Here is a helpful list of random tips for when you’re out thrifting:

1. Bring moist towelettes or hand sanitizer. Thrifting isn’t for the light of heart. In the words of certified junker Aaron Draplin “GET IN THERE.” Don’t be afraid to dig in, under, or around stuff. You never know what you’re going to uncover when you’re fully dedicated to hunting them treasures.

2. Don’t bring babies. They cry and you can lose focus because they ‘re always wanting nappy toys and stuff.

3. Plan your routes out to be able to hit as many junk sales/thrift stores as you fancy. I mean – who likes to waste fuel?

4. Keep an open mind about stuff. If you’re looking for something too partiuclar, you may pass over something else you’ve been hunting for or something completely rad.

5. Wear comfortable stuff. I personally don my comfy weekend jeans and a t-shirt or hoodie. You’re gonna be walking, crouching, and milling around, so you might as well be comfortable while doing it.

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If you have more helpful tips send them to me!


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4 responses to “Tips

  1. more tips!
    -bring reusable bags.. especially when garage sale-ing! you can use the same bag for like 10 garage sales.

    Also, i’ve learned from experience.. almost EVERYBODY tries to haggle with you. I ran a 2 day rummage sale for a pet shelter, and it was rare when someone bought something without haggling. if you’re up to it, try to haggle w/ the garage sale holders. i’m kinda shy, and everything is super cheap anyway, so normally i never haggle. unless….

    -if you find something that you GOTTA HAVE (ie: a shirt) but something is broken (like a zipper, or it’s missing buttons) try to haggle! I’ve met some people running the registers @ salvation army who actually WANT people to bargain. No joke!

    -be patient. I found that I would get incredibly frustrated at thrift stores if I didn’t find something I loved right away. On top of that, kids are always running around, ppl are blocking the aisles, and it’s just a mess. However, I have come to terms with the environment of thrift stores and I’ve started being more easygoing with the 100’s of kids running around and hiding in the racks, people blocking the aisles and being inconsiderate, etc. now i have a more enjoyable experience.

    -however, if you want to mostly avoid the people and frustration, go after 6pm (at least, in chicago). I try to go 2 hours before closing time and it’s so much quieter and is such a better experience every time.

    i think that’s all i have for now! hooray!

  2. Another tip – shop on a Tuesday or Wednesday if time permits. Most people donate stuff at the weekend when they are not working. Thrift store staff don’t get chance to sort through donations till at least Monday, therefore the newest stuff hits the shelves on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

  3. Pingback: an attempt to create the ultimate list of thrifting tips | [cavalier flair]

  4. Always check for film in old cameras, especially Polaroids. I don’t know how many times I’ve found several with multiple exposures left inside. Considering film from the impossible project is 28$ for 8 exposures paying 1 or 2 bucks for an older camera with a few exposures is one hell of a deal, plus once your done you can almost always get 2 to 3x what you paid for the camera on ebay/etsy.

    Look through old books and bibles, A friend has found cash in bibles multiple times. The older ones with family registers (births,weddings,deaths) are extremely popular with genealogy buffs.

    Most times the restrooms in thrift stores are in the sorting area, go back and use the rest room, or wash your hands, or just pretend you’re doing one of those things. It gives you a chance to walk through the sorting area , I’ve found a ton of stuff this way. Stop and ask ‘Hey, is this priced yet?’ or ‘ This hasn’t been priced, is it or sale’ this usually puts them on the spot so the price is lower than it normally would be. I bought a Royal Typewriter this way, as well as several turntables.

    Don’t overlook the childrens clothing section, usually this section is the busiest so it gets replenished the most often. Not only that but people don’t want their kids wearing stuff from the 70’s or 80’s. I’ve found tons of vintage t-shirts for 45 cents a piece or less sometimes. Also, the kids section is a good place to find misplaced clothes. Moms will see something while they’re shopping for their kids and then decide they don’t want it so they leave it there.

    Look inside of old luggage. Usually there is nothing insde, but this is another place to find cool stuff or money. I’ve found cool pens, old hotel stationery, random swag from conventions. usually the thrift store doesn’t care and will give you the stuff free as long as your buying something else.

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