Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More Thrift Store Shopping Tips

Ready for 5 more tips, fellow thrift store shoppers? OK--here they are!

1. Take a set amount of cash with you to spend. Practically speaking, some stores just don't take credit or debit cards. But the most important reason for taking cash is that you are not tempted to overspend! You will be amazed how quickly items begin to stack up in your cart, especially if you don't have a predetermined limit for spending in mind.

2.  Wear clothes that are conducive to trying on other clothes. In the summertime, I wear a slim-fitting t-shirt or tank top, and in the winter I wear a tank top with a cardigan over it. Sometimes the dressing rooms (if you are at a store that even has them) are crowded, and sometimes you just feel freaked out by the flimsy curtain "protecting" you while creepy people with wandering eyes pass by right outside. It's often easier to find a mirror in the furniture area and try on over your existing outfit. Also, wearing flip flops or ballet flats makes it easier to try on shoes.

3. If you are bringing your kids, give them a task. I love going to the thrift store when my husband is home to watch the kids, but if you remember reading my previous list of tips, the best day to go is on Thursday. And my husband is not around on random Thursday mornings or afternoons to watch the kids, so I often have them in tow. To occupy them, I give them specific tasks-- they are assigned with duties like looking through the tags in whatever section we are in to find the sale color. I also tell them what I am looking for so they can help me find it. And we ALWAYS save the toy and book aisles for last so that I can bribe good behavior out of them. :)

4. Ask for additional discounts on damaged items. Sometimes I see an amazing piece of clothing that is missing a button or has a little tear. Or I see a kid's clothing item with a smudge on it. Not that hard to fix those things, but I'm often able to get an extra dollar or two off if I nicely point out the defect at the register. One time I didn't notice a defect and the cashier did, and she offered up the discount without my asking!

5. Check out the sections that are off-season. When it is 30 degrees and threatening to snow outside, always visit the tank tops/shorts/swimsuit sections. When it's a sweltering 90 degrees outside, venture to the sweater and coat department. It never fails-- you will always find the best selection in the section of clothing that is out-of-season.

Hope these are helpful! Get ready for some specifics... I'm planning a series where I highlight a different section of the thrift store in each post. But first, I think a little in-person research is in order, don't you? After all, tomorrow IS Thursday-- the prime thrift store shopping day!

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