You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2011.
Recently a friend who owns a consignment store asked me for some thrifting tips for an article she was writing for a local paper. I misunderstood that the article needed to be in right away so when I sent her my thoughts, it was a day late! So the paper’s loss is your gain.
Here are some of my tried and true thrifting tips!
• Don’t be afraid of the seedy! Most of the best thrift stores are in the less than ideal parts of town.
• Thrift stores are dirty and you will have to dig, but isn’t a bargain worth digging for?
• Make nice with the owner/manager! Tell them what you are looking for and they may know where it is or will keep an eye out for you.
• Lots of thrift stores need bags for the customer’s purchases. Your home is likely filled with them, both paper and plastic, so make nice and curry some favor by bringing them some!
• If there is a quantity of an item, but they are priced individually, ask if they can give you a price if you take all of them. Be prepared to take them (or not) depending on the price.
• If you ask for a better price on an item (not all do this) be prepared to pay it. The owners get really peeved if you ask continually and never buy when they give you the lower price!
• Most thrift stores have a discount schedule (colored dots/tags, sections that are over stocked with items, etc). This is usually posted or announced when you arrive, so look for it or ask. It may make the difference in buying it or leaving it there.
• Check your items carefully! Most have a no return policy.
• Think of other uses for your purchases. The shirt with a spot, can be fabric for a bag. That wool sweater can be felted. The shirt missing buttons can have a new funkier set added. No item is a lost cause unless it is disgusting! That single earring can become a pendant on a necklace or the center for a brooch.
• Pick up Style Weekly! Every so often they advertise new shops in it.
• Craig’s List is another good place to check for shops. They usually post it in the yard/garage sale section.
• Stop in often! They get new merchandise EVERY DAY and ALL DAY! It is not the same store 20 minutes after you leave.
• Google search “thrift shops” and “your town”. You may find ones that you never knew of.
• Ask a fellow thrift shopper if they found any new or cool shops.
• If your gut tells you that the item is worth something, LISTEN! As you develop and fine tune your thrifting skills you will get better. You can also go home and Google it. Sometimes I buy items at the Goodwill and then take it home to research it. They have a return policy for store credit only, so I am not at a loss if I take it back.
• Tell your thrifting buddies what you are looking for. They can help you look for that illusive item.
• If you drive by and see a sign take a few minutes to check it out. It might just be awesome!
Some shops you may want to check out:
• Thrift for Life (formerly Massey Cancer Center Thrift Store)
• Goodwill Outlet (be ready to dig and pay by the pound)
• Love of Jesus
• Good Samaritan (take a friend with you)
• Diversity Thrift
• Susan’s Selections (especially when they have an estate or warehouse sale)
Recently, I visited a local thrift shop (nothing new in my life, right?). while I was there I spied this really cool brooch with a dark purple glittery background, a star and some seed beads in the glaze for texture. I thought it was cool, but a bit blah for a brooch.
I thought about it a bit and then decided it was better suited for a pendant. I removed the pin back and covered the back with a bit of scrapbook paper that I adhered and then sealed with some Mod Podge. then I punched a hole for the jump ring and added an eyelet.
I love how it ended up and am so glad that I bought the brooch without a plan for it. It is much better in its new home.
How about you? What have you reinvented lately?
Over the weekend I went to an antique shop in Westover Hills. To say the gentleman that ran it is one of the antiquey thrifty characters you meet along the way is an understatement! I asked the man if he had any old keys. OMG, did this man have keys! He pulled out drawers of keys, boxes of keys, cans of keys, and other containers I couldn’t recognize of keys.
He explained to me what each of the keys were for, what country they were from, the age of the key, and on and on and on and … He also was a “close talker.” If you are a fan of Seinfeld you know that this means. He gets way too far up into my personal space. He was literally talking to me within about 6-8” of MY FACE! I, if you know me, am all about personal space and boundaries and this man was encroaching all over mine! He was creeping me out a bit, too.
He kept talking…and talking…and talking… and talking. I am a person that looks at the person who is talking to me and it was difficult to look at the mounds of keys he had drug out for me. He finally wandered off to help a gentleman picking up a chair he repaired and I had a window to do some digging and checking out.
I found about 30 keys I liked. He, when he was sorting them made them into three piles. I nicknamed the piles…crap….kinda expensive….and is he smoking crack???? The crap pile had about 12 keys and he wanted $10 for that pile. The kind of expensive pile had about 8 keys and he wanted $20 for that pile. The smoking crack pile, he wanted $30 for about 4 keys.
In the end, I purchased the $10 pile and left. He then told me as I was trying to pry myself away (I also won’t walk away rudely from someone that is talking to me unless they are hateful and then I feel it is my right to walk away) he tells me that he has literally thousands more keys that he could show me! I let him know I was in that area every so often and would stop next time I was by.
Before that visit I made some more keys. The last pic is for a co-worker at work that is a fan. The others are for this shop. I am enjoying making the keys. I have yet to make one for me. Funny, huh? You get so busy making for others that you forget about yourself. Perhaps, I am waiting for the key that “speaks to me!” As yet, none have!