In a weak economy, more people are turning to thrift stores and yard sales to snatch bargains. They are discovering that you can get items for less than half the price new.
What Should You Buy Secondhand
· Clothing, especially children’s or babies. Formal dresses that were worn only worn once often go for less than ten bucks.
Dishes, tableware, pots and pans, small appliances
· Gardening equipment
· Lawn furniture
· Games & toys
· Pictures, mirrors, and other décor items.
· Purses, shoes, jewelry
· Pet items
· Sporting equipment
· Coins/collectibles (be aware of current prices. Smart phones are a big help to check this.)
Probably shouldn’t Buy Second Hand
· Anything electronic you can’t test
· Aquariums (Improperly cleaned aquariums or those used for reptiles can harbor toxins that will kill future fish. Cleaning an aquarium with any type of cleaner will also result in dead fish.)
· Clothes that don’t fit, but you plan to lose weight.
· Food (even though it is in a sealed package, you can’t determine what conditions it was stored under.)
· Toiletries (often used or old cosmetics carry bacteria, which causes infections)
· Fire arms or fireworks (It is illegal to sell these in a store not licensed for this.)
· Any broken item you think you can fix. ( I’ll explain more later)
· Items that you don’t need and have no use for even if it is a good buy.
· Personalized items. If it isn’t your name, why do you want it?
· Open puzzles
The Art of Thrifting
· People toss things because they no longer want them, never wanted them, they’re broken, or a reminder of a relationship.
· Before you go thrifting, make a list of what you hope to find. This will reduce some impulse buying.
· Research where you want to go. It will take a series of stores or yard sales to find your desired items.
· Know your stores too. Goodwill often has .99 Sundays and half-priced holidays.
· Leave your coat in the car and your money in your pocket. You need your hands free to handle the merchandise
· Be prepared to spend a while looking. Think of it has a treasure hunt.
· Don’t overlook stores like the DAV, Hospice Thrift, Salvation Army or Mission stores.
· After Christmas and Mondays during the May through October are great times to visit thrift stores. People often bring their items they didn’t sell at their yard sale on Saturday and the items are on the floor by Monday.