How to Be a Niftier Thrifter

By Abby Tolbert /

If you’ve ever met a professional thrifter, you know that they’re fluent in the art of the #humblebrag. It’s almost as if they’re waiting for you to compliment their adorably vintage necklace/shirt/coffee table so that they can (ever so casually) mention that they snagged it for 30 cents at Goodwill. We might not ever be able to get on their level, but there’s no harm in trying. Here are our thriftiest tips:

Be Open Minded

 This isn’t Lord & Taylor, so try to let go of any “vision” you might have for items you’re hoping to find. Most pieces have promise if you stare at them long enough anyway, right?

Go Early

 People tend to de-clutter on the weekends, which means that Mondays and Tuesdays are prime days to get the goods. The same rule applies to shopping in the morning; the earlier, the better.

Make friends

 Getting friendly with thrift store employees can help you get an inside scoop. If you’re lucky, they’ll tell you when the best times to shop are. (and they might even save you an item or two!) It’s like a thrift store loyalty program if there was such a thing.

Location, location, location

 Not all thrift stores are created equal. If you’re striking out at your local Goodwill, try heading to the next town over. Diversifying the stores that you visit also gives you more chances to find the rare thrift store gems.

Make it Quick

Because thrifting is a ball, it’s easy to get sucked into the trap of spending several hours at each location. A good rule of thumb is to leave within 45 minutes if you don’t find something you absolutely love.

Don’t Get Sucked in By Nostalgia

Yes, that Furby doll makes you think of simpler, carefree times. No, you don’t need to buy it. Save your funds for items with promise and purpose. Unless you really want that Furby doll. Then, like… go for it. 


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