Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How To Score Great Finds-Part 2


I would be willing to bet almost each and every one of you have been thrifting. I had a friend once who actually refused to go into a thrift store. She preferred to save her money for months to over spend on particle board from Walmart.

Now here is the truth, I am a little over Goodwill. Their prices are getting comparable to the new prices at my local Target. In fact I have seen Target items at Goodwill more than once actually priced right around the same as the new Target price!!! The Goodwill Outlet though.....that's another story!! I know, I know, I talk about the Outlet ALL the time. You might be tired of hearing about it. Especially if you don't have one near you. For those of you who don't...I say you start a petition! 
Here is the link for my nearest store with a lot of information about the store Goodwill Outlet

The Outlet is not for the faint of heart thrifters. If you don't like to sort through mounds of junk or get dirty, this might not be the place for you. It's not like a normal Goodwill with everything all neat on racks. They have these HUGE blue bins that they throw EVERYTHING into. Every two hours they switch the bins out. People gather around them during switch out like someone was throwing free hundred dollar bills in the air! I personally stand back until the flock dies down. I'm afraid of getting smacked by a blue haired old lady if I reach for something in her vicinity. (Don't laugh, it's happened before!) 

Our Outlet is .69 cents per pound for everything but shoes (.99) and glassware (.49). It used to be priced a little different but I like the pricing now. The pricing at other Outlets vary, but no matter which one you go to it sure beats the regular Goodwill pricing!! Also their furniture pricing is AMAZING! You may remember these chairs...yep $8 from the Goodwill Outlet!

If you go to the Outlet, I recommend going in the morning on a weekday since they aren't as busy then. Plan to spend a couple of hours, wear good shoes and take some gloves for digging (and maybe some mace for those blue haired old ladies. KIDDING!)

My second favorite thrift store is Salvation Army. 
One thing I can not recommend enough, get to know the workers at your local thrift stores. Really and truly it pays. Not only is it the opportunity to make a new friend but once they get to know you they start to know what type of items you are looking for and this can be sooooo helpful. 

Here is one thing I think a lot of people are afraid to do at the thrift stores, BARTER. Yeah, I know it's a thrift store, it's already low priced. But if you think it is just too high, or you don't have enough cash, it never hurts to ask! I bought a bedroom set once but it didn't come with rails so I asked the manager if I bought the set would she throw in a set of rails and she did. I've asked them before if I buy this, this and this, will you give me a 20% total mark down for buying several pieces, and they have. A lot of thrift stores are really great about this especially if you are buying a lot or are a repeat customer. (again this is another reason why I say get to know the workers!)

If you are looking for a specific item and they don't have it, ask! One of my favorite stores has even let me go in back and hunt around for what I needed before they brought it out to the store floor. Shhhh, they aren't supposed to do this, but it was helpful AND I found the item I was in need of! Most stores will check the back room for you. Some will even take your name and number in case they don't have it but will call if it comes in!

(sorry for the lack of pictures! I finally finally upgraded my camera and this new thing does all sorts of fancy stuff. I've not yet had time to read the manual. And well to be honest, it's still a little early in the day for me so I am somewhat zombified and even drooling over the keyboard a little as I type, hoping coffee kicks in soon!)


  1. oooh, I am so in the mood for thrifting after reading your post! I actually go about once a week but have never been to our GW Outlet! I guess I thought it was all stained linens and broken glass...but it sounds like you have a lot of success there! Now I can't wait to check it out! Probably not one I want to drag my 2 year old to though...better line up a sitter! :) Thanks so much for sharing!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  2. There is a GW Outlet in Nashville, TN, that I have been to once. I found a great old chair for $2. The problem I had that day was that I didn't know the system. I had no idea they brought bins in and then took them away. It was a little crazy, but I usually don't mind crazy if I'm getting a bargain. Thanks for the reminder...I need to try to go back sometime soon.


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