Is it a Bargain? Finding Deals at Thrift Stores
On the internet you can get promo codes for GoDaddy renewals quite easily. But getting the most bang for your buck at Thrift stores requires a little more strategy.
Charity thrifts, especially the “Big Girls” such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, and the Rescue Mission’s Thrifty Shoppers, are huge operations. Because of that, they typically price items by broad categories and do not (repeat, do not) distinguish items by brand or quality. They leave it up to you, the shopper, to decide if the item is a good deal at the price or worth waiting for to snatch up during a sale. Here are some guidelines that will help you get the most for your dollar.
Step 1. Know your prices.
Routinely visit your favorite clothing and household stores to keep current with prices, styles, and options. Keep catalogs handy if they offer them, and visit retailer websites. Online price checking sites can be very helpful as well.
Step 2. If you find an item you want, grab it.
Don’t wait for the rotating category or holiday sale. That beauty will be gone in a flash! Even at ‘full price,’ many thrift store discounts already approach 95%. Try finding that at the mall!
Step 3. Once you know standard prices for the items you want, set a threshold.
Start with an 85% rule, and you’ll be buying clothing and household items for 15% of retail. Now that’s a deal anyway you cut it.
Step 4. Know when to be flexible about your 85% rule.
Huge operations or not, the big thrifts are as savvy about brands as you are, so they’ll often set aside primo items in their glass display cases or on the wall behind the checkout station. Special items such as designer purses present risks in the thrift stores because there are no guarantees. The burden is on you to determine whether you’ve got a chance at a bargain or are looking at a knock-off. If you’re sure about the authenticity of the item and your discounted price is significantly better than a sale price at the retailer, go for it!
Step 5. Ask for a discount.
Many of these stores have an ‘as-priced’ policy, but some really do offer reasonable discounts on items that are not ‘good to go.’ For example, a missing button or opened seam can be worth another 10 to 20% off the price marked. Similarly, prices on large-ticket items such as furniture are often negotiable. So go for it, but remember to be a good sport if the salesperson can’t (or won’t) budge on price.
Step 6. Donate.
Donate to your favorite thrift stores, because the more quality treasures they get, the more you are likely to find.