Over the last month, I have taken full advantage of my new Amazon Prime account (2-day free shipping, amaaazing!) and loving not paying shipping fees. What I’m not loving is the amount of waste (the boxes, oh the boxes) with each of the products if they don’t come packaged together.
So, in honor of upcoming Earth Day, I would like to share my favorite tips on shopping the eco-friendly way!
I love a good thrift store. If you catch me in a store of any sort, it’s likely to be a thrift store. There are several around and each has a different benefit.
5 Tips for Shopping at Thrift Stores
Find stores that get Good Stuff
This tip may be self-evident, but all thrift stores are not created equal. A thrift store in a wealthier region is likely to have better, higher-end goods. Also, the goods that you do find probably have been treated with care.
Even though I live in West Palm Beach, I often travel to Jupiter (about 20 miles away), a more affluent area, to a few of their thrift stores because I can find better items.
Be Flexible in your Idea
I always shop with the solution in mind, not the product itself. What problem am I looking to solve and will this product solve it? Some things just need a coat of paint. Other things need more imagination.
I bought: a candle holder to use as an earring holder
- a candle holder to use as an earring holder;
- a file cabinet to hold our Xbox and cable box;
- a knife display box to display my necklaces;
- an armoire became a craft closet;
- a towel bar (repurposed, not purchased) to showcase my bracelets.
Set (and Keep) Your Budget
Most goods are discounted, but that doesn’t mean that they are great deals. Once I found a decanter, it cost $35! Quick research on my phone showed it new for $40! Nope, not for me. I can order any decanter online for over $30.
When I was looking for a dresser for my girls, I had a $40 budget. After a couple of trips to my favorite store, I found the perfect one for a young kid’s room, being larger on the bottom and smaller on the top, limiting the tipping danger. Final cost? $30.
Find the Specialty Store, then Look for the Extras
One store comes clearly to mind that focuses on furniture. But most people are lazy, so they want to donate everything to one place. This store takes most household goods. Since they want to get rid of the “extra” stuff, it’s heavily discounted. I purchased a set of four margarita glasses for a whopping $2 total and a set of four dinner plates for $1.
Never be Afraid to Negotiate
Thrift stores receive items every day. They don’t want to keep items unnecessarily. Ask for the promotion, a discount code or a coupon. When that fails, ask for a manager. Remember that decanter? I got it for $15.
I know a lot of people struggle with negotiating because in the US it’s a foreign concept to most. If you leave this post with one thing, remember: Always ask for the discount! If you didn’t ask, the answer is already no.
Sometimes the clerk has authority to give you a discount. Other times, there’s a code on their station that they’ll happily use. Then, often, to get the sale, a manager will grant one. I’ve saved anywhere between 25-50% on a shopping trip, just because I asked.
Are you a thrift store shopper? Do you have any tips?