Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite reasons to shop your local thrift store for home decor and sharing 5 tips to make the most of your thrifting experience. From antique stores to Goodwill, I’m sourcing home goods and saving tons of money on home decor – and you can too!
Thrift Stores vs. Consignment Stores
Consignment stores and thrift stores may bring to mind the same type of store, but they are slightly different. Both typically sell second hand goods, but thrift stores are usually stocked from donations. They may also contain items that other stores couldn’t sell. I love thrift stores for things like old records, vintage kitchen accessories and books. Depending on where you live, your local thrift store could be filled to the brim with designer clothes – looking at you Goodwill of West Palm Beach, Florida!
Consignment stores on the other hand, are typically divided into sections and then the sections are rented to other sellers. Consignment stores allow sellers to sell without the same type of overhead as having their own retail shop. Where I live, most antique stores fall into the consignment store category. My favorite consignment stores are dedicated to home and garden – imagine that – and don’t sell clothing in the same space.
Consignment & Thrift Store Shopping Tips
Over time, I’ve learned a few tips for getting the best decor deals while thrifting but I’m sure there are more! Check out the list of top 5 tips for shopping consignment and thrift below and let me know what you would add!
1. Seek and You Shall Find
In Atlanta there are certainly areas that are more pricey than others. For this reason, when thrifting, I avoid the areas that cater to designers. Instead, look for gems in the smaller neighborhoods just outside of the city.
The local and individually owned part also means that the goods there will likely be eclectic, unique and sometimes a little random which may be why I’m completely obsessed with finding, and exploring them. Check out this hand-painted mural currently hanging out at Antique Centre Ingleside Village in Macon, Georgia. You definitely don’t see stuff like this everyday…
2. A Shopping Game-plan Keeps You Focused
If you have any options, shop on a Sunday or in the middle of the day on a weekday. Not only will this allow you to beat the crowds, it will give you more time to consider your finds before you decide to commit. Who really needs that overly aggressive shopper lurking to see if you are, in fact, taking that rug?
A Sunday afternoon strolling through a consignment store can also be quite relaxing where I live since in the bible belt most stores that are open aren’t busy. Here’s a shot from a recent Sunday adventure at Finder’s Keepers Consignments in Decatur, Georgia. There were only about 5 other people there.
Aside from having a game plan of when to go, you’ll need a game plan for when you get there. Shopping thrift and consignment often means that sales are final, so having a game plan and sticking to it (mostly) can help you avoid a serious case of buyers remorse later. I try to shop for one room at a time with a running list of things I’m always on the lookout for for other rooms or clients.
3. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
If you’ve ever watched Antiques Roadshow, you know that the most random garage sale find has netted many a thrifter with a several million dollar antique treasure. It happens! And because you never know when it could happen, it pays to keep your eyes peeled for cool older gems. The best things about thrift stores is that there is no shortage of cool, older stuff. Stuff with a story. And even if it’s not a million dollar long-lost Picasso, if it speaks to you, that’s enough!
I recently found a 150-year-old bible from London in a local consignment store. It’s got a handwritten Quill Pen note in the front and a pamphlet from an 1800s religious mission to the natives of the American Great Lakes region. I don’t know if it’s worth more than the $30 I payed for it, but who cares?? It’s cool!
4. Get To Know the Store’s Return Policy
The intended consequence of this tip is that is will get you to talk to the store’s staff and getting to know your neighbors is a good thing. Being nice and interested in learning more about your favorite neighborhood thrift store means that you’ll be familiar with the store’s policies – and they’ll be familiar with you.
Having a friendly vibe with store owners or staff means they are more likely to hold things for you, keep you posted if something you are looking for comes in, and negotiate. All of the things make your experience even better! So go talk to someone the next time you are shopping and use their knowledge to your advantage when making decisions about what to buy.
5. Accept That Not all Stores are Created Equally
Have you ever been to a thrift store before that looked promising only to find it filled with junk? Shopping thrift and consignment stores means accepting some aren’t created equal. That said, the only way to find out is to explore the ones you find. You literally never know what you’ll come across, especially if you keep an open mind.
Just remember that you don’t have to source every piece from the same place. Keep an eye out for deals and over time, you can put together a well planned room with thrift store decor!
Make sure to leave a comment about your favorite local shop and any tips you have to add to the list!