8 Tips to Find the Best Deals at Thrift Stores

best deals at thrift stores

It’s no secret that I’m a thrift store junkie. And a darn good one at that! My local Goodwill is usually one of my first stops when I need to make a large purchase or buy clothes, followed closely by the Salvation Army and a smattering of locally owned thrift stores. I’ve found some amazing deals on furniture, tools, and other household items, and I refuse to buy jeans anywhere else.

Over the years, I’ve developed a something of a system for finding the best deals at thrift stores. Today’s your lucky day, too, because I’m going to share some of these secrets so you can snag some of the best deals at thrift stores too!

Let’s get started, shall we?

Keep a List

If you’re new to thrift store shopping or just overwhelmed when trying to find the best deals at thrift stores, let give you a the simplest tip there is. If you don’t need it, it’s not a good deal! Don’t just buy something because it’s cheap and available. Keep a list (or seven!) with items that you’re looking for and need. I also like to keep current lists of clothing sizes of my kids, family members, and friends. That way, if I see what I think is a good deal, I can consult my lists and snag it right then and there.

Shop Often

The inventory in thrift stores changes constantly. To find the best deals at thrift stores, it’s usually a good idea to shop often. I usually try to stop in once a week to see if they have any goodies on my “needs” lists.

Pay Attention to Sales

Yes, even thrift stores have sales! If you want to get the best deals at thrift stores, make sure you pay attention to these aforementioned sales! My local Goodwill, for instance, has “colors of the week”, and any item with that color tag is 50% off. There’s also a $0.49 clothing sale on the weekends, which also includes outerwear and leather jackets. If you’re not sure about the sales at your local thrift stores, just ask.

Be a Joiner

Some thrift stores have websites and social media pages. Sign up for newsletters and follow the stores on social media to get sale announcements and special discounts.

Get a Loyalty Card

Goodwill has a special store stampy card for loyal shoppers. For every $10 you spend, you get a stamp on the card. When you fill your card with ten stamps, you get a 50% discount on everything you buy. I’ve gotten some of my best deals at thrift stores with these cards! I’m not sure if all Goodwill stores or other thrift stores do the same thing, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Inspect Everything

It should go without saying, but be sure to inspect everything before you buy! You’re on the hunt for the best deals at thrift stores, not the junkiest deals! Plug in electronics to test them, insect clothes for stains and damage, and double check to make sure other items aren’t damaged before plunking down the cash.

Know Your Brands

Knowing a little about brands comes in pretty handy when you’re hunting for the best deals at thrift stores, especially when it comes to clothes. For instance, I know that Faded Glory clothes are a Walmart brand, so I’m not willing to pay $4 for a shirt from this brand at Goodwill when I could buy it new at Walmart for just a couple of dollars more. An Under Armour shirt, though? You can bet I’ll snap that one up if it fits! If you’re unsure about brands, makes sure you carry your mobile phone so you can…

Research on the Fly

Modern technology really comes in handy when searching for the best deals at thrift stores! Keep your mobile device close for a little on the fly research. You can look up items and brands to see if the prices are worth paying.

Any other tips for finding the best deals at thrift stores?