thrift shopping tips

What Do All Great Thrift Stores Have in Common?

I try to visit as many thrift stores as I can and have an ongoing list of local favorites, but what makes a thrift store a ‘good’ one? As a long-time thrifter who actually enjoys a bit of chaos and loves to dig to find a good deal, there are some stores that really don’t do it for me.  I realized that not everyone, especially non-thrifters and beginners,  understand what I mean when I refer to a thrift store as a good one. If you have ever heard me say ‘this thrift store is amazing!‘ here’s what those stores usually have in common:

A mix of new, designer brands, and vintage items
This is by far the most important feature for me. I love thrift stores that cater to all shoppers. There are certain thrift stores in the area that are more vintage heavy and some that carry newer designer brands. This is all fine and dandy because if I’m in the mood to shop vintage I’ll just head to the Salvation Army knowing I’ll be able to find what I’m looking for. However, stores that carry a variety of styles and housewares really get my adrenaline going and make the thrifting experience very enjoyable because I’m able to shop for everything on my list.

A well-lit bright store
Proper lighting in a thrift store is one of those things that most people overlook but it’s extremely important. A bright store is more cheery and makes the second-hand experience feel more like a mainstream retail one. Extra bonus points for natural light.

Wide aisles
Nothing is worse than a thrift store with tight aisles. If two people can’t go down the aisle at the same time, there’s something wrong with that picture. I don’t mind tightly packed racks but tight aisles bother me and will deter a non-seasoned, impatient thrifter from coming back again.

Fitting Rooms
Sounds like a no brainer but many thrift stores don’t have fitting rooms.

Extra discounts and rewards
Thrift store prices are already incredible but it’s even more exhilarating when they offer additional daily sales, discounts at check-out, including student and senior discounts, as well as coupons.

What do you look for in a thrift store?