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Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Today we welcome Virginia Cunningham, a fashion, health and beauty blogger based in Los Angeles, California. Virginia currently writes on a variety of topics from natural herbs, vitamins and supplements for NorthWest Pharmacy. Today she brings us some great money saving advice with tips about shopping at thrift stores.

Thrift Store Delight

Thrifty shoppers leave no stone unturned and all thrift stores are fair game when it comes to optimizing the shopping dollar. Necessity has prompted many to explore thrift store shopping, but when that necessity no longer exists, many shoppers continue thrift store shopping for the sheer delight of finding bargains and vintage items that can be given a facelift for incorporating into one's lifestyle.

When shopping thrift stores, there are several tips to keep in mind that will even greater maximize your shopping dollar.

        1. Become familiar with the thrift store discount policy. Some stores offer 20 to 50 percent discounts on different types of items on a certain day every week. They also may offer a discount for being a senior shopper. Some stores offer discounts related to holidays. Like department stores, some thrift stores will discount seasonal merchandise to create room for the upcoming season. Certain thrift stores will also sell clothing and housewares by the pound. For some thrift store shoppers, the thrill of sorting through countless bins of items adds to the thrift store hype.

           2. Target thrift stores within a certain radius of each other. That way you're not wasting gas travelling back and forth across town. Schedule your trip early in the day and allow plenty of shopping time. You never know what types of items you'll find and when an item might get discounted. Sometimes if you see an item you really like but it appears too pricey, if you take your time browsing, by the time you get back to it, it may have been discounted.

       3. Check out the item for wear, possible hidden flaws, ease in which to restore it. For electrical items, the thrift store will have a testing area where you can test them. Make sure you do. It's a good idea to try on garments. What looks like it may fit, might have an unusual cut that looks peculiar on you, so take time to try it on. Once the item leaves the store, that's it. All items are sold as is, no return policy. When considering household items, such as furniture, train your eye to see beyond its present condition. Sometimes under several layers of paint, is a beautiful piece of solid wood that can be stripped and refinished masterfully. For sofas and chairs, look for items that can be recovered easily.

Most thrift store items can be used without having to do much to it, other than a good laundering or cleaning. If you find an item that has not been priced, don't hesitate to ask the salesperson if someone could price it for you. Many stores have a policy that if the item doesn't have a price, it can't be sold. Sometimes if you hit your visit just right, they will accommodate you. They really do want to keep the merchandise moving out.

Expect the unexpected. Sometimes, and to the major thrill of the thrift store shopper, when you least expect it, you spy something you've been wanting for a while, or it's a deal simply too good to pass up. You might find the perfect vintage item that will work exceptionally well with what you've already got. Those are the trips that really make your day. You've become a bonafide thrift store shopper.


Cathy Shouse said...

Love the tips! I'm from a small town so there is not necessarily a lot of choices at ours that interest me. On the flip side, I can easily stop in regularly.

Since you're from L.A. (where I had a wonderful visit in February), you may know the rap song Thrift Shop just appeared on Saturday NIght Live. My college age son and friends did a "clean" version at our local store. Really gets me in the mood to shop thrifty!


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