The Early Bird vs. If It’s Meant To Be…

After hitting my usual thrift spots this weekend I was driving home and I wondered which old standby was a more pertinent quote – in regards to thrifting.

A) Does the early bird truly get the worm?
B) If you’re meant to find something, does it find you?

Will it be sitting on that shelf waiting for you? Some weekends I wake up at 8am and I’m usually prowling the stores as they’re opening the doors. Other weekends, I sleep until noon and am haunting the stores until they’re giving me the eye and locking up for the night. I pondered this because, I’ve found no discernable correlation between the times I go thrifting and the times I find the good stuff. I’ve stumbled across great finds at all hours of the day. Frankly, a more true statement would be that every thrifter has had outings where they’re junk skunked.

Sure, you can seek insider information about each store. You can fine tune your outings to possibly increase the chances of finding some treasures. Because with that information you’d know when a store stocks their shelves, and at what hours of the day, or what days of the week. But even i’m not that crazy. That’s a lot of diligent work and data to process and retain, just in hope of finding something.

After finding some really great stuff this weekend at all hours of the day, I’m more inclined to go with the latter quote; “If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.” The item will find you. So don’t worry about your hunting process in terms of when. Because if you do, the junk hunting anxiety will get the best of you. Not to mention (as I’ve said before) you’ll probably end up on Hoarders. Instead, it’s better to focus your energy on things like current trends, growing trends, knowledge of an item genre you’re unfamiliar with, or just going in with your eyes open, more relaxed, able to lock in that creative mindset that helps you see value and beauty in an object that someone else, clearly did not.

Featured image by Tom Stack. See more of his awesome work here.

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6 responses to “The Early Bird vs. If It’s Meant To Be…

  1. For a while I was getting caught up in ‘thrifting timing’ too but unlike an estate sale (where the early bird DOES get the worm), thrift stores constantly gets merchandise in so it’s more about hitting a store often. I used to never thrift on the weekends (thinking it would be picked over) but I’ve broken that rule and have been pleasantly surprised.

    Even stores in ‘hip’ neighborhoods were lots of people thrift I still manage to find things, sometimes it’s just meant to be!

  2. Once again, a great post! I agree…I think a good find can happen anytime in a thrift store…and even garage /estate sales. I did a post last year on finding a HUGE box of vintage Christmas ornaments from the early 1900’s at around noon at an estate sale. It was on the front lawn and looked like no one had even looked inside….bought for $10…sold most of them for $1,000 total.

    I think the timing of thrift stores for great things is in the timing of when the store is putting out things. Like last week when the worker said “Oh my gosh, I’m going to be here all day putting out’s packed back there.” Words that every thrifter wants to hear.

    And I think having the knowledge you talked about about things that most people would pass up is invaluable. It does make the anxiety a lot lower when you know that you have a good chance at finding SOMETHING valuable.

    Thanks for your post…great topic!

  3. Just stumbled across your blog, and it’s great!
    I have come to the lovely superstitious conclusion that treasures are waiting to be found by the right person. I just put up a post about my thrifted art collection, and for some of those pieces, it seems as if they were just waiting for me (especially the vintage astrology prints, haha).

  4. Lindsey Turner

    I seem to find great things whenever I go to the thrift store which makes me think if it’s meant to be, it will happen! I think finding great stuff has more to do with how often you go vs when you go.? One thing I know for sure is if you don’t go you won’t find anything!

    Lindsey Turner

  5. I thrift, yard sale hunt, and curb side shop casually. I don’t rush to be the first at sales, and I’ve yet to arrive early at an Estate Sale. Sometimes you’ll find treasure, sometimes you won’t. Thrifting is like playing the lottery, that’s part of why it’s so fun and addictive.

  6. Only at things like auctions and estate sales have I ever thought about being the early bird.. and honestly, even then, it means nothing to me. I always adopt the motto, “If I am meant to find it, I will.” It’s served me very well. Great blog… I’m a new follower!

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