Archive for June, 2009

Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount

Yes, most thrift stores offer low prices on used – and sometimes new – goods, but if you find a flaw or defect in something, don’t be afraid to ask for a better price.

Last Saturday evening I headed out to the brand new Victor, New York, Goodwill store in search of bargains. I found quite a few, but one of the yellow cotton “Life is Good” shirts I picked up had several small pink stains on it. I approached a clerk and asked if she could do any better on the $2.99 price because of the stains, which I pointed out. She immediately offered to take off $1.00, bringing the total to $1.99. I was willing to risk not being able to get the stains out at that low price.

Now you may feel shy about trying to negotiate at a thrift store, but I felt comfortable asking for a discount because almost everything else in the store was in excellent condition. Clearly the management and workers do a great job of weeding out rips and stains before clothing is displayed and I was pretty sure this one just happened to sneak by.

If you’re hesitating to purchase something because of a flaw, ask if there is any room for negotiation on the price. The worst they can say is “no.”


Pay pennies for new-to-you clothing and housewares

Imagine being able to buy pricey, but gently used, name brand outfits for your kids from Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister or North Face for a small fraction of what they cost new. You'll even spot furniture, silver and glassware for your home for less than a meal out. Or find something for yourself from Chico’s, J. Jill or Lilly Pulitzer and pay for it with the change from the bottom of your purse. Those are the kinds of deals to be had at thrift shops.

If you get a thrill from finding fabulous deals at thrift shops, consignment stores, and resale outlets, I hope you’ll visit this site often. You’ll pick up proven tips for saving even more on your thrift shop purchases, find the latest thrift shop news and information, learn about items you might not have thought to search for in thrift stores and get a look at photos of my best thrifty bargains.