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Most people think clothes when they think about what a thrift shop sells, but these shops often sell a number of other things that people can use in their day to day lives. Larger thrift stores like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, often have a little bit of everything in their stores. Established flea markets (the ones that are in permanent buildings and are open year round) are good places to find a variety of things as well.
Here are eight categories of items that you can find at many thrift stores. Take a peek. You might just be surprised.
When you are hunting for thrift store furniture, it is always a good idea to know what you want, such as what piece you want. Additionally, you will want to bring a tape measure to make sure that the piece will fit in your home and a truck or other large vehicle so that you can transport your find to your house. When you are looking at furniture, you want to look for irreparable problems, but you should also consider what some sanding and some paint might fix.
Thrift stores are great places to find clothing accessories like belts, purses, jewelry and the like. You can often find guy’s accessories too like ties and suspenders. If you find something, make sure to check the item for stains and tears.
Board games, card games, and children’s games often end up at thrift stores. Games can be hit or miss. Some stores will not accept games that are torn up or are missing pieces but don’t rely on this. You should still take the time to look through the games and see if all the important pieces are still there.
Books are expensive, and often you read them once, and you don’t really want to read them again. As a result, many people donate books to charities and thrift stores. When you find books in thrift stores, you will want to look for tears, stains and missing covers. However, don’t let a missing cover deter you. If the rest of the book is in good shape, you might want to go ahead and buy it.
There are numerous types of gifts you can find at thrift stores. Things like clothing accessories and items for the home, like lamps and decorative pieces are often up for grabs.
Tip: Thrift stores are the best place to shop for gag gifts or Dirty Santa gift parties. Try looking for unusual or unique pieces (like that cat lamp).
If you look for artwork in a thrift store, you are probably not going to find fine art, but you can often find nice pieces. These pieces are generally older, so it might be a struggle to find your style, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t look. You can often find posters and other things that would be appropriate for children or teens too. For example, if you find a poster for a dollar, then you can buy an inexpensive frame and have a great piece for your child’s room that in the end costs less than $10.
All sorts of toys end up at thrift stores, and sometimes you can find some great things that other children grew out of or just didn’t like. When you are looking for toys in thrift stores, it is best to avoid stuffed toys because they cannot be sanitized easily. Hard plastic ones, however, can be cleaned with bleach.
Thrift stores are good places to find kitchen items, like toasters, etc. These stores often have a lot of these items because people will donate old items when they upgrade to new ones. Also, when couples combine households there are often a lot of duplicate kitchen items, and many of them end up at thrift stores. Make sure the item still works though. You can test it’s function by plugging it in and trying it at the store. Items like plates, cups, and bowls for are also available at great prices.
As you can see, there are ton of things you can buy for numerous areas of your home at thrift stores. It really surprises me how many people don’t shop at them. They really are missing out. Not only can you find some really neat items but also have the opportunity to save a ton of money.
I am curious, if you shop at thrift stores, what are some of things that you have found? Have you ever bought anything that was not on this list?
I like looking for furniture and household items at thrift stores. I love interesting vases and will always buy them.
Did you buy any vases lately?
My wife is a thrift store aficionado, and has found some great treasures as well as clothes, etc. she likes. But she’s cooled a bit due to the bed bug epidemic–worried about bringing something ‘contaminated’ into our home! I don’t know if this worry is merited, but pays to be cautious I guess.
Thrift Store Aficionado, sounds like a great blog now. As for bed bugs, I’m sure she can steam the items out.
I buy all of my underwear at thrift stores. Uncomfortable yet?
hahaha.. my thoughts exactly!
That’s disgusting lol.. but to each his own.
My best find at a thrift store was my dining room table. $75! And it was still in the manufacturer’s box and everything. Brand spanking new.
75 bucks for a brand new table.. wow!
Furniture – definitely. THere’s some GREAT stuff at thrift stores that’s ridiculously cheap! And artwork, man, I buy good looking stuff and sell it on Craig’s list/ebay for a nice, little profit! Thrift stores are for way more than just clothes!
Good catch! What was the last piece of art you purchased from the thrift store?
Rugs, artwork, jeans, shirts, bridesmaid dresses, kids books, games, jewelry… now you have me wanting to go thrifting!
hahha.. do it! Come back and tell about your haul!
LOL @ it doesn’t suck enough..
Everyone once in a while I’ll find perfectly good brand name dress shirts that I used to have to wear to work. $3-5 dollars for a much more expensive shirt is definitely worth it.
3-5 bucks for a designer shirt.. great find!
I’m more of a garage sale visitor. Although I donate my old stuff to thrift stores.
What kind of old stuff?
I bought most of my maternity clothes at thrift stores, although I did buy one great pair of brand new jeans. Other finds have been artwork, books, toys and stuffed animals for my Great Dane (washed in hot water right when I get home).
I never thought of buying dog toys. I’ll check some out the next time I’m in a thrift store.
My wife and I tend to buy books at our local library sales. It is the same idea. It is anywhere between 50 cents and $1 per book
That sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
My daughter and I volunteer one afternoon a week at a thrift store, and we usually bring a few things home. Our house is already well stocked with kitchen stuff etc. (although I have picked up a few things recently for a college-age daughter), so what we buy tends to be smaller items like books, movies, piano music, doll clothes, craft supplies (including yarn and beads), office supplies, and occasionally clothes. Recently I found six almost-new quilted placemats for a quarter each. The store also sells furniture, bikes, pet items, hardware, electronic items, jewellery, purses, holiday items, unused greeting cards, and collectibles (those usually go in a silent auction display case). If you know what you are looking for, you can get a great deal on any of those.
(Just a note: our store doesn’t put books out that are torn or missing covers; those go to a recycler.)
Wow talk about some good finds. Place mats for a quarter..sweet.
I think it is great that you are volunteering too. Great way to give back and help out.
My sons shop at thrift stores more than I do. They found a set of golf clubs with a bag for a great price!