Thrifting Tip Thursdays...and a WINNER...

Thank you to all who entered. I enjoyed reading all of your comments. I did random.org...then checked to see if they were a follower...

and the blessed comment was comment 21 written by Cristin who is a renowned blogger in her own her right. Congratulations. Please email your contact information so Santa's little mail carrier can get this to you in time for the Holidays. I hope she shares with us her transformation.

Yea I know. I never win anything either.

If you are still reading....

Today is Day 1 of The Thirty Days of Thrifting...
Today's Thrifting Tip Thursday Question is:
What are your TOP 5 tips for thrifting or second hand shopping.

From Mr. Goodwill Hunting 
1. WHAT THE TRUCK!!! Yes, make sure you have a truck. Some stores are cash and carry and will not hold an item. The worst feeling is to see the perfect side table and have no way of getting it home. If you have no truck call Lottie, Dottie...ANYBODY and see who is available.
2. Be polite...yet aggressive. I can remember walking into Goodwill and the worker had just put out a very sleek and modern pair of lamps. Rule is they must put it out 1st, then you can obtain it. Well this ole' lady said to the worker, "Baby hand me dem thangs rite dere." So, I missed out. If you see something you like, go for it, because the sweet little ole lady is lurking nearby.
3. Checking the list...check it twice. Exactly. Check items out as many times as you can. For clothing the worst thing is to find an amazing vintage Yves Saint Laurent sweater, then get it home and it has a hole in the back...not good. How about buying a "pretty" tissue box smudged beneath some crap only to get it home and find out it was stamped "Made in Italy."
4. Slow down Speedy McGreedy. (2 points here) Dont be in such a rush to get in and get out. Goodwill and thrift stores are often like HomeGoods. Every few moments a load of treasures will come swinging through the door. If you walk in and dont immediately see anything in the home section, venture to the clothing department and come back. A fresh batch of "goodies" may have just been taken out the oven when you return.
Also, dont speed to get in to try to beat someone else to finding a deal. Why? For number one you will look quite stoopid to get in and see nothing...then have to pick your sad face up off the floor. Secondly, and seriously, you may injure a child or someone else, because you are so focused on getting in and not looking around.
5. One is such a lonely number. NOT! I like to shop alone. Often times shopping buddies will try to talk you out of something. You know what you like. You have refined taste. Do you!

1. Shop often.  Inventory is constantly changing in thrift stores, and the good stuff goes fast.

2. Be decisive.  Don't take too long deciding on a piece.  If it's inexpensive, it's worth a try. You can always re-sell or re-donate.

3. Think outside the box.  I look at every item trying to imagine what it would look like after a coat of paint or a fresh fabric.  Those types of changes are easy to do, but make sure such a difference is in the look of a piece.

 4. Don't be afraid to negotiate.  If an item has been sitting in a thrift shop for a while, they may be eager to get rid of it.  It never hurts to ask!
5. Buy what you like, not what you think you need for a certain spot. Thrifting gives you the chance to accumulate an eclectic mix in your home, which can result in a really warm, interesting space.  Experiment with mixing different styles; if you're buying second-hand, you'll most likely be able to afford to take more chances in your decor.

1. It's rare there is a return policy, so always make sure to check the item prior to purchase for anything you can't live with.

2. If you don't fall in love with the piece, don't buy it.

3. Even if you have a good eye, value isn't guaranteed.

4. Rural areas are great places to antique and thrift shop.

5. It isn't the seller's responsibility to know the pedigree of the pieces they are selling. It is up to you as the buyer to determine whether the asking price is appropriate.

1. go often- Thrift stores are hit or miss, so you must go as often as possible.

2. Think beyond what you see.  scratches, dirt, paint, all of those things can be changed as long as the pieces are in good condition structurally. 

3. Know what you need.  carry around a list of things you may need in your home along with the right measurements. 

4. Know the sale days.  Yes thrift stores have sale days! So, if you see something you like and want to test your luck, go back on the sale day.

5. Get to know the employees at the store.  If you know them, chances are they will give you the heads up for items that may not be out on the sales floor!


1. Know before you go: Have a specific piece, style, and/or price point in mind before you hit the shops. Otherwise, your purchase could create un-necessary clutter in your home, garage, closets or attic.

2. Have some knowledge of big-box retail prices for similar pieces. for example: Purchasing a danish style buffet for $30 saves you $600 if you purchased similar style new from West Elm.

3. Visualize future possibilities: Go for great lines because wood stains, paints, lamp shades and fabrics can give versatility to the piece, which increases its longevity in your collection - even when your style may change.

4. Check the quality of the construction of furniture - for example dove-tail drawers on metal runners are a good thing. Also be sure to check the back of an item, and check that all doors/drawers open and close correctly. If you can do repairs yourself - great! If it needs to be repaired by another, factor that in to its cost. If it's an amazing piece - go with your gut and go for it!

5. Can't stress this tip enough: BRING HAND SANITIZER. Also, if you're planning on hunting for furniture - bring twine, tape and blankets/furniture pads. This can help protect your vehicle as well as your purchase (especially glass tops!!)


What tips do you have?

Mr. Goodwill Hunting
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