Tips for Getting the Best Deals and Thrift and Consignment Stores
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Tips for Getting the Best Deals at Thrift and Consignment Stores

Posted on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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One way to shop "green" is to make a purchase from a thrift store or consignment store.  Here are some tips to help you get the best deals from them!It’s always nice to get some great “new to you” clothing at an affordable price. Shopping at thrift stores, or consignment stores, is good for the environment. Here are some tips that will help you get the best deals while you are shopping “green”.

Tips for Getting Deals at Second-Hand Stores

When you purchase an item from a thrift store or consignment store, you are keeping it out of a landfill. It is estimated that 85% of used clothing ends up in a landfill every year. One way to live “green” is to find ways to re-use things (instead of throwing them away). These are the kinds of shopping trips that make you feel good and are good for the Earth, too!

Consignment shops often have a “system” in place that designates when items will be marked down in price. Ask the consignment shop owner for details. Typically, the longer a piece of clothing has been in the store, the more it will get marked down. You might get a really great deal if you are willing to wait for something to go on sale.

Some of the items at consignment stores could be brand new. It isn’t unheard of for shop owners to buy clothing from boutiques that are going out of business. In other words, you could be buying brand new clothes for a lower price than if you bought it from the boutique it originally came from.

Choose thrift stores and consignment shops that are in an upper-income neighborhood. The people who live near the store have a lot of disposable income. The items they donate to a thrift store, or send to a consignment shop, could be newer, more “gently used”, and of a higher quality than you might see in similar stores in lower-income neighborhoods.

Ask for the store’s calendar when you visit a thrift store. They typically will put certain items on sale on particular days. For example, Sunday could be when sweaters go on sale. Thursdays could be when dresses are on sale. You can get a great deal if you shop on the right day. Most of the time, those sales are weekly. If you missed the sale, come back on the same day next week.

Bring your photo ID to the thrift store. They often give extra discounts to students, teachers, and people who are in the military. The clerks at the register are not allowed to simply take your word for it. You must show them your student ID, military ID, or a name badge that has a photo and shows what school you teach in.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.