6 Stops I Make In Any Thrift Store (And What I Look For)
"How Do You Know Where To Look?" Is a question that I get all the time. The most obvious places are at Thrift Stores, Estate Sales, & Garage Sales, but people always tell me that sometimes they're just overwhelmed at the sheer amount of stuff. Having a plan of attack before you get to a thrift store makes it less overwhelming! I can be in and out of a store in less than 15 minutes if I have made my rounds and haven’t seen anything that I like. But if you have extra time to kill, keep looking! You’ll be bound to find your next big flip!
1st Stop: The Jewelry Counter
I can't help it, I'm addicted to jewelry! I always see what they have in their ‘nice’ case first because I have good luck selling jewelry. By knowing some solid jewelry designer styles, you’ll have an advantage. There are also better things behind the counter, but usually they are overpriced based on eBay ‘asking’ values. (Wait for 50% or sale days. They usually separate their gold and silver from the regular costume, but this can also be to your benefit since most thrift stores don’t know vintage designers.
Things I look for: Sterling Rings, Gold Below/At Melt Value, and Vases of jewelry.
2nd Stop: The Housewares Aisles
Some of my best items come from the housewares section. I scour the shelves for things of value, and really use my eBay sold listings trick here. The more unique the better! This is where I find my good solid midrange items. I try to buy things that will make me a profit of at least $25-50 here.
Things I look for: Bookends, Sculptures, Signed Pottery
3rd Stop: The Kitchen Aisle
This can be a fun aisle to find all those kitchen gadgets that you see on tv that you don’t want to pay full price for. It is also a great place to find vintage bakeware. If you know what you’re looking for, some rare Pyrex dishes from the 50’s can be worth some big bucks! Trust me, it’s not easy to find them though. Here is a link to Pyrex patterns. Remember, if it’s brown, PUT IT DOWN!
Things I look for: Colored Pyrex, Starburst Silver Ware, Cool Barware
4th Stop: The Art Aisle
Do I need more art? …No. Do I buy it anyways? Of course! One of my favorite sections is the art area. I’ve learned to stay away from prints (unless well known and signed/numbered), fake art, and anything mass produced. Right now big colorful art is in style, so if you see a large, vibrant painting, jump on it! I've also learned that art doesn't sell fast, so make sure you love it too!
Things I look for: Abstract Art, Signed Movie Posters, Signed Paintings
5th Stop: The Furniture Section
I live in a condo so I can’t take anything too big home, but there are a lot of good finds to be had here! I look for a solid pair of fun or funky lamps (singles are harder to sell), musical instruments that are in working condition, and any small solid wood pieces. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell vintage furniture! Keep on trend with what's in style to keep your spending in check.
Things I look for: Pairs of Lamps, Keyboards, Mid-Century End Tables
6th Stop: The Clothing Section
This is usually my last stop because to me, it’s the most tedious. I can walk through the aisles pretty fast and see a lot of things just by looking at the type of materials. Knowing brands is good here, so some fashionistas excel in this section buying clothes for their Poshmark or Depop store. I usually stick to jackets and outerwear because when I sell online it takes a long time to measure things that are fitted. Usually outerwear has more give.
Things I look for: Funky Sweaters, 80’s Puffy Jackets, Vibrant Patterns
Now I do look at every aisle- I have found great stuff in the toy section, or even some great finds in the purse section! But those aisles take a lot of time, and you really have to know your stuff. I don't recommend purses unless you're really good at spotting counterfeits! And with toys you have to make sure all the pieces are there. Rule of thumb, if it's too good to be true, it usually is! About 9.9/10 'Louis Vuitton' purses behind the counter are fake. Save yourself the loss and stick to know you know!