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How to get the best deals at thrift stores

Shop the sales. Many Salvation Army stores have a half-price day, and Goodwill Retail Stores often have a discounted day for senior citizens. Get new stuff. Not everything at thrift stores is used. Retail stores like Target regularly donate unsold goods or products in damaged packaging to thrift stores. Ask the sales clerk if those donations arrive on a particular day of the week.

A dress in a style you would never wear might be made with a gorgeous fabric that would cost far more to buy in a fabric store. Is that table really beat up- or does it just need to be refinished? Teach your children well. Bring your kids with you and give them a few dollars. Let them see what they can buy with those few dollars. Give them the same amount in a conventional retail store so they can see the difference. Encourage them to find unusual, funky clothes and to mix and match.

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Best to you, Daisy. If we get less donations, we have to try to charge a bit more for what we do have to still be able to support our mission. But you have to blame the internet. What in the world?! Goodwill is a for profit organization. My pleasure! Salvation army always looks like they got it from dump.

This is the biggest money-saving tip of all, because you might end up with a teenager who puts together unique outfits from a thrift store, rather than one who insists on shopping at Hollister or Neiman Marcus. Bring your camera and have fun. Take some time to look at the oddities on the knick-knack shelf. But take a look and imagine for just a moment the stories behind these objects. Happy hunting! She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two teenaged kids. Her colleagues are dogs named Harlow and Shaggy. You can see her celebration of thrift store finds at Thrift Wrecks.

I pretty much buy all our clothes and my kitchen accessories at thrift stores. I love upcycling fabric into new items, even for gifts! Our extended family only buys inexpensive items for those under 18 at Christmas. We try to find the most outrageous things at thrift stores or garage sales and give them to each other.

We do this until the items just fall apart or are no longer funny. I do most of my clothes shopping at thrift stores. There is one in particular that is,a well kept secret in the toledo ohio area there isi one called lions den resale shop in temperance mich. That is cheaper than any thrift store I have found. Also check out churches. Some have free clothing. I found a columbia michigan fleece jacket at one free!! Those go for at least Bucks at the stores. There is a thrift store in the toledo area that is way cheaper than most of the chain thrift stores.

Most clothes are 1. And the money goes to the local lions club. Some in this,area offer free clothing. I found a michigan columbia fleece jacket there for free.

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I just decided last night to no longer work for Goodwill. After only 6 months I found out over and over that the good in Goodwill is not good at all to employees. They let everyone park in the handicap space. Yes they have to pay rent. They build beautiful buildings and the pay their CEOs alot of money. Sadly, a lot of the donated items at our local stores end up at the bin store without ever seeing a shelf.

Am I The Only One Who Thinks Thrift Store Prices Are Getting Ridiculous?

I only donate to Goodwill on the rarest of occasions now, preferring to give to thrifts that truly appreciate the items, and price them reasonably, as opposed to boutique-y. I think we have about 50 thrift stores in a 30 mile range from my house including neighboring towns. I luv your tips lauren. I must share a story with you….. Out of necessity really. And as you write, some days are filled with wonderful treasures and others, well, not so much! You must go at least once, sometimes twice a week to reap the benefits!

How unfair! Pawing through everything like it was their own private little jewels!! I was on the phone so fast calling the corporate headquarters demanding that something be done immediately! I was so angry! It is a shame because it continues to happen, so they raise the prices because they know the dealers are re-selling and who suffers? Wow, I often wondered about that. I donate a lot since we own rentals and so many tenants leave behind a lot of stuff.

Many times when I was donating to the back entrance, I saw some beautiful lamps, a bird cage which was so ornate and lots of nice quality items. Yet, I go often enough inside to our Salvation Army store and never see any of the things I see when I drop off items. I even asked if much of this goes to another Salvation Army store and I was told yes but not much. So that had me thinking am I going on the wrong days or not early enough. Something to take notice. I have found that I can go to Walmart and buy things cheaper then Goodwill..

I cant figure out why the charge so much? I was surprised last trip there. Dollar store used items were 1. Amy, you took the words right out of my mouth. Same here for the prices at Goodwill. I do not shop there or donate there. I think they are beggers and thieves actually with all the trailers sitting along the road side to drop your donations off.

I too have found other thrift stores and they go to a good cause like animal rescue. I try not to go too much, because I buy too much, my house is already full. So, so smart of you to buy things and make them over for resale. It gives you spending money to decorate. And you are so good at it. The same thing I told Amy, there is a Goodwill 30 minutes from my house that always has higher prices than the one 5 minutes from me. Just not much luck so far on my end.

Goodwill is a terrible organization. They hired my hardworking handicapped daughter. They required her to work 12 hrs a day for 7 days then 7 days off for 89 days. This was grueling for her but she needed a job so badly. A day before the 90th day, when she would have been eligible for health and vacation benefits, they laid her off and hired another young woman in the same circumstances. We investigated and found that they did this over and over. They keep a small core staff and cycle through others to keep from obeying labor laws.

So, then Steph had a firing on her record. If you are just looking for a bargain without any social consciousness, do shop at Goodwill. But if you care at all about the scheming of this multibillion dollar ripoff machine, please shop at Salvation Army or somewhere. Please note that as said before, all regions are run different. I do agree that the Salvation Army is better at community support.

Also the clothing you speak of being sold in poverty stricken countries is normally sold for pennies a pound. Most stores have worked at figuring out new ways to keep as much merchandise as possible out of the landfills. Why did you allow your handicapped daughter to work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day?

I find this story very disturbing on many levels. Why would you allow your handicapped daughter to work 7 days a week, 12 hour a day? How do i know? Because i work for The Good Will. That is so sad. My friend worked at goodwill for about 5 years they said she had a felony on her record and fired her why did they wait so long should be able to sue them.

I am so sorry you were treated that poorly. My son works there and he is boarder line special needs so he took the job, but I wish someone would make the company do the right thing, and it should be non profit right down the line. They do hire and train people who would otherwise be unemployable, but there is also a big push for profits, and the ceo makes a salary in the six figures. Sal army is the lesser of both evils. Outrageous and nasty staff. Savers is better.

It does seem inconsistent sometimes. After a day or two, it gets marked down. I find that the better the neighborhood the store is in, the cheaper the prices and the worse the neighborhood, the worse the prices. I just go for good deals. For awhile, they were even asking for extra donations at the cash register.

I go quite a lot, and have experience with labels, merchandise, and prices in general. I moved to NM from Indy last year. The prices in NM are 3 or mores times higher than in Indy. They only have one day here when you can get a discount. They never mark things down. In Indy they dd the colored tag system. But that is every thrift store in Albuquerque. It is almost impossible to find anything you want.

Wednesday morning the shelves are overflowing-but at least they have the colored tag system for the week-which is better than shopping senior day. It is pitiful how many seniors show up for this. I have purchased online from the Indi Goodwill, and I do find everyone there I have spoken to to be professional. Since I collect dishes every thing in tableware I have purchased has always arrived in perfect shape and professionally packed. It definitely seems inconsistent, but if you wait, the price will drop. One Goodwill 30 minutes from me is always priced higher than the one in my neighborhood, so it helps to visit several until you find a winner.

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Thanks for sharing your Goodwill shopping secrets!! I live 10 minutes from our local GW and go there often. I live in OHIO. I shop Goodwill almost daily. We get discounts daily. We have very good prices on everything. Our Goodwill does buy-outs from Department stores that are a little more on somethings. But,not on the clothing. The clothing is hung with all the other, at the same price. The store is set up like a Department store,very neat,clean. Just a week or so ago,they lowered prices on everything.

These prices will not go up. I donate all the time. This store has alot of the same people, who started when the store opened. Sorry, this is so long. But,I wanted to let people know ,not all thrift stores are alike. I agree with Amy and Allison. Goodwill in particular has lost its way in terms of a non-profit mission. Their prices in no accurate way reflect the demographics of their core buyers.

On top of that, our local Texas Goodwill store needs a serious overhaul. I truly miss the Deseret Industries thrift store back in Idaho. They are brilliant at merchandising, lighting, and service. And while their prices did start to creep upward, they took measures to reverse the trend when the increases were met with opposition.

I can see what you mean, Ardith. And there was actually a false article circulated on social media for sometime that has since been debunked regarding the profit margin. Demographics certainly play a part. It seems like the increase in pricing has been across the board no matter where I thrift. It makes me sick. Most Goodwill stores follow the mission of giving persons a helping hand with employment.

In our are they focus on mentally handicapped people job support. They are well respected in the community. Yes prices have risen, but so have the wages they pay their staff. Far better than Value Village which is just a corporate company donating pennies to charity. Please find a different soapbox to stand on. I would love to shop at your Goodwill — it looks like a large store with a great selection! I am definitely a Goodwill shopper and have found some great deals! Have a great week! Maybe the discount days is a regional thing?

I was thinking it was all over. I love Goodwill too! I can find some great new stuff from Target too. And your right, paint can fix almost anything! I even just painted a pair of shoes! Thanks for the tips! No way! I think Target has a partnership of some kind with Goodwill because I see new Target items there a lot too. You are really good as seeing the potential in pieces. I would have overlooked some of your great finds! It has taken some practice for sure.

Thanks for the love, Eilis! We have several Goodwill outlets in our area in NC. Their prices are much more reasonable than regular Goodwill stores. I love to go there! I have found several items that I have resold on eBay for a profit! Where in NC, Lauren? I shop all over the state live in Wilmington I bet I could give you a tip or two on local stores in addition to GW; …. I do too, Michelle. I went to my local Keystone Goodwill in Exton,Pa to have my military discount put on it. I have a different card for Wisconsin and one for Michigan. Aw boo!

That stinks! Seems ridiculous that they would deviate from what is listed directly on the Goodwill website. Thanks for the tips.

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My mom loves shopping at her Goodwill. Stopping by from The Weekend Retreat. Lauren, these are such great tips! I have tried to go to goodwill so many times to get stuff for projects, but I never have luck! I think my biggest thing is I go at odd times, like end of the week. I am going to try on a Monday like you mentioned. Makes sense after garage sales, etc. Have you ever shopped goodwill online?

Have an awesome weekend! Definitely try it on a Monday. Hope you have better luck next time around! I feel like the prices are better in store, and even then the pricing seems to vary by location. These are great tips. I like your rule of donating something, too. Thanks for posting. Hello from Handmade Hangout. These are great tips! My husband and I are big thrifters. So many of the things in our home our finds from local thrift stores!

Totally worth it. I totally agree! I walk out empty handed most of the time, but those score days are sweet sweet victory. Great tips! Shocker… I had never set foot in a Goodwill until a year or so ago. Thanks for all the advice! I always carry something around until I decide and it usually turns out to be my best buy! Can I add another tip? Go around at least twice. I always see the best stuff the second or third time around.

I do have some donations to drop off so I will be checking it out soon. Totally agree! I find some good stuff the second time around sometimes. We got lucky. So donate first, get the receipt, then go shopping! Great tip, Beth! I buy all my clothes there. When I say goodwill they look shocked. I knew a young woman who sold all her clothes at yardsales at the end of the year and bought all new summer clothes. I like to shop at goodwill and I love what I find. I typically find the same type of furniture for half the price or even a quarter of the price of the stuff at Restore. Here in Ft Worth, we have a Goodwill outlet!!!!!

I went into the store just looking for things I could make into quilts…… It has made my addiction so much worse!!!!!!! But in a good way!!! The store is made up in big bins.. I need to check it out…maybe without the Jerry Springer show drama. I bet you find all kinds of cool fabrics.

I love goodwill! I wish! Wow, your store looks wonderful! I checked several around Tulsa and finally asked why there was no furniture to be found. You have to go to an auction held once a week! If you work… So sorry, you lose. What in the world?! And definitely not fair.

That really stinks. I stared at it, walked away, went back and stared again then left without it. Thank you for the Goodwill secrets!! Oh wow! But you have to check their calendar for when those are. After reading so many discounts out there, it looks like it varies a lot by region.

I love thrift shopping and you have provided some great tips. Hi Lauren I am a Goodwill girl too. I furnished my whole house with mostly Goodwill and tag sales…. I am soooo proud of it…and not at all ashamed to say I will never outgrow the Goodwill store…Love it. I totally hear ya on being proud of it. When people come over and want a tour, I have so much fun telling them how little I spent on each piece of furniture and seeing how amazed they are at the teeny price tag.

I love your article! I wished you lived in Arizona…lol.. Except for our new good such as Matresses, Rug and Pillows…they have their own deals during the calendar year. And our coupon that you can download on to your smart phone or print it out. Like pursues, clothing, linens, furniture, household good kitchen and decor.

And a lot of people, churches, other organizations go there and buy clothing and linens and shoes for the needed, such as the homeless, the underprivileged, and send over to other countries for missions. So we do have quite the deals going on. We also have Career Centers, where we do help put people to work. Our staff members at the career centers help you pick out which job suits your needs, help you with your resume and prepare you for interviews and help you learn more about that job.

Thank you so much for writing your article. For out-of-town thrifting I use an app on my phone: ThriftBuddy. You can look up stores by location or when traveling, let the GPS feature scan for stores around you. Very cool.

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Thanks for sharing these great tips! I bought a few baskets and other things to decorate my craft room. You have found some great items at your Goodwill, and you made them look beautiful! That stuff has to go! I love to shop too much! You just described my house exactly! Haha We try to keep order around here but those closets…oh Lordy! Love the tips and love how you can make something so ordinary to wow!! So glad it could help, Amy!

Having to tap into your imagination on those thrift shopping trips is part of the fun for sure. Have yet to find all these amazing things…in any goodwill that I have visited! Just tons and tons of clothes but have anyone noticed that you can go online and Goodwill have an auction site yes big time profit for Goodwill. The one near my house pretty much always has some furniture and their prices are really good. We are about to have a Goodwill store opening in my town and I am so excited!

Will be stopping in often. Love the pieces you have refinished, especially the blue console table! Thanks, Carol! Total Goodwill fan over here. I discovered that the reason our Goodwill prices went up was due to ObamaCare it forced Goodwill to provide insurance for all employees and that costs was over , just for my area. Their overhead went up so the prices went up to help keep people working. Pass this on if you like to help customers understand.

Ohhh that makes sense. I thought maybe it was because upcycling and thrift makeovers have grown in popularity but that makes sense too. We shop at our Goodwill regularly. I am close to one at home and one at work. As a teacher, I great great things for my room as well as things for home. They do price them high sometimes, but the discounts bring them down and, as you said, patience is the key.

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Great article! I decorated my classroom with a lot of thrift store finds back when I was teaching too. Thanks for these tips, Lauren! I also really love Salvation Army and have found that the prices are a little better than Good Will at least in my area. It really does become an addiction.

Habitat for Humanity Restore is great too, but their pricing seems to be the same as or higher than Goodwill. I love their cause though. Do all stores get the Target clearance items?? I know what I want so when I go in I am looking for something in specific.

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Like Glass trees, I found two this summer. When Iw as looking around Christmas last year forget it. I guess getting furniture at a good deal and waiting if it is too expensive is a great idea. I am not sure I have seen furniture in our store. Anyway thanks for the tips. The weekends and Mondays is usually when they seem to have the most furniture.

Thanks for Sharing! I Love going to Goodwill, Especially, the first Sat. Both chairs are on good shape but a little dingy. Any tips on changing the color of the apholstery? Either re-apholstery get or dyeing the current apholstery?

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Upholstery is definitely one thing that intimidates me in the DIY department. I imagine if the batting and foam is still in great shape, it should be fairly reasonable. I would so love to shop at a decent Goodwill store. We have a Goodwill store in Kimball, TN, that hardly ever has decent home goods. The shelves are mainly bare and no substantial furniture shows up. I relentlessly go in about once a week on different days hoping to find something to buy and I leave empty handed. I have seen some large trucks with deliveries but it is mainly clothes that have seen much better days.

There might even be some great hole-in-the-wall ones that are worth trying. Awesome tips! Thanks so much for sharing them: I love Goodwill although I have no more room to bring home the awesome finds I get! I know what you mean!

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You have fantastic suggestions for thrifting! I am trying to get better at accessioning my home with less expensive items and have recently discovered chalk paint. You have really opened my eyes to the potential some of the things I never would have looked at before! So glad it could help! I find lovely and very useful things there, especially craft items.

I had never seen Goodwill discount merchandise before so drastically but its been a once a month occurrence here lately. I really like the tips, Laren, has posted on her website?!!!!. I feel that no matter how old you are, you can always learn new things?!!!!. I just love what she has done with the furniture pieces, Wow!

Just great?!!!. Hi Claudette! I live in northeast Ohio. I have another secret to add. I, too, love the Goodwill store by me. And my store is priced decently. This store is new, clean and everything in its place, the staff greets you and they seems happy. But I agree that each GW store depends on the area and demographics, and who runs each individual store.

I will donate to my GW store any day, even if they are non-for profit, it still provides a job to disabled or disadvantaged individuals. I prefer the local charity thrifts to goodwill.. In Canada Goodwill is a charity, Value Village is not. Last I heard it was also charity in the US also. These are some awesome tips Lauren. I would have loved to had that scroll mirror. I have been on the lookout for one like this at my local Goodwill. However, I did find a beautiful set of china tea cups a few weeks ago. I felt like I had ht the jackpot. Glad it helped, Trish! And the prices can be really low at one store and way too high for my taste at another store just a few miles away from the other.

I love all the crafts you did with your finds. My mom and I shop Goodwill often and we shop and several away. Our local goodwill puts good stuff out on Tues and Wed. I love finding flea markets and thrift stores that way too. Tuesday seems to be a good day around here for us as well. Ooh yeah. I know exactly what you mean. My family is addicted to goodwill shopping. But we find so many good deals we would be stupid not to go. Talk about dedicated. He does have to limit the size of his purchases but he did come home one week with a huge executive office chair in his back seat.

Weekends they sometimes run 2 colors. It changes Friday morning. If you change your mind when you get home. Every Goodwill prices things differently based on the customers they get and what they have figured out they are willing to pay For example, if you go to a Goodwill in a nicer area, generally they will price things a bit higher than a Goodwill in a not quite as nice area. Not every Goodwill is run the same. The new color begins every Sunday. Every Goodwill is different. They are not all owned by one company.

The policies and procedure and even the mission is different for each Goodwill company. So i feel it is important for people to understand that just because I Goodwill in say, Tennessee may be run one way, doesnt mean that a Goodwill in a different state is run the same way. Thank you for all of that great information! In my area the first Saturday of every month everything is half off. I usually find some really nice play clothes for the kids and sometimes myself. Thank you co much for sharing these tips!

My mom and I frequent Goodwill and will have to keep these tips in mind. WOW Thx soooo much! Your redos are beautiful. I have donated some beautiful things to Goodwill hoping to bless someone else — things we needed to clear out of our home for other stuff. I totally agree. This is the first time, I have been on your site. I really enjoyed it. I will be checking back often. I, like you, have pretty much perfected the fine art of thrift store shopping!

I learned these tricks from store employees and experience! Always look behind the counters first. Most thrift stores including Goodwill keep their most expensive items securely tucked away. It was in perfect condition and came with the authenticity I needed to confirm it was real!! Second secret. Always look in the furniture dept. Look in the linen dept. I look for ones of course in perfect condition! I take the comforters home and wash them according to manufacturers directions and they look good as new! I never purchase my shoes retail. A store employee revealed to me that nine times out of ten people have admitted that they donate shoes because either they are uncomfortable or too small or large.

I have gotten some Gucci rain boots not necessarily needed since I live in California!!! Fifth and final secret! Look in the cosmetic section. And the lotions!! Some very expensive lotions. I mainly look for ones that are new or barely used and sanitize the bottles and spout upon arriving home!! Love this post and the tips! I discovered Goodwill when a friend of mine took me there while I was visiting her in the US. It makes me feel so happy when I have them home with me for a fraction of its cost here in Europe!! Happy New Year, Lauren!! Add a Everyone makes room for the new stuff by donating the old because it is too cold for a yard sale.

Love the pieces you showed, Lauren!! How great would it be for me to paint them? While living in NYC and Chicago, I used to find incredible stuff discarded on the street or, in Chicago, in the back alleys. Not finding so much here in TX. You have to actually do some digging to find treasure!

I cannot wait to look at the rest of your website.