THRIFT SHOP/CHARITY SHOP TIPS

So yay for it finally being March, we survived frugal February and gladly there hasn’t been to much of a knock on effect. So I have been able to spend a little bit of money in my local charity shop or thrift shop as its known over the pond.

So I haven’t mentioned it before but I volunteer at my local charity shop, I started about 18months ago when I first moved to the area, just to try to meet people and such. But I really enjoy it. I love giving my time for a good cause, plus it gives me an excuse to look around and buy brilliant pieces. So quick breakdown of working in a charity shop. In my shop we get a little discount, but the conditions are that we can only get discount on items that have been in the shop for 2 weeks or longer. So don’t go thinking that I get all the best bits straight away. If I really want something I can pay the full price for it like the rest of people, which to be honest I do most of the time as turn over is so quick and its for a good cause, so I’m not bothered. It’s already cheap anyway. We also have a system that if things don’t sell within a month they get reduced to £1 or 50p, then if they haven’t sold 2 weeks later they get put in the sacks. We have different sacks for everything. Nothing goes to waste as we get a certain amount of money for unwanted clothes. It’s done by weight, same for books, bags, shoes and even metal. We keep 100% cotton for the boatmen who buy them in bulk to clean their boats, and bric a brac tends to get donated again to organisations who may need extra kitchen items and such. I love it there, as the amount of wastage is limited which is brilliant.

Right here are my tips for thrift shopping.

 

Tip 1

Take the time out to go thrift shopping. I leave myself about 30-40 minutes sometimes, as there are so many things to look at. It is hard to just pop in for 5 minutes.  Also look out for charity shops in rich areas. My shop is based in a sailing village so we get lots of lovely stuff in.

 

Tip 2

Remember that yes things can be washed, fixed etc but you need to be realistic. Small hole in jumper, fixable. Crack in glass vase..not so much. I wash everything I buy from a charity shop, and check through items thoroughly to make sure there are no hidden cracks.

Tip 3

Get to know your local charity shop staff. We have people who come in every week looking for similar things, so now we save items we think they might want or need. Also if you’re looking for something in particular, through my experience it’s never there when you need it. Ask the staff to keep and eye out. Our change over is so quick due to the amount of donations we get in, that it might just pop up.

Tip 4

Take a note of when reduced days or times are. In our shop every morning, we go round the rails and reduce items down to a £1 that have been there for 3 weeks. So every day in the morning there are tons of bargains. Some places do colour tags sale items too, never hurts to find out the sale days.

Tip 5

I limit myself to only having a certain amount of money on me. It makes me more ruthless when shopping. Think of 3 reason how you could use the item you’re looking at. Is it able to be fixed or will it sit in the back of a cupboard waiting to be fixed. The problem I used to face is that subject of it being so cheap it would be stupid not too. Yes its cheap and a bargain but it adds up. Don’t clutter your house with cheap bargains you might never use. Be ruthless.

 

Tip 6

See the potential. I find lots of people come in looking for material, they will tell me what they are looking for, and ill take them to the curtains, or £1 rail. We have such good clothing, made from such nice fabric, why not see if that’s suits something your working on? Or curtains, heavy-duty fabric tends to be used, and you can get some really funky patterns especially in the vintage curtain sections.

 

So those are a few of my tips. Here are my bargains for today. Yves Saint Laurent shirt, bargain just for £1. A spotty cravat 20p. Brown leather shoes 50p, Suede shoes 50p and a Russell & Bromley bag for just 50p which I found on the back of the shelf.These were without my discount too, all in the bargain sections.  So sometimes it pays to dig deep and have a look around. I apologise now for the pictures, as I took them in Richards office which has hardly any natural light.

I have some plans, as you can see from the pictures, the leather shoes need some tlc, as does the bag. And I am totally thinking about dyeing the suede boots, possibly a navy blue?.. Plus how cute is the cravat with the shirt…Now to dress Richard up in it.

Happy Tuesday all! Eat lots of pancakes tonight! x