one sooner or later. Fast forward to two months later (I know, i’m a bad friend!) I finally find one at a local thrift haunt of mine (pictured above). It’s beautiful, in really great shape, everything appears intact but the store wanted $20 for it. No dice. Too many variables were at play here. Sure, it was in excellent shape, but I didn’t know if it actually worked, if the needle was decent, if it needed a new belt, etc. So I did what any good haggler would do. I approached the woman who I knew was either an owner or who ran the place, told her my worries about the variables and she accepted my offer of $10 flat. BAM.

Ended up taking it in for a visit to Jerry Raskin’s Needle Doctor just to be sure everything was in tip-top shape. Threw on a new needle and belt on it for a grand total of $43 invested altogether. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (and now Christmas) MITCH! Not too shabby.

In North America (especially the Midwest) I feel haggling is a lost art. We’re way too timid. It’s partially why I feel shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars are enjoying so much success – people inherently love a good haggle. Maybe we feel it’s rude or maybe it’s just the whole “Minnesota Nice” effect that blocks it from happening more often. The best and most universal piece of advice I give out is “it never hurts to ask.”

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11 responses to “Bargaining at a Thrift Store

  1. whoa! great job! yes I agree haggling is a lost art. The other day at a garage sale though, I unintentionally haggled and I got a sewing machine table for free.

  2. I always ask. More thrift stores are putting their foot down on pricing in my experience.

    Even if the items is$25. And broken. And faded. And torn. All of the local Goodwills I’ve been to will not budget on prices.

  3. Pingback: Bargaining at a Thrift Store | ^^^ THINGS I FOUND (at the thrift … | Welcome2Green

  4. Great Score there! As long as your respectful of the seller it doesn’t hurt to ask.

  5. I am the queen of haggling, and I also love to say “haggle” as often as possible.

  6. Nice score. I was able to get a really good old technecs at an estate sale for $20 that has served me well for the last 7 years.

  7. Nice! I totally agree with you – I was at my local Value Village and spotted a great vintage jersey. The only downside was a small tear in the front, which I intended to get patched up at a seamstress. I asked the clerk to knock a couple bucks off and her manager actually took $5 off! =)

  8. So right about haggling. A friend of mine saw a buffet in a thrift store and got $10 knocked off the price even though the buffet had just been brought into the store. The buffet is very pretty and sturdy; nothing wrong with it. I’m new to your site and love your blog!

  9. a turntable is a must have for any thrifter! those stacks of albums are just toooo hard to resist! and for usually $1 who of us can walk away from that?
    nice deal by the way 🙂

  10. Good find!

    Always worth asking. The prices at some of these second hand shops are ridiculous (considering most of them get what they’re selling for free!).

  11. Pingback: How To Clean Your Thrift Finds | ^^^ THINGS I FOUND (at the thrift store) ^^^ Thrifting, Frugality, Upcycling and Green Living Tips for the Modern Thrifter

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