thrift stores= 98.5% junk, 1.5% treasure

After years of thrifting {and writing about it for 31 days straight} I've come up with a very precise formula for thrift store shopping finds: when you go to Goodwill {or your thrift store of choice} you will find exactly 98.5% junk, and 1.5% treasure.

Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch.

It might be more like 99% junk and 1% treasure. :D

If you feel like your local thrift store doesn't have anything worth buying, take heart- mine doesn't either! :D It's so easy to get discouraged when you walk in to the thrift store and see an enormous sea of junk. Because that's what every one I've been in looks like! :)

For those of you who are new to thrifting, I thought I'd give you a little tour of what our local Goodwill has in stock this week:

They had lots of gorgeous furniture.... ;)


The floral couch at the bottom was marked $19.99, and if I remember correctly the end table was $18.99. The recliner loveseat in the back was $100. Coffee tables are usually marked at $29- $39. And honestly, the pictures don't tell the whole story...there were more stains and smells than you can see. :)

Across the room, I spotted this big mirror. It had several rings marring the shelf, but the size and frame was good. It was from Kirkland's. The price?


 $49.99. 

I think that might have been what it cost at Kirkland's the first time around. Oh, Goodwill, you make me laugh sometimes. {and the dirty old white couch underneath was $89.99!}.

Our Goodwill is a pretty big store, so we have racks and racks that look like this:


I barely look at those. Our store is busy, so by the time most of the clothes get put away on the appropriate racks the good stuff is gone. :)

The same is true of the household items. I rarely find something I like actually on a display where it belongs. The best stuff is found in the carts they roll out. You never know what you'll find in there.

They look like this:


Did you see anything you liked? A pair of brand new pink skivvies in the planter bowl, perhaps? Seriously, you never know what will be in those baskets! :)

So I didn't find anything I wanted either. The little orange basket in the corner is super cute, but too small for my house, since I don't have many shelves and I'm not a huge fan of having little things out on display anyway. 

Like the carts full of "new" items, the place to find the best clothes is on the rolling racks. At our Goodwill, they put the newest clothing out like this:


They let you sort through them before they organize them out in the store. This might not be possible at your store: at the Dallas stores I go to, many of the stores won't let you touch these new racks until they put the items out where they belong.

If that's the case, stalk that employee like a hawk. ;)

Or just hide close by and wait for them to get done. hehee :D

I know it sounds weird, but they're used to people waiting- in fact, they're used to people nearly attacking them, so you'll be unusual if you wait patiently, be polite, ask them how they are, and then thank them for all their help. :) That's almost always the case in any customer service field though, isn't it?

side note: I really think going out of your way to be kind to the people who are serving you is one of the best ways to be Jesus to the world. I'm so not perfect at this, but I've made so many new friends this way! Love the people most of the world wouldn't notice. Thrift store workers fall into that category for sure. :)

I did find a few cool household things that I'll show you next week {Lord-willing}. And of course I found a few things to try on. Can you guess which outfit I bought? :)

 outfit 1: 
shirt only: Hollister, $4

outfit 2:
dress, Old Navy, $5
outfit 3:
shirt, INC, $4
The shoes and pants were mine already... :)

The leather Nine West heels were a GW find from last year for $5:

and for reference, here's the outfit I came in {shirt, GW, $4, pants, AE, $27ish 1.5 years ago}:


And yes, Ava was accessorizing her hair with a leather belt I found.

Don't worry, it was new. ;)

One of the three outfits will be in next week's wiww! Which one do you think it was?

And please tell us, where do you find the best items in your store? Any secrets you'd be willing to share? :)

7 comments

Aunna said...

I love Goodwill! My store is very small, but gets a lot of the returns and overstock from Target. I've been hitting the jackpot in maternity wear there! Motherhood, A Pea in the Pod, Liz Lange maternity for Target and a lot with the tags still on! My trick is patience. And always remembering that most clothing items can be altered and most housewares can be spraypainted. Oh, and not bringing my boys!

Joelle Duff said...

Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one! I feel like everyone is great at thrifting, but I've never been able to find anything good. Or maybe I just don't have the eye for it? Regardless, we have about twelve (literally) Goodwill/thrift stores in my city, so I might need to take a trip soon. Thanks for the inspiration :)

Liz said...

I'm going with shirt, INC, $4. :)

Sarah Beals said...

I love shopping "boutiques" and use to find a ton of Hanna Andersson clothes for my little girls. ;)

KB said...

I think u got the dress

Samantha said...

Wow. The furniture at your GW is expensive! I got a cute upholstered chair for $4.99 once. Most stuff is under $20. I'm going with the INC shirt. Cute!

Pamela said...

You look really cute in the green dress, but I think I saw you in one similar to that. I love the Inc top and hope that is what you bought.