Tip #1: If you LOVE it, and I mean LOVE it, then buy it.
“Like” is not love. “Oh that’s so cool!” doesn’t equal love either. I have learned that if I don’t absolutely LOVE it and I can’t stand to live without it, then it probably needs to stay in the store.
Tip #2: The price has to be right.
It’s hard when you first start thrifting to know what prices are good and what prices are going to make you feel like a total sucker later on. Knowledge comes with time, but until you have some trips under your belt I think you’re better off playing it conservative. If the price makes you down-right giddy and #1 applies, then by all means go ahead. But otherwise, I’d suggest passing until you are more confident with prices. (I have learned this the hard way.)
Tip #3: Don’t buy it unless you have a spot for it.
There are a lot of people who would argue with this point. We call them hoarders. Actually, a lot of people believe in buying without having a use for an item, but in my experience this is a great way to wind up with a very full basement.
NOTE: Tip #1 can over-ride this rule at any time. (And often does, thus my full basement.)
Tip #4: Pack your brain.
Look at items in a different way and try to imagine a new use. Don’t restrict your thinking or ideas to the same old way of doing things. For example: I can’t wait to use these old grates as a jewelry holder. (More on that in a future post.)
Tip #5: Think paint.
Similar to Tip #4 – A horrible and dark old coffee table for $3 can become an awesome find with some elbow grease and a little paint. For $3 you can afford to screw up a piece or two. Have some fun with your furniture.
Tip #6: Perfection is overrated.
Carin has an amazing collection of iron stone, and she’s suckered me into collecting some as well. Pieces that are cracked or chipped can be had for CHEAP. Just turn the imperfection towards the wall and voila – a great look for less.
Tip #7: Visit your favorite locales often and get to know the owners or clerks.
We visit our favorite shops A LOT. You never know when something fabulous might come in. We often leave empty handed but when something great does arrive, we’re one of the first ones to know about it.
Tip #8: Don’t be afraid to haggle.
I LOVE to ask for a bargain. And more often than not I am able to get a good deal, not always, but that never stops me from trying. Because you never know until you ask. And surprisingly most store owners are totally cool about the whole thing.
Tip #9: Bring CA$H.
Tip #8 is nearly impossible without cash. Pack cash. Always.
Tip #10: Tip #1 should be a RULE and Rule #1 is King.
If you truly love the item and can’t stand to be without it, then the rest of the tips no longer apply. Don’t spend your time pining for something you should’ve bought in the first place.
My current favorite find: