The Golden Girl Finance blog has a post with thrift shopping tips, which made me think of some of my own strategies. I don’t expect anybody with a lick of sense to give away their biggest secrets — such as which store puts out genuine gemstone rings at rhinestone prices — but here are a few of my tips:
1. Layers, coats, and lace-up shoes get in the way when you shop for clothing. Keep a pair of flip-flops in the car or in your cloth shopping bag and change bulky shoes before you go inside.
2. Standard wisdom says to shop on a store’s half-price day. My tip is to go the day before half-price day, when the selection is best. Everybody else is waiting until tomorrow, hoping to get that fantastic coat priced at $7.50 for only $3.75. Come on, folks — if you love the coat, get it while it’s still there at $7.50.
3. Ask about discount days or programs. I happened into a store on Student Tuesday, and I was taking a class at the junior college at the time. Thus, with the student ID, my flat file cost $60 instead of $75.
4. If there’s a section you especially favor, ask if they put out new stock on particular days, or if it’s random.
5. Sure, most of us do some reselling on the side to support the habit, but you’ll gain goodwill, karma, and the appreciation of clerks if you pick up after yourself, behave with grace, and even let someone else take away something they especially admire.
6. Find out if the store has a return policy, so you can buy clothing for your loved ones and bring it back for credit if it doesn’t work out.
7. Make a pass through all the sections. I’ve found amazing books set down in the furniture section.
8. If the staff has been especially helpful — such as the folks who helped me load furniture into my Volvo — go on, get ‘em a treat. A box of fresh strawberries was very enthusiastically received by the staff at my local women’s services thrift store.
9. Save money by texting photos of items you’re thinking of getting for someone else, to see if they actually want it.
10. I dunno – what are some of your tips?