8 Ways to Find Great Thrift Store Deals

Do you love a deal? Use these 8 tips from Domestic CEO to find what you are looking for - and score some killer steal - at second hand stores.

Amanda Thomas
6-minute read
Episode #149

The other great thing about shopping before the sales is that the stores tend to move a lot of inventory into the shopping area before the event, which means you will see a larger selection of items. The few days after a big sale can feel like a bit of a shopping hangover; a few new pieces of inventory may have been restocked, but for the most part, the shelves are going to be a little barer.

Inventory will continue to increase through the weeks until the next sale, too, so it’s good to check back as more items are added to the floor. But in the days immediately after a big sale, you'll probably only see items that no one would even buy at half off!

Shop in Different Neighborhoods

It may seem most convenient to shop in the thrift stores in your neighborhood, but you may want to consider going to different parts of town. While some larger organizations like Goodwill redistribute items so each store has a good variety, most locally-owned stores have items that are donated by people who live within about 5 miles of the store.

So if you visit a second hand shop in a fancy area of town, you are more likely to find nicer pieces that people have donated after they redecorated or cleaned out their closets. If you visit a store in an area that is heavily populated by retirees, you might be more likely to find cool retro items that were purchased in the 60s and 70s, which older people might be donating when they downsize. Visiting stores in different areas of your city will help you get an idea of the "speciality" items available in those specific areas.

Frequent the Same Stores

The last tip I have on this topic is to pick your favorite stores, and visit them often. Be friendly and get to know the managers and staff at these stores. Talk with them about what you are looking for, too.

If you are looking for a specific list of items, sometimes the staff and managers will be willing to contact you as soon as one of the pieces comes through their door. It’s an easy sale for them, and you can get your dream items without a lot of searching. It’s a win-win for you both.

Now that you have a few tips, it’s time to start making some trips to the thrift stores. Remember to go in with a list of items you’d like to find, but see it as a treasure hunt rather than a shopping trip. Celebrate by posting your treasure finds all over social media! And don’t give up if you don’t find things on your first trip - eventually, you’ll snag just what you’re looking for.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home! Share your thrift store stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Images of cash and calculator and thrift store items courtesy of Shutterstock.