Sunday is National Thrift Store Day, and we at Talking Cents love thrift stores. They’re more than just dusty rooms packed with unsorted donations, they are a source of unique treasures at a heavily discounted price. There are some amazing deals to be found, no matter what you’re looking for. Shopping at thrift stores will help you reduce your spending and be able to eliminate debt faster. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite thrift store tactics, to help you get a better deal on those secondhand goods.
What exactly constitutes a thrift shop? I would consider any store that takes donations and sells them for profit or charity to be a thrift store. I also consider consignment shops and secondhand stores to be an excellent place to find a bargain, and the tips below are applicable to these locations as well.
- Location, location, location. I live in an area outside of Boston that has a lot of wealthy neighborhoods and towns. The thrift stores in these areas are always packed with designer goods for preposterously cheap. They also tend to be less frequented by people my age who are looking for more fashionable looks. I’ve found some fantastic designer bags (Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs) for less than $100. At the local Savers, I found this amazing vintage blue Christian Dior coat for only $10. You can truly look great on a budget!
- Time of year. You are most likely to get the best finds in January. People who are planning to write off their donations need to get them in by December, so they will bring all of their donations to the stores at this time. If you decide to make a donation, be sure to pick up a tax form so that you can deduct it. You can also find great items at the beginning of the spring. Many people will finish their spring cleaning and plan to purge of all unnecessary clothing and furniture.
- Walk away. Don’t feel pressured to buy something if it’s not what you’re looking for. Those bargains may seem like a great deal, but if it’s not what you need or want, it’s not worth accumulating junk just for the sake of a good deal. Pop into the store a few times a week to see if the new inventory matches what you’re seeking.
- What day is it? Some stores offer extra discounts on different days – certain color tags will be 20 percent off, for example. Do your research and find out what days have the steepest savings.
- Check online. Towns across the country are starting to host “online yard sales,” where you can get great deals from the comfort of your own home. Goodwill also sells some of their top items online via auction!
Celebrate this Sunday by visiting your favorite thrift shop, and let us know in the comments below if you have any great finds.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.