Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Thrift

Thrifitng is a great way to find treasures: furniture, dishes, lamps, art, clothing, linens, etc. It's like a treasure hunt...sometimes enhanced with a little competition. When we are going out to garage sales, antique stores, or Goodwill/D.I., I always feel the need to jump out of  the car and run to the sale/store just to make sure no one else gets my treasures. I know that sounds a little crazy, but in my defense, most "thrift" finds aren't easy to refind once someone else has bought them. Does anyone else get like this?

Here are some of our recent finds!

Classically built desk

Children's Table

French sitting chair

Key hole chair (she goes with the desk)
All of these will be coming with us to the farmer's market!

Thrifting can take some time. Honestly, it can also be frustrating. I'm still learning how to "treasure hunt", where to go, how to barter. Here's some stuff I've learned and if you have any tips PLEASE share!!

{ Thrifting 101 }

1. Ask around for the best places. Thrifting can take a lot of time, so make sure you aren't going to places that don't have what you are looking for or aren't known for having quality items. Ask around or call the store ahead and ask what kind of items or styles they lean too and price ranges. Some thrift stores can be more expensive than others. And here is my 2 cents on garage sales. Like I said I'm still learning, but I have rarely had a great experience with them. I'm no pro and this is just my opinion, but if you're going to take the time to go thrift, most garage sales sell items that lean more toward junk than treasure so make sure you are yard selling in a good neighborhood/part of town for the most efficient t use of your time. And don't forget stores like D.I or Goodwill! I usually find great items there and the price on the sticker is often times negotiable. 

2. Decide what you are looking for. Most antique or thrift stores aren't set up like a regular stores. What I mean is that there usually isn't a chair section and a vases section etc. It can be really overwhelming if you don't have a plan ...but ...on the other hand, it's so fun to just go see what you find. So it's your decision. :)

3. Don't forget to look for other items.This will kind of contradict point #2, but always make sure to do a quick sweep of the whole place. You never know what you might find. :)

4. Before buying an item, take a good look at it. Obviously, what you're likely to find is used and probably kind of old. If you're planning on restoring it, make sure you can do the repairs that the item might need. 

5. Always see if you can get a lower price. This might be one of my favorite things about thrifitng. Prices usually aren't completely nonnegotiable so ask. Make sure your new offer is reasonable. The person selling it is also trying to get a good price. If you are buying several items, try grouping them for a lower total price.

Finally, some days are better to go than others. I like going on Mondays because people usually clear out their "junk" over the weekend and take it in then so there are often times new treasures. 

What tips do you have?!

And don't forget to enter/tell all your friends about the $25 cash giveaway! 
It ends today.

And thanks especially to all of you who have entered, commented, and spread the word!
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  1. I love thrifting, and agree with many of your tips! I love Goodwill, and Estate sales the best. I also like to go to yard/garage sales in older neighborhoods. Most of the time I skip townhouse communities or new developments because they usually are full of kids items/toys/and newer items. And yes, as soon as I'm done parking at the GW or Salvation Army, I feel the need to run inside before someone else spots a treasure before me!!

    1. I have only been somewhat successful with thrifting. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. Thanks for stopping by



  2. I have only been somewhat successful with thrifting. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi Julia! :) So glad you like my dresser re-do..I just LOVE it! Thanks for being my newest follower as well! I love all your tips for thrifting..and they're all SO true. I LOVE to go to Goodwill and yard sales...most of what I have has been re-purposed from thrifty finds. I think the only things in our whole house that wasn't found that way is our bed(mattress), my son's bed, living room sofa and chair and our kitchen table...everything else is pretty much re-purposed! :) and that's how I like it!
    Have a great week!
    Missy :)

  4. Yes. I'm just like this! Always trying to make sure no one grabs what I'm looking for. I always head to the furniture area first, then the linens, and then the smaller stuff. It's one of my favorite things to do. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Looks like you've found some great things lately!


  5. I love thrifting too. Just wish we had more great thrift stores! Thanks for the follow :) I've loved browsing your blog. You've done a great job on all the furniture you have listed!

  6. Great post! I definitely need to use some of these tips when I thrift! Looks like you find awesome items :)

  7. Fantastic finds and great advice! I am completely in love with that desk!

  8. We were on our way out to a family gathering last weekend, running over 15 minutes behind, and passed by an auction in progress. There was so much furniture sitting out and I was absolutely dying to stop, but we had to get to the function. Argh! I'm too much of a night owl to do yard sales because I can't get myself up early enough to grab any good finds. As far as thrifting, I love the stores that have everything organized by type, but those are indeed few and far between. When thrifting, I peruse anything home-related, but I always look for the furniture first, as that's my thing. I've also been keeping an eye out for silver trays, and have accumulated several, but have no idea what I'll do with them yet!

  9. Oh, and I almost forgot ... love that keyhole chair. And thanks for the reminder about negotiating prices at thrift stores. Usually I don't bother because I know I'm helping out a cause or whatever, but money is getting tight now that I'm not working. And less money spent one place means more money I can spend somewhere else!

  10. I don't buy anything new and my family members think. I'm crazy. I am the "cheap is good , free is better" type a gal!!! I'm glad to see other people that understand. love this blog

  11. I was looking for a very cheap way to strip furniture. I'm trying to redo , rehab some furniture to make a little extra cash, when I add up the cost of a stripping product I'm down to nothing on profit. Got any tips?
    Thank You

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I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments! They bring a smile to my face!