20 June 2014

10 Thrifting Tips, Tricks and Truisms

1. Get out there as often as you can
If you don't look, you won't find. The stock changes each week in many shops, so go as often as you can (or can afford). Try charity shops, junk shops, antique fairs, car boot sales and flea markets.

2. Train yourself to look
Get yourself in the habit of looking for particular things. Train the eyes and the hand will grab, sometimes before you're even aware you've seen the item! I'm so used to looking for Japanese items that I get a feeling when I approach the bric-a-brac shelves that there's something interesting there, even before I'm aware I've seen it.

3. You will find what you want when you least expect it
...and usually after you've just paid much more for it on ebay!

4. Look out of season
If you narrow search view to the summer dress you need right now, you may miss out on the perfect winter coat at a bargain price!

5. Think of how you can transform it
That frumpy dress with the lovely print could be turned into an on-trend tea dress, or the dark wooden drawers that don't match your decor could be painted. You might also think of an alternative use for something, like these dolls I made from salt and pepper shakers!

6. Look above and below your size
Don't be limited by the label on the hanger or the garment, try it on!
7. Ask around
I went for a year thinking my nearest charity shop had closed down, until I found out from a colleague it was only open when I was at work! Now I visit once a week in my lunch break. And there were other local shops I didn't know about until I asked my family and friends for ideas of where to buy second-hand furniture.

8. Don't be afraid of dead people's stuff!
You can't afford to be icked out by the idea of buying things that belonged to someone who has died. If something is beautiful or useful, why shouldn't it have a new life after its previous owner has gone?

9. Don't walk away
If you really, really like something, buy it there and then (or reserve it), or you may regret it later.
10. Be generous and give back
By donating items you keep your local charity shop going, and you are giving twice over by both buying and donating!

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