“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
In America, we have an odd love for garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores. There is an endless plethora of goodies to sift through and “treasures” to discover.
Thrift stores and the like are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people would rather buy only new items and like the consistency related to department stores (That is totally OK!) I embrace the best of both worlds because I love good Target finds…and I love thrifty thrift store treasures. Every store is somewhat different and will always have unique items because they are donations.
That being said, I wanted to share a few tips that are helpful to me when shopping at my local secondhand joints.
I am writing a series called Thrift Store Shopping Tips. Each one will be about shopping for specific items or a particular tip.
Shop the Sales
Every store is somewhat different and will always have unique items because they are donations. There are some stores that are nationwide such as Goodwill and Salvation Army, and then various regions or states have unique chains of stores or individual ones. Here in Colorado, we have a wonderful place called ARC. They usually have great prices and amazing sales.
YES, THERE ARE SALES AT THRIFT STORES!
Obviously when shopping anywhere, sales are the best time to buy because you do not have to pay full price. It is even better at a thrift place because their items are usually only a few dollars. When there is a sale, the prices could be as low as $.50!
Sales at ARC…
So, if you live or are ever in Colorado, shop at ARC on Saturdays. Every Saturday (and most holidays), ARC’s sale is 50% off most items in the store.
Like most thrift stores, they price their items with colored tags. They use six different colors and during the sales, four of them are 50% off. Because I want the best deals, I only go on Saturdays (plus it is fun thing to do on a Saturday morning).
At ARC, the Green tags are never on sale because they are usually new “Dollar Tree-like” items. The other color that is not on sale is usually the new items they are putting out the same day. If you go back the next Saturday, that tag will be on sale.
Sales at Goodwill…
Goodwill is national thrift store chain I am sure you have heard of. Because Goodwill is such a large chain, they are usually consistent with their setup and merchandise. They use the color tag system as well and weekly, there is one tag at 50% off and one at 30% off. I believe this changes on a weekly basis but don’t quote me on that.
Out of most thrift stores of this type, I feel Goodwill can be a bit more expensive. However, there are still great finds, especially when they can be 30% and 50% off.
Sales at Salvation Army…
Salvation Army is another large national thrift store chain. They almost always have 50% off sales on holidays and sometimes the sales are random days of the week.
I was shopping for an arm chair around Labor Day and so I called around to see who was having sales. When I called on the Thursday before Labor Day, they were having their 50% sale (instead of the actual holiday). I scored and found an oversize armchair for 50% off ($20 on sale)!!!
Salvation Army has the most unique sales of the thrift stores I have been to. Sometimes most of the items are 50% off and then if you spend a specific amount of money, you get to come back the next week and get 50% off your next purchase.
Last sales shopping tip…
Always, always, always call!
Sometimes I like to go out and shop around because I’m not looking for anything specific. However, for me, that is normally not the case. If I need something “new” for my home, I call my nearby thrift stores.
They will be able to tell you what color tag is on sale or if there are any specials going on that day or week. It never hurts to ask. And it also saves your a trip which means saving money!
You don’t have to pack up the kids, drive to wherever your favorite store is, and find out that nothing is on sale. Of course, you can do that but only if you want to pay full price.
And who wants that? 😉