Top 7 tips for thrift store shopping
Happy National Thriftshop Day, a day for bargain hunters and thrifty shoppers.
The recession in 2008 was a boon to the U.S. thrift store industry, with thrift store sales showing an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent over the last five years. Maybe all those stories of people learning the real value of a piece of jewelry or a painting they found at a second-hand store has convinced many of us that we might just be next.
For novices, we’ve pulled together a Top 7 tips list from some savvy thrift store shoppers to help before you head out thrifting:
1. Many thrift stores do not have fitting rooms, so wear something that is formfitting. You may have to try on clothes over your clothes.
2. Visit often. New items are coming in all the time, so yesterday’s shopping trip that turned out to be a bust can yield great finds tomorrow.
3. Inspect items carefully. Check clothes for stains, missing buttons and other issues. Plug in all appliances or electronics. Inspect books for missing pages. You may be able to fix damaged items and you may be able to negotiate a lower price.
4. Ask for a discount, especially if an item is defective. While many resale stores are supporting nonprofits, they too need to make way for new inventory.
5. Know a thrift store’s specialty. For example, Habitat For Humanity Restore will have more furniture than clothing.
6. Shop during the beginning or middle of the week. Stores are crowded on Saturdays and items will be picked over.
7. Ask when the store restocks. Every store is different so knowing this will save you from shopping when inventory is low.
Thriftshoppers have a lot of options across the Upstate. Many resale stores are run by nonprofit organizations, with proceeds benefitting programs to prevent homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, animal cruelty, HIV and more. Here’s a list of thrift stores that have received top online reviews from Yelp and others. We’ve included links so you can check out store items and hours.