Particularly for the uninitiated the first question I'm often asked on thrifting is: How do you find all of that good stuff at thrift stores? Whenever I go all I find is junk. I'm a lifelong thrifter and have been a pro-reseller for a few years and learned these essential steps along the way:
1. Get "Thrift Aroused": Know what you're looking for and/or read magazines or look at websites for inspiration. (Remember my ancient tips for thrift love making? article?)
2.Visit Thrifts Often: Thrifting is like playing the lotto, the more you visit the more chances you'll score jackpots. Some thrifters stop at every thrift store they can while they're out and about, some plan days where they hit up as many as possible. Either way, increase your frequency when you're trying to build up merchandise or if you're looking for something special.
3. Try Something New: Don't visit the same spots over and over again, try new ones, get lost and discover new treasure troves. Thrift while you travel or travel to thrift!
4. Network: Ask locals and fellow resellers for favorite spots, get contact info for vendors or store owners that have more to sell and you may get an invite to shop their personal collections. Make friends!
5. Switch it Up: Try different days and times. Many thrift stores have discount days or certain days that they re-stock. Also, don't think you always have to be the early bird to yield the best scores. It helps, but thrifting is truly random. You can arrive anytime and still score quality finds.
Don't Forget: Buying directly from fellow resellers, yard sales, and flea markets are other excellent ways to hunt down quality second-hand and vintage goods. Think outside the thrifts!
I feel like most people who thrift and leave empty handed haven't opened their mind to the opportunities second-hand shopping offers. You have to dig through every crevice, go through dirty boxes, and get messy, but it's a truly rewarding hobby and job.
What are your favorite tips for getting the best quality treasures while thrifting and hunting second-hand? Let's help each other keep snagging the good stuff.