14 Tips for Better Thrifting
Often people will ask how I find such great items thrifting. There really isn't one easy answer to that. However, with the Holiday season.....Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving and Christmas just a few short months away, I can share some tips with you about what I'll be looking for in the coming months. So welcome, Friends, to the Blog today and some thrifting tips to help you find great treasures.
Take stock of what you already have. This is really important as you go about your Thrifting Adventures. You may be a collector of a series of ornaments, or need a particular color napkin to go with what you already have, or maybe you're on the look out for turkeys. You should have a picture in your head or better yet....one in your phone.....of things that you need to fill in your gaps. I have lists on my phone of what I have and what I need.
Carry a tape measure, a small magnifying glass, and always your phone. You never know when you might need one of these items. If you're looking for an item to fit a specific space, you need to measure and be sure before you buy. I also carry hand sanitizer or wipes. They come in handy as some Thrift Stores are a little grubby.
I always look out for holiday decorations. They sell them year round but you'll see a greater concentration of holiday decor starting several months before the event. You can get some great bargains on things like floral picks (for all seasons), wreaths, table decor, candles, etc. You might even find a Waterford Crystal ornament......I have.
Shop seasonal dishes. I've picked up lots of china specific to a holiday. You can find some great co-ordinating plates, salad plates, bread and butter plates, etc. that are very little money. At the end of the season you can give them back, if you don't have storage space. I rarely pay more than a few dollars for a set of four plates.
Look for Maker's Marks. This can be anything from the brand name of a set of silver-plate to the brand on the china you're considering. Crystal is often marked by the maker. It helps you to determine a reasonable price for the item, if you know who made it and what it is selling for online.
Do your due diligence while you are in the store. If you find something interesting, put it in your cart. Then look it up on your phone. That's when any information you can see on your item becomes important. Thrift Store prices are on the rise so it pays to look up an item before you purchase it.
If you love it, truly love it, buy it. Otherwise you will be filled with remorse about the one that got away.
If it's a great deal and you don't love it, don't buy it. If you are a reseller and have an eBay store or sell on Marketplace, this tip doesn't apply.
Take your time going through the store. It's supposed to be fun.....it should be fun.....it is fun......if you approach thrifting with a positive outlook.
Don't expect to find great things every time you thrift. If you don't find something this time, chances are you will next time.
Look closely at the condition of the item. Dirty things can be washed but stained things are better left at the store. Don't buy anything that is chipped, torn, cracked, etc. Sometimes items are taped shut. Always ask to have them opened and inspect the item before you buy. Sometimes tape hides cracks or chips and you don't find them until you get home. Then it's too late. Think what an item could be with a little work. Assess your interest in transforming an item. If you don't really want to do the work.....don't buy it.
Be open to that special find that's not on your list. Sometimes you just run across something really cool that strikes a chord with you. If it's in your budget, buy it. You'll regret it, if you don't.
Guard your cart. You never want to be more than a couple of feet from your items. People.....unscrupulous thrifters......have been know to filch things from someone else's cart. Doesn't happen often but be aware that it can.
Go often. You might find something great if you go to the Thrift Store once in a while. Most likely you won't. You have to go once or twice a week to find the good stuff. Know your local stores and when they put out new merchandise. Be friendly with the Staff and with other thrifters. I was at a store recently looking at a champagne flute and another thrifter told me about some she had just seen at a different store. It's nice to share information about something you're not buying.
What's On My List for the Next Four Months
Great Tablecloths especially Summer and Fall (sometimes after a season is over you'll
find some great pieces from that season.
Good crystal: Waterford, Mikasa, Lenox, Wedgewood, Pairpoint, Cartier, etc.
Good China Dishes that will complete patterns I have already
13-14 inch round silver-plate serving dishes for chargers
Kitchenware: good quality pots and pans; le creuset; cuisinaire; cast iron....any good quality pan that looks new and shows little ware.
What's on your list?
Hope these tips help you on your next thrifting adventure.