NaBloPoMo #18: Thrifting Tips Tuesday


One thing folks ask me about fairly often is where to thrift. So today here are some pros and cons of different thrifting options. Keep in mind that this is all my opinion, and there may be regional differences as well.

Garage/yard/rummage sales
Pros: often the cheapest option; money goes directly to individual people; limited merchandise so it's easier to look through
Cons: seasonal; have to get up early; I always feel pressured to buy something even if there is nothing I want
Best for: kids' clothing; toys; sometimes cheap furniture

Consignment stores
Pros: nicer merchandise; clean; organized
Cons: expensive; limited selection
Best for: when you need something specific quickly

For-profit thrift stores (e.g. Savers/Value Village)
Pros: usually clean and well-organized; things have often been washed; often open more hours than charity shops
Cons: giving money to a corporation; higher prices
Best for: people who aren't comfortable with thrifting

Large/chain charity thrift stores (e.g. Goodwill, Salvation Army)
Pros: large selection; sometimes low prices (very store dependent); supports charity
Cons: lots of crap to sift through; less convenient hours; poor organization; supports charity you may disagree with
Best for: just about everything, if you are willing to look

Large/chain outlets (e.g. Goodwill Blue Hanger)
Pros: very cheap; lots of choose from
Cons: dirty; tons of junk; not organized at all
Best for: everything on the cheap

Small/independent charity thrift stores (e.g. church stores)
Pros: usually higher end selection; clean; well-organized; can be cheap
Cons: limited hours; limited selection; priced vary widely
Best for: older things, particularly dishes

What do you think? Where do you prefer to secondhand shop? Why?


That is THE best collective list I've ever seen. Excellent, Grace, and thanks!

We only have flea markets and thrift stores here. The thrift stores are always associated with a charity and often have people with mental disabilities or social problems helping and giving them a chance to get some work experience.
There are secondhand stores for profit but usually they're called antiques stores.
I like both equally because chances to find nice things are about the same here.


I'm lucky enough to live in an area with year-round yard sales, and 99% of my thrifting is done on people's driveways. I love the personal interaction and knowing a little bit about where things come from--the story is as important to me as the stuff!

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