The Secret to Thrifting

This chair showing off it’s back side was $35, the slipcover chair $13 with a $50 slipcover, the sofa table was $20 {all thrift finds} are you so sick of me telling you the prices?  This room is turning into my second hand room.

Last week I dropped off a few things to my local Goodwill.  And, I never just drop off, I always go in as well.  I didn’t find much, a pair of uniform pants for my son {$3 compared to $15-25 new} and a pair of flippers for my boys to swim with also $3.  On the way home I passed the Salvation Army.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t found anything there for the last 6 times I’ve been in.  However, I have found stuff there in the past.  I almost didn’t stop because I didn’t want to waste my time, but the thought of passing up something great was enough to get me to stop.

I’m glad I did. This coffee table caught my eye.  It was marked $49 but, I could see the date it arrived on the tag and knew it had been sitting around for a little while.  I also know that my Salvation Army will discount items after they’ve been there a few days.  Especially things that are showing a lot of wear.

It had two great pair of legs complete with casters and a sheet of beveled glass on top.  The wood was in bad shape but, now that I know how to paint furniture, I wasn’t concerned about that.  $35 later it was mine.  And I was SO glad I walked into that store.

Ideally, I wanted a small round table.  But after looking for one for months, I figured this one would be worth the risk.  I knew I could fix it up and live with it for awhile and if it doesn’t work I think I could sell it at a yard sale.  But so far I really like it.

Yesterday, Sunday, my husband and I needed to run out to Target.  We passed the Goodwill on our way home and decided to stop in.  He’s a great thrifter in his own right only his finds usually are books, Carhartt and golf stuff.  I found this great lamp.  I saw it from afar and knew I had to have it.  It had a great drum shade and a glass bottom and was marked $10.  I grabbed it and quickly looked around to see if someone would yell “hey you can’t buy that” or give me a standing ovation.   Nothing like that happened but, I found that it still had the Home Goods price tag on it. Home Goods is part of the trilogy where pretty much all of my lamps are from {Home Goods/TJ Maxx/Marshalls}.

That’s right. $60.

The shade was a little dirty and the lamp looked like it had sat in a dust storm for a year but after I cleaned it up, it was perfectly acceptable.  Here’s the thing, I’ve never been to the Goodwill on a Sunday.  I didn’t even know they were open.

Value Village Thrift Store Dresser:: $80

When it comes to shopping thrift, the biggest secret to finding great stuff is persistence. Are you willing to pass by a ton of junk that you would never buy to find that one gem?

You have to keep going. Sometimes when I show off my great finds, I think people think that I find something great every time I walk in.  Not true. I’d just have a even more boring blog if I wrote about every time I walked into the Goodwill and found negative nothing.  I think I find something super great on every 20th visit on average.  I find something good enough to buy about half the time, but many times it’s something small like a book or a silver spoon or a white plate, or shorts for my boys. But for me, it’s fun to go.  And that great find is worth going and finding nothing. You can see that as an impossible feat or, look at it as an adventure and decide that every time you pass the thrift shop, you’ll peek in really quick and see what they have.

tall vase: $5, table: $7,  big basket: $6 :: all second hand

Depending on your season of life, you may or may not be able to simply drop in a thrift store every time you pass it.  It’s still worth going, even if you can only stop in once a month.  That’s 12 times in a year, odds are you’ll still find something pretty good after a few times and you’ll be glad you went, you can use that high to get you through the times when you find nothing.

I’ve never gone to a thrift store looking for a certain item and found it.  I go with a little cash and an open mind. 99.9% of the stuff  I see is stuff I don’t want.  You sift through a lot of junk.  When I do find something, I buy it because I like it, I can afford it, and I think I can make it work in my home.  I usually don’t know where I’ll put it until I get home.  But, I like the thrill of the hunt and I don’t give up every time I come home empty handed.

Just keep going.

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Comments

  1. Well said and I truly appreciate your honesty about it all. My mother has been a thrifter and yard-sale shopper for my entire life and always turned junk into a wow piece. I never could but all of a sudden my craftiness and DIY skills have started to kick in. Late bloomer I guess. I quickly realized that I wasn’t always going to find that “one” item at a thrift store but going but for more and the thrill of the hunt is now part of the fun. I also like that looking through the selections at second-hand stores gets my creative wheels spinning all while not really looking for something in particular. :)

  2. Meburkeetoes says:

    AllGW stores in Illinois are open Sunday & they even have extended store hours for the Summer.

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