Archive for January, 2011

TIP: Similar Brands are Often Found Together

Some thrift shops are very well organized, even down to size and color matching, as one of our local Goodwill stores is. While this level of organization can speed your hunt for bargains, it also disperses groups of similar items. I’ve discovered this can be counterproductive.

Let me explain:

The thrift shop I frequent is on the much-less-organized end of the retail spectrum. Shoppers have to dig through piles and sort through whatever pants, shirts, dresses, socks, sweaters and coats have been lumped together on each table. Although the digging does take time, I’ve found a phenomenon I call “the vein” – as in a vein of gold that miners often hit when digging through hard rock.

When I’m thrifting, I’m generally looking for upscale housewares and clothing, which is gold to me. So when I’m sifting through mounds of clothing and find a brand I like, I will dig deeper in that same area because I am more likely to find something else from that brand in the same spot. It’s as if the people placing the clothing put similar brands together. So if I pull out a Tahari jacket, the skirt is likely nearby. Or a Janie and Jack outfit will generally point me to other Janie and Jack duds.

During my last shopping outing, I hit the mother lode of Abercrombie & Fitch shirts. I’ve never found so many at one time, but on this trip, I think I pulled out at least a dozen, all in one spot.

These are just 7 of the Abercrombie shirts I found on one thrift shop table.

So my tip for today is that when you find an item you love, continue looking in that same spot, rather than heading to another area of the store. I hope you strike gold, too!


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.