Thrifting 101

Monday, March 29, 2010


Thrifting 101, originally uploaded by jenib320.
[A few of my favorite thrifting finds]

I have received a lot of wonderful comments about my thrifting finds in the past few months. This has also led to many questions about where I find all of my treasures. With a year of serious thrifting under my belt, I thought I'd write up a little Thrifting 101 to hopefully impart some of my thrifting "wisdom" on you all! :)

1. Thrift Stores
The most obvious place to start your thrifting adventures is at a thrift store! Doing a basic Google search for "thrift stores" can give you an idea of the stores in your area. There are several chain thrift/charity shops like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers, and St. Vincent de Paul, to name the major ones. Keep in mind there are also some regional chain thrifts, for instance in Cleveland there is Value World and Unique Thrift. Keep on the lookout for church thrift shops as well. Consignment shops may also have vintage goods!

2. Antique Stores/Malls
There are many antique stores that price well-beyond thrift stores prices. However, not all antique stores are created equally! Check out the antique stores in your area to get an idea of the price level! There are antique shops in my area that are overpriced and there are a few that are kind of a hybrid antique/thrift shop in terms of their prices and items. You'll never know until you check them out!

3. Garage Sales & Flea Markets
The most basic level of thrifting that most everyone has experienced at some point in their lives is garage sales! Garage sales can be a great place to start thrifting especially in the coming months. Check to see if your city has a city-wide or neighborhood garage sale date. Craigslist has made garage sale-ing even easier! Many people choose to post their sales on Craigslist giving you an idea of what to expect. Flea Markets are a great thrifting option and are often held at county fairgrounds. Check your local fairground's event calender or do a google search to find flea markets in your area!

4. Estate Sales & Auctions
Check your local newspaper and Craigslist ads for estate sales and auctions in your area. Be sure to make it to estate sales sooner rather than later, they generally get picked over very quickly because everything is priced to sell. Auctions are another place to find some great vintage bargains. Keep in mind that if it has something specific listed, it may attract some more serious buyers, so be ready to compete!

5. Craigslist, Ebay & Etsy
In addition to finding garage sales, Craigslist can also be a great place to thrift! Search the sale ads or even post a want ad for what you're looking for. While Ebay and Etsy usually have pretty high prices, every so often something slips through the cracks! Keep your eye out for auctions that end at inconvenient times (mid-afternoon on a weekday?).

A Few More Thrifting Tips!
- Go often! For the number of times I got out thrifting and find something, I've been out four times where I found nothing! Don't be discouraged when you don't find anything, it simply takes time! Luckily, "new" items are being donated/put up for sale all the time!

- Go when you're traveling. One of my favorite parts about vacation is going to new thrift stores! A google search can give you a good list of thrift stores for that area and with a good map in hand you're ready to go! Keep in mind how you're going to get it back though. If you're flying, only buy as many breakable items as you can fit in your carry-on bag, unless you're brave enough to put them in your regular suitcase!

- Bring a friend. If you're going for a day of thrifting it's not only more fun to go with a friend, it's safer for your wallet! It can get very exciting thrifting when you're finding lots of treasures, but it's all too easy to buy things you don't really need or even want! Having someone there to second guess your purchases can be helpful :)

- Check for sales. Many chain thrift stores have sale days and often coupons. Find out their sale schedules for even thriftier thrifting!

Good luck and Happy Thrifting!

*EDIT* - Melissa pointed me in the direction of two great resources! A thrift store search website called The Thrift Shopper, and an antique store search website called The Antiques Navigator. Thanks for the links Melissa!

9 comments :

  1. You might be interested in this two websites:
    - www.thethriftshopper.com
    - www.antiquesnavigator.com

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  2. great tips, jeni. dually noted.

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  3. Fantastic! You're right about the antique shops. I found some pyrex pieces there the other week, but the prices were sky high! They wanted $85 for a set of "fair condition" pyrex mixing bowls! Yikes!

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  4. What a great post! You are making me want to start collecting vintage pyrex myself. ;D

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  5. good tips. love your pyrex collection!!

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  6. Hi Jeni. I noticed that the link to The Thrift Shopper website does not link properly. It has your own blog link at the beginning of the URL. Thought I'd let you know.

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  7. There's a senior center that has a thrift store in it, and that's where I find my vintage sheets and pillowcases. :)

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  8. Hey, I just came across your blog via your machine binding tutorial! Great post! Anyway I've just become enthralled with estate sales recently and thought you should know about this website... www.estatesales.net you can put in your zip code and up will pop all the sales and auctions in your area. They usually have descriptions and pictures of what will be at the sale...I'm now obsessed!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey, I just came across your blog via your machine binding tutorial! Great post! Anyway I've just become enthralled with estate sales recently and thought you should know about this website... www.estatesales.net you can put in your zip code and up will pop all the sales and auctions in your area. They usually have descriptions and pictures of what will be at the sale...I'm now obsessed!

    ReplyDelete

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