Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Find: Tips to Successful Thrifting

Based on The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects and Vintage Details, here are a few tips for a successful thrift shopping trip:

• Define your shopping budget. Spending more than you have takes all the joy out of thrift shopping.

• Make a thrift shopping kit that includes your thrift wish list, color tiles, fabric swatches, design inspiration from books and magazines, a tape measure and room and door measurements.

• Know how you’ll get your purchase home. Can you call a friend? Rely on a man with a van? Drag it into your car or a taxi? And once you get it home, will it fit into your space? Refer to measurements in your thrift shopping kit.

• Set your peripheral vision to see the beauty in the unexpected. A coat of cruddy paint might be hiding a lovely dresser or a rejected, printed cape might be transformed into a glamorous pillow.

• Buy only what you love. Just because a piece of furniture you spy might have a designer’s name that makes it valuable, if it’s ugly, then leave it alone.

• Check for quality. Drawers should open smoothly, legs and cases be sturdy, and upholstery free of odor and stains.

• Always carry cash. It’s a great negotiator in many places and helps you stay on budget.

• And finally, don't be a Thriftzilla. Create good thrifting karma by being kind to the people who are offering their wares, accepting fair prices and leaving a little something behind for the next person.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. Helpful hints indeed! Especially for a lazy 'thrifter' like me who never makes a list and often regrets it.

  2. Good advice - I want to go to that sale :>)

  3. All your tips are terrific, but my favorite is the Thriftzilla one. With the advent of ebay/etsy, all those "collectible" TV shows and billions and billions of article on how to "strike it rich" with thrift store finds, those of us who have been doing this for years are finding ourselves being pushed/shoved/mauled by overly-agressive folk who don't know that, just because one is in a thrift store and not Saks, one does NOT abandon one's manners because one is "downtown", not "uptown". Geesh!



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