10 Things You Should Always Find at Thrift Stores (Before Paying Retail)

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Thrifting could be considered a shopping science, because it is! There are so many tips and tricks to getting the best deals at the thrift store, and plenty of tips on what to avoid purchasing! However, if you see one of these ten items, there is no way you should pass it up! Remember, you can create something out of nothing, and turn a hideous couch to a gorgeous DIY-ed piece of furniture.

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27 comments for “10 Things You Should Always Find at Thrift Stores (Before Paying Retail)

  1. Janet
    February 22, 2016 at

    You should never buy used shoes especially for kids. Everyone’s feet are different and your shoes mold to the shape of your feet. It doesn’t take long for them to begin molding to the shape of your foot. So while a pair shoes may look almost new they have already started molding to the previous owners feet. It’s important for kids developing feet to have a good supportive pair of shoes.

  2. Betz
    March 22, 2016 at

    Regarding shoes NO!!!!! Never ever buy used shoes. Fungal infections and those are invisible.

    • N miller
      April 27, 2016 at

      I clean them thoroughly (including disinfectant on interior/let dry). This allows me to have better brands of shoes than I could afford & more of them

    • Wanda
      May 5, 2016 at

      Yes you are right. And also people walk different in their shoe. Maybe one may walk more on the left side f the shoe and your child walks different. A foot doctor told me to never wear someone else’s shoe because the way they walk . I know in my house shoes I wear down the left side I just can’t walk straight in them. All the heels in these are worn down to the left. So the shoe may not fit the walk your child has.

    • Alice
      July 24, 2016 at

      I do not have a problem buying shoes used or purses. When I get my purchases home I throw them in the washing machine with some towels and they come out just fine nice and clean. I do not put them in the dryer I let them dry naturally it works really well

  3. Danielle
    April 7, 2016 at

    Shoes can be sterilized. All of my siblings and I grew up with hand me down clothes and shoes… They work just fine no one has damaged feet as a result. I will not let my children grow up thinking they need new…they both love thrifting (ages 22 and 8). Frugal is responsible.

    • Cindy
      April 20, 2016 at

      I agree! Nothing wrong with “used shoes?” When you buy your new shoes, think about how many people have tried that pair on before you? I always used antibacterial wipes,inside & out? Never once had any problems !?

    • May 9, 2016 at

      Exactly! I’ve found nearly new designer shoes for under $2. Many materials, suede for example, can be washed in the washer if you follow a few simple directions. A little loving care, a thorough disinfecting, and some elbow grease are well worth the effort. Well-made shoes are much easier on the feet than cheap shoes; it’s healthier in the long run.

      It’s also important for children to learn how to be frugal. No one is guaranteed to remain financially stable. We’ve been through many life-altering accidents and illnesses. I’m very grateful my Depression-era grandparents taught me how to spend thoughtfully.

  4. Mary
    April 10, 2016 at

    You can get NEW shoes at thrift stores all the time. I’ve paid less than $1 a pair for new shoes the tag still on them many times over the past 10 years.
    People who have more money than brains buy them don’t like how they look once they get home then don’t return them. Also stores donate leftover inventory it’s better to write off.

  5. Betty
    April 11, 2016 at

    Most of the the Thrift stores in my area no longer accept books. It seems even very young children have tablets.

    • May 1, 2016 at

      That’s sad. My local charity shops here in Scotland still sell loads of books. I get almost all mine secondhand, and my son always had a well-stocked bookcase when he was growing up despite our very limited budget.

  6. April 14, 2016 at

    I own a quality vintage & culture shop and while I totally get the squeamish nature of buying shoes thrift, I would recommend to not ruling it out. Store owners like myself often offer great pieces, some even new with tags. Should you be discerning? Definitely .. but don’t miss out 🙂

    • Kaitlyn
      March 4, 2018 at

      I wish I lived near your shop

  7. JaeM
    April 17, 2016 at

    Nothing wrong with used shoes. just sanitize them and they’re good. OF COURSE no one would buy ‘well worn’ shoes; there’s no ‘deal’ in buying shoes that wont be worn long. Geesh!

  8. Sanya blender
    May 3, 2016 at

    I have bought used shoes for years and I have never had a problem with them molding to my foot. I also pick up craft items, tools, knick knacks, and holiday decorations. Just to name a few. I always ship second had first, then if I can’t find it there I will ship retail.

  9. Wanda
    May 5, 2016 at

    I love buying old cook books. To me that a diamond .

  10. Wanda
    May 5, 2016 at

    If I could find dishes like this I would buy them all.

  11. Kate Sparks
    May 21, 2016 at

    Love your ‘new’ leather with saddle soap!!!

  12. June 13, 2016 at

    I don’t have a problem buying shoes in a thrift store. I wash them in the washing machine with towels. I do the same thing with purses. Just let them air dry.

  13. Me
    July 19, 2016 at

    I’ve bought shoes everywhere you can imagine. I’ve never had a problem (yet)

  14. Lee
    December 15, 2016 at

    Shoes: If you just can’t do it, that’s more for the rest of us. You can be sure they WILL sell. Furniture: Check for bedbugs. You don’t want to bring them home. If you sew, consider extra large clothing and bedding. You can get a lot of fabric from them for very little money.

  15. Kelli
    January 23, 2017 at

    Our Goodwill store now bags all jewelry and sends it away ,no longer making bags up to sell. Too time consuming they said. Books get stickered on front covers and most paper covers are damaged as a result. So vintage covers are shot. And many purses are damaged with pinch marks from the hanging clip.Love shopping thrift ,you expect wear on things but damage caused buy the retail process is sad. And watch prices fancy label marked higher even with more wear and tear. Always check over careful.

  16. elizabeth
    March 5, 2017 at

    Each thrift store seems to have its own policy about sales,condition of items and cleanness .I love each thrift shop and just take the time to learn how they do things. I have found wonderful items in every category.I do not hesitate to buy what ever I see that I like and just deal with the cleaning as is appropiate for each item. Never has any problems.

  17. HrdWrknLady
    July 23, 2017 at

    LOVE thrift stores! I furnished 17 apartments and 2 houses with things I bought at thrift stores, yard sales, antique shops and rummage sales! And don’t forget the dumpster! My ex is maint supervisor at a large complex and you would not believe the things his tenants have left behind! I also recycle my finds for some extra $….I also buy picture frames, small toys for mini gardens, glassware that I give for Christmas and tablecloths and napkins….

    • Louise
      August 13, 2017 at

      Thats fantastic, 17 apparments wow, im not bad at this myself. Im in Melbourne Australia and we put things on nature strips for hard rubbish we call it. I have found some amazing finds over the years and its fun when you get something I like for free. The key is to have a good eye as I have and im sure you do hard workin lady, lol ☺☺

      • Martin Anderson
        August 17, 2017 at

        “Nature strips for hard rubbish”…what on earth does that mean. Thanks & Regards, M. Durham City, England.

  18. Lorna
    November 15, 2017 at

    Martin Anderson, It means that once a year they can put inorganic items out on the grass berm, to be collected, separately from their regular rubbish collection. It tends to be bits of furniture, or broken appliances etc. It allows for a bit if scavenging for upcycleable items for free if you have a keen eye.

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