It is really amazing the stuff people will donate. I have found designer clothing brand new with tags, and sometimes people will tell me "ugh my thrift stores never have stuff like that". The area where a thrift store is located can have an impact on the inventory they have, but I travel a lot and been to MANY thrift stores. With persistence you can find amazing pieces even at the smallest thrift stores in less prosperous areas.
I would say on average I am in a thrift store 5 out of 7 days a week. I list new pieces every day, so it is important for me to always have new inventory. In years of reselling I have definitely found a groove with sourcing and shopping thrift stores. If you're reselling or shopping for yourself, I've come up with some shopping tips I follow to get my hands on the best, cheapest inventory!
Shop Earlier In The Week
In my experience, I find the racks are fuller and more "just in" clothing is being brought from the back Monday-Wednesday than other days of the week. People are organizing and donating their items when they have time, which is usually on the weekends.
Check Clothing With Missing Brand tags
A lot of clothing at thrift stores have the brand tags removed, probably because the previous owner found them uncomfortable. If the item looks/feel high quality but is missing the brand tag, check the interior side tag that includes the materials. There will be an RN number you can search to find the brand name.
Ask about weekly specials
Many thrift stores have weekly specials (ie color tags of the week, military discounts, student discounts, etc) so make sure to ask or get a calendar so you can see when some items are cheaper or when you may qualify for a discount. Many of my Goodwills will have the occasional weekend special where all clothing is $2, so I will ask the cashier if they know of one coming up.
CHeck the just in rack right away
Whenever a store brings out a rack of clothing straight from the back, I always beeline straight there. These items are new to the floor and have never been picked through, and this is honestly where I find so much of my inventory.
identify the tagging system
Many thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army have a color tagging system where throughout one day all the inventory will be tagged one certain color (to be used in the previously mentioned color tag specials) When I am looking at a just in rack I will take note of the color, and then look for big bunches of this color tag on the other racks. These are probably new items from the day the employees have just put away.
Sign Up for the email list or follow the store on social media
Especially lately with the influx of donations, a lot of my thrift stores have been having random sales to get inventory moving. They usually share these sales through an email or on social media.
Check all sizes and departments
It's not so important for me and reselling, but for people who are buying for themselves a lot of thrift stores will *try* to keep the store in order by size. However things get moved around and misplaced so much I wouldn't rely on it. As well, I find a lot of higher end women's jeans in the mens section, and surprisingly I find Lululemon in the kids sections. If you have the time, look through all the departments!
Check End Caps and fitting room return racks
Pre-covid I would always check the go back racks out side of the fitting rooms. People have already done the work of searching the rack for goodies, it just didn't fit for them. Now that fitting rooms are closed, I always check the end caps of racks, especially those by mirrors. People are holding them up and inspecting them here, and leaving behind the ones they change their minds on.
If you have some insider thrift knowledge of your own you would like to share, leave a comment down below!
A LOT of time has passed since I last shared some updates on our home remodel. Since we were completely gutting and renovating the whole house, we were in the middle of a lot of projects across a couple rooms when covid hit. For some of our projects we had hired outside help, so that had to be put on pause. And with everything being so up in the air, we wanted to save as much money as possible just in case. Now that things are starting to get back to normal a bit in California we have been getting back to work. The room that is for the most part done (aside from being more decorated) is our living room, which really needed not much work compared to other rooms in the house. Keep scrolling to see the before and after!
This room was all us. We scraped wall paper, painted, put in new floors/baseboards, and upgraded the fixtures. I think the most noticeable change is the window behind the couch being closed up. The windows in this room were very old and inefficient. As well, the area behind the couch is where we moved out the wall to expand the bathroom (if you haven't seen our bathroom transformation you can check that out HERE) so instead of replacing it with a smaller window we decided to just close it up. The existing window we had replaced with a much more efficient upgrade.
The only new furniture we bought was the two piece coffee table, which we got from Ikea (HERE). The white couch is also Ikea, but not new. We got it barely used off Facebook Marketplace for $300! The tv console used to belong to my parents, and the green rolling cart is actually a family antique. My grandparents bought it in Korea in the 70s!
Most of the decor are knick knacks I picked up at thrift stores. I'm super proud of the rug, I also found it on Facebook Marketplace! I only paid $50 for it, and managed to squeeze this 9x12 ft rug into the back of a crossover suv all on my own! These rugs are regularly $300 so I couldn't pass it up. The one piece I did buy new for the room is the fake fiddle leaf fig tree. Many I found were pricey, but this one was only about $70!
These have been our coffee table books for years. The Mercedes Benz book was my husbands from Germany, and the Vogue is special to me because I bought it when I was in Paris back in 2011 (the trip where I met my now husband). I love the coasters I bought off Amazon, they have a marble design and are leather so they hold up really well. Plus they have over 1200 reviews and almost 5 stars!
As far as what we are working on now, our goal is to get this old toolshed off the living room transitioned into a bathroom (with shower!) by Thanksgiving. The door to this bathroom is next to the TV. If you look at the old pictures of the living room, the door into this bathroom had a bookshelf attached to it, so it didn't look like a door at all. There was actually a door to the backyard/outside that we closed up behind the toilet.
As far as the room I am most excited to share, the kitchen, we should be getting that room wrapped up very soon! We ordered our cabinets back in February, but one *single* cabinet was on backorder and was supposed to arrive by April. Due to covid, it got pushed back until August and there was actually a lot our contractor couldn't build because of this one cabinet. But now that we have the cabinet our guy is coming back in to finish the kitchen very soon! I'll be sharing that hopefully at the end of this month :D
Live for luxury? No trust fund, no problem!
Join the fancy free journey as we seek the
finer things in life, sans millions.
- Marie Claire, September 2016