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  • Writer's pictureSarah M.

Hidden Treasures

You might remember roaming the thrift stores for cheap furniture for your first apartment, or you may be someone who checks thrift stores to accessorize the perfect costume. I myself have really found a true love for thrifting and though this might not be your niche hear me out.

Thrifting can actually be a unique experience; digging through cluttered racks and shelves, the musty smell of who-knows-what's spreading through the air, and of course the possibility of finding something really awesome. It genuinely is the ultimate example of one person's trash being another person's treasure.

Thrift shops and second hand stores have a variety of benefits that extend far beyond that once a year opportunistic trip to the local "Goodwill", benefits that you may not have even considered.

You can discover something valuable and even designer products at a fraction of the price. And though some items might not be worth a lot of money, it can have some essential value to you. Despite the fact that thrift stores really allow you to save money (with a few exceptions), most shops I go to, have great bargains and you can find amazing pieces. Now regardless of finding great things for less this is definitely not the only reason why I love thrifting.

Thrifting allows you to develop a unique wardrobe and stops you from looking like everyone else. The selection is ever changing and because thrift stores receive donations, you can expect to see completely different products from one week to the next. This way you can explore a variety of styles. You may not like every item of clothing or piece of furniture you find, but you can still have fun looking at some extravagant, retro-y or just plain bizarre merchandise.

Second hand shops can take you on a trip down memory lane and you can find items that aren't available anywhere else. Whether you are looking for an out-of-print book or an iconic T-shirt that was only made in the '80s, thrift shops are often your best bet to find items that are no longer in production.

For some thrift shopping is like going on a treasure hunt where you can find genuine vintage items. And as fashion is repetitive and designers often try to mimic the looks of previous decades, you can often find clothing that was actually made in the decade that’s coming back into style.

Not only can you find cool items for yourself and your home, second hand shops give you the opportunity to find unique gifts as well. If you have friends or family who appreciate unique, quirky pieces, you can roam your local thrift shop in search of a great gift.

You never know what you'll find and to me that's part of the thrill. There's just something about entering a thrift shop that is packed with potential. Endless possibilities, the history behind the items. Is this amazing or is this a little weird?

Thrift stores are also great if you're a collector; books, games, records, mugs, scarfs, rings, t-shirts, silverware, ceramic figurines, ties, you name it. I mean where else could you even find these things? I've been wanting an actual record player for quite some time now and thrift stores are packed with some amazing records. (I'm just gonna have to take that leap and get that player, it's time).

I know some people have turned their thrifting passion into a business. They have an eye for great deals, purchase high-quality items at a thrift shop and sell them for a higher price using an online marketplace. Plenty of online shoppers are interested in purchasing vintage clothes or unique décor items that a savvy buyer has sourced from a thrift shop. Sometimes people donate things without realizing that they are worth a lot of money. And then other people walk into thrift stores, buy those things and make a ton of money.

Thrift shopping is environmentally friendly. (I love this) Because I love shopping, creating new outfits and enjoy fashion, thrift shopping is a great way to recycle. You can donate clothes you no longer wear and buy more clothes, eliminating waste in the process.

Thrift stores truly keep more out of landfills.

Your purchases may go towards a charity. (This is awesome too)

Many thrift stores are non-profits that partner with local or international charities; when you make a purchase, part of what you spend goes to a good cause and therefore thrift stores help communities.

Some of my essential thrifting tips?

1.) Take your time. To "accidentally" come across something fun and unique you might need to roam a few isle before finding it.

2.) Don’t go in with a strict plan or a specific goal. I don't recommend having a narrow idea of what you want because it just doesn’t work that way. This is why thrifting is a great metaphor for life; work with what you find and just wing it. Although if you are looking for something specific, don’t be discouraged I have looked for several particular items and with time I have found them.

3.) Be willing to go to smaller stores. There are a bunch of second hand stores that have gotten a little out a hand with the service and the pricing that I willingly take my business elsewhere. I really recommend checking out the smaller businesses rather than some of the chain thrift shops.

4) Love it or leave it. Like anything in life if it's not a hell yes, it's a hell no.

If it doesn’t thrill you, don’t buy it. This can be a tricky one and might take some time to get use to. Sometimes the prices are so low that you can end up buying things just because they are such a steal. Make sure you will actually enjoy it before getting it.

Happy Thrifting!


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