If you follow me on Instagram you know that I recently scored a pair of new True Religion jeans at my local Goodwill for $30. They fit like a glove! I was beyond excited. I’m a fan of designer denim–there really is a big difference in quality–but our budget is not a fan of designer anything. It’s a bit of a problem actually.
I have been a thrift store shopper for years. There have been a few times that I have found something that I still just love to this day, like the art prints below. When we lived in the Seattle area I browsed a couple of key thrift stores regularly (about twice a week); Goodwill in Bellevue and Children’s Hospital Thrift Store also in Bellevue. The regularity of my visits meant I was pretty quick to find quality things. For three years those two stores allowed me to cloth the entire family and Craigslist finds furnished our house. I rarely bought anything new. Which came in handy since we were struggling with the recession like so many others were.
I have also found things at thrift stores that I regretted not buying. Like a great wicker couch ($50) that would have looked fantastic sitting on my patio with a coat of black or charcoal gray spray paint and some new cushions. I’m still kicking myself for that one.
Back to the art prints. I found these Crystal Dawn Davis signed artist proofs at the Children’s Village thrift store. I knew, as soon as I saw them, that they were special. They were wrapped in plastic and cardboard, just thrown up on a shelf. I grabbed them and happily paid $3 for the big one and $2 for the little one. I took them home and immediately looked up the artist. I love her work! I had them professionally framed and matted and they’ve been proudly hanging in our home ever since.
I don’t thrift shop as often as I did in Seattle. Yakima doesn’t have as much of an inventory so it can be disappointing. But I do try to go about once a month. And luckily for me that trip I took on Friday led to some pretty fantastic jeans at a pretty fantastic price. I’m looking forward to estate sale season. That’s another way to find great stuff in Yakima.
Here are my tips for shopping second-hand:
- Go regularly.
- Find out when your local thrift shops put out merchandise. Do they do it as donations come in or do they have one day of the week in which they re-stock the floor?
- Look for quality and be picky. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s the right purchase for you. If you don’t absolutely LOVE it, don’t buy it.
- Related to the point above, if you LOVE it buy it. Otherwise you will still be kicking yourself six months later.
- Make sure you are buying the real thing. If you are looking for quality, you need to know the difference between the real thing and the cheaply made knock-off.
- When it comes to estate sales, have cash on hand. It’s more convenient and will allow you to snatch something up quickly before someone else grabs it.
- Look in areas that interest you. If you are looking for designer denim, scour the jeans and make sure you look in all the different areas where they keep jeans. Also look in areas marked other sizes. When I found the True Religion jeans they were in a section I wouldn’t normally shop.
The thrift shop areas that I spend the most time looking through are jeans, furniture and art.
What are your favorite thrift shop finds? Do you have any other tips and tricks?