Fresh off the heels of our post about saving money on casual wear today’s post focuses solely on how to maximize your savings at thrift stores. Since we’re still a little new at this topic, we’ve decided to view it through the lens of Simply Heidi, who authors the Frantically Simple blog. Several months back Heidi published a blog post where she shared ten fabulous insights on the ins and outs of finding thrift store bargains. So today we’re going to look at what makes her post stand out.
One of the things that makes Heidi’s post unique is her “tell it like it is” approach to explaining how to get the best deals from thrift stores. Here’s a short excerpt from her post to illustrate what we mean:
“Your mom was right: you never know until you try. What looks great on the rack may look not-so-great on you. Don’t think, “Well, it’s only $2. If I don’t like it, I’m not out much.” You’ll be out $2! And you’ll have another thing taking up space in your closet that you’ll never wear.
If you try something on and it’s almost right, it’s still wrong. Don’t buy it…”
In addition to Heidi’s no nonsense tone, the fact that several of her tips were somewhat new to us was quite refreshing. Here are a few of our favorites:
Thrift Stores Have Sales Too
We appreciated her informing us of the fact that thrift stores have regular promotions just like other retail establishments. So it helps to familiarize yourself with their their promotion schedules. This point was interesting because it seems that many shoppers just assume that since everything is so inexpensive anyway it’s always a good time to visit a thrift store.
Use the Off Season to Your Advantage
Heidi makes the point that even though thrift store prices are always exceptional there is still justification for shopping out of season: less competition from other buyers. She goes on to say how this usually tends to translate into a much wider selection of choices for you.
Know When to Draw the Line
Just because the price is right and it looks good doesn’t mean that it’s a must have. This is especially the case if the clothing has a defect. Essentially, Heidi is saying that if the shirt you’re getting has an additional mark down due to a few missing buttons, it may make sense to get it. However, it is only wise if you know that you’re likely to sew them back on. Otherwise, you could still end up throwing your money away.
All in all thrift stores represent one of the most under utilized, yet most powerful tools available to the frugal shopper. However, thrift stores do present their own set of unique challenges. These would include things such as no having fitting rooms, no returns, etc.
We feel that Heidi did an exceptional job at pointing these issues out and pointing out the remedies, so that no matter what you encounter at your local thrift store you can still maneuver your way into hefty savings at thrift stores.