April 18, 2013

How to Shop for Second Hand Treasures

We've all heard that one man's trash is another man's treasure. With budgets getting tighter these days, shopping second hand is more popular than ever! From estate sales to thrift shops, there are lots of second hand treasures out there if you just know how and where to look.

This morning, I'm joining my friends at Knoxville's Fox43 to share some tips on finding great second hand treasures!

My first tip is "Shop Early, Shop Often."

Estate sales and yard sales aren't for the faint of heart...you must get there early to find the best selection. There are some great community sales here in Knoxville put on by local churches and other nonprofit organizations and folks line up before the doors even open!

In the case of yard sales and estate sales, the early bird gets the worm!

Okay, the second part of that is "Shop Often" and this particularly applies to shopping at thrift stores. Thrift stores have inventories that are always changing. You can't visit one time and expect to find exactly what you're looking for. The secret is to drop by frequently to increase your chances of stumbling upon treasures!

Not only that, but you can't be afraid to dig. Second hand stores aren't always organized like traditional retail stores. Sometimes you have to dig through boxes and bins to find the good stuff. I dug a Chanel scarf out of a box in an Atlanta thrift shop once...and it only cost $.99 (yes, that's 99 cents!). But if I hadn't rooted around, I would have missed it!

My final tips for finding second hand treasures involve asking yourself a couple of questions before making a purchase:

1) Does the item have value?


2) Does the item have potential?

When I say value, I don't necessarily mean monetary value. It's just about what kind of value it has to you. Maybe the item is something you need or something you've been wanting to find for a long time. Perhaps it's something a friend would love to receive as a gift. We can't buy everything we come across just because the price is right. And this helps to keep that in perspective.

Same goes for thinking about an item's potential. Everything you see in a thrift shop or at an estate sale might not appeal to you at first glance. But it's important to think about what the potential might be...maybe with a coat of paint or a little updating, it would be something really great.

These are just things that have worked for me over the years! What are your best tips for thrifting?