I can't deny that I love a good bargain and a great thrift store find. I know some people are completely appalled to purchase something used, I think it's eco-friendly and most times the item needs a second life.
1. Ask what the sale days are, Goodwill is 50% of the entire store the last weekend of each month.
2. Notice pricetag colors, they rotate items by price tag colors and will post what color is one sale.
3. Be cautious of the dressing rooms, I have found the lighting is poor, they are sometimes gross and can turn you off from buying items. For me, if it's cheap enough I'll buy it and donate it back if it doesn't fit.
4. Look in the men's and women's section. I see that the clothes are misplaced or organized by the staff who may not know certain brands.
5. Look very closely for stains, rips, smells and anything 'off'.
6. Ask staff what you're looking for, they know the inventory best and may be able to point you directly at your item so you don't have to search.
7. Always test electronics in the store. Ask to plug them in and see if they work. Some stores check before putting merchandise out, most do not.
8. Know that there is typically a no return policy at thrift store.
9. Feel good about your purchase because most are charities and serve a needy purpose.
10. Try to look beyond the stuff for hidden gems and potential.
11. If you feel like the inventory has been picked over ask when they place most items on the floor.
12. Avoid the busy shopping times, like Saturday's if you don't like crowds.
13. Don't give up on thrift store the first time you go in and don't see anything, thrift storing is about the hunt!
14. Avoid thrift stores close to college campuses, they are over priced and picked over.
My Favorite Thrift Stores (in no particular order)
1. AmVets by the Westminster Mall in Colorado
2. Goodwill by "the Garage Market" in NYC
3. Anna's Angels on Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville
4. KARM on Hall of Fame Drive in Knoxville
I have collected some amazing things in my ten years of thrift storing; $1 ottoman, many $5 chairs, $1 striped wallpaper, $1 records, sunglasses, books, belts, jewelry, and more.