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Thrifting is a skill that involves an eye for detail, creativity, and knowing where to find great deals.

Fashion-forward Gen Z and budget-savvy Millennials have wholeheartedly embraced thrift shopping, turning it into an ultimate trend redefining our shopping habits.

But guess what? There’s a secret world of thrift store hacks waiting to be revealed – tricks that will take your savings game to a whole new level and leave you with much more money in your pocket.

Here are 11 thrift store shopping hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

Donate for a Discount

donation box
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Many thrift stores like the Salvation Army offer discounts to patrons in return for donating an item. Try donating a few things today for extra savings at the register.

Sale and Discount Days

sale and discount sign
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Thrift stores have designated sale days where certain items are discounted by up to 50%.  There are even discount days for the elderly, military, and college students. Take advantage of these opportunities to maximize your savings.

Weekday Shopping

clothing at thrift store
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Shopping during the week just got less expensive and much less crowded. Instead of shopping on the weekend, you’ll have more time and space to browse items at your own pace and find the best deals.

Arrive Early

thrift store view
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As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Arriving early at the thrift store lets you get first and best picks. All the valuable items get taken quickly and early. So be the first one there so that you can be guaranteed the best stuff.

Negotiate the Price

thrift store
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Carefully examine the items you’re interested in and see if there is an opportunity to negotiate the price. Check for stains, missing buttons, loose threads, or damage. Point out your reason for negotiating and counter with a reasonable offer.

Join the Mailing List

mailing list sign
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Some thrift stores will email their subscriber list exclusive discounts, special offers, coupons, and early access to sales. Sign up to take advantage of these perks.

Think Outside the Box

old furniture
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It’s important to keep an open mind while thrift shopping and look beyond the item in front of you. Try to look past the surface of a piece of thrifted item and see its true bones.

If you find something that can be repaired, upcycled, or repurposed, then the product might have the potential to be something greater. Use your creative eye and seek out a unique design. You would be surprised at what a fresh coat of paint can do or a thorough cleaning.

The possibilities are endless for upcycling thrifted pieces.

Related post: How to Paint a Nightstand That’s Laminate

Explore Different Locations

thrifted chest books and chair
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Not all thrift stores are created the same. Thrift stores in specific neighborhoods may receive unique donations and designer brands. Make a plan and shop around. Check out stores in areas to increase your chances of finding high-end luxury and unique vintage items.

Look Often

blonde lady shopping in thrift store
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Thrift stores replenish their inventory daily. Consistent store visits are key, as items that make it to the sales floor will quickly get snatched up by the next eager shopper.

By frequenting these establishments regularly, you increase your chances of scoring remarkable finds before they’re gone.

Shop on Restocking Days

upscale thrift store
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Shop on the days your local thrift store restocks so you can get the first pick on items placed on the sales floor. With this tactic, you can find hidden gems that no one else can access.

Bring Packing Supplies

packing supplies
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When heading to the thrift stores, bring your packing supplies. Pack cardboard boxes, bags, bungee cords, and newspaper in your car beforehand.

This way, you can safely transport any fragile items you purchase without worrying about them breaking on the way home. Additionally, clear out your car’s trunk to ensure there’s enough space for any larger items you may find.

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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