5 Tips to Effectively Find Hidden Gems at Any Thrift Store
If you have been following my blog at all, you know by now how much I love good thrift store finds. But not every trip is a win and not every discount is a deal. So how do you find that hidden gem? I’m sharing my top five great thrift store tips!
I’m going to be honest-this is a marathon. You can’t expect to show up once to a thrift store and find something great. Don’t get me wrong every once in awhile this happens, but most of the time I come home empty handed. Fortunately for me I enjoy going to thrift stores and looking through everything. The more often you go the more likely you are going to find something. It’s a numbers game. Plus if you make friends with the vendors and sales folk they will often notify you when they have something come in that you are looking for.
Keep an Open Mind
Sometimes you will find something that may not be exactly what you envisioned but is close enough. Can you make it work for what you want? Can you spruce it up with some paint or new hardware? If the answer is yes then it may actually be a perfect fit.
Just because something looks like a great deal doesn’t always mean it is. I can not tell you how many times I have found a piece of furniture that I loved but then upon closer inspection realized, the wood was rotten in places or beyond what I was willing to do in repairs. Make sure you look over your thrift store find carefully. If there are any issues with it you want to make sure you know about it before you buy. (There is almost NEVER a return option for thrift stores.)
Know Your Limits
This tip can be broken down into three sub categories:
Space: Make sure you know what space you are dealing with. You don’t want to come home with a gorgeous and gigantic piece of furniture that doesn’t fit in the tiny office space you are trying to furnish.
Restoration: How much work are you realistically going to put into this piece? Decide what you are comfortable with and capable of, then go from there.
Cost: Determine what you are willing to spend ahead of time. There are a lot of great pieces to be found and a lot of times the seller thinks so too. Many times thrift stores do not actually know what they have, they can often times overprice items (alternatively they can also underprice items). So do some research ahead of time to know what an item is really worth.
If you have followed all the above steps and feel comfortable with your find then COMMIT. Thrift stores have high turn overs and if you decide to go home and think about it, there is a good chance it will not be there tomorrow. I have missed out on some great finds by doing this. Don’t be like me in this instance.