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Getting the Most Out of Your Thrift Store Experience

Updated: Mar 9


Thrift stores are veritable treasure troves where you can find items of all sizes, shapes and descriptions, while doing your bit to help the community you live in.

By choosing to buy as many of the items you need (or don’t need, but want!) in a thrift store, not only are you making a thoughtful contribution to sustainable living, but you could be helping to provide someone in your community with the lifeline they so desperately need to get themselves out of poverty.


Whether you’re a thrift store regular, or are just coming around to the idea of shopping in one, here are some ways to get the most out of your experience:


Be open minded

It’s important not to see your local thrift store as a place where people simply dump their unwanted goods. While it may be true that the items being sold once belonged to someone else who no longer has a use for them, that doesn’t make them any less valuable or desirable.

Think about all of the times you might have thrown something away that was in perfectly good condition, and how much better it would have been for someone else to get some use out of it. Not only would someone be able to use the item after you, but when they buy it, they’re helping to fund a variety of programs for community members, which could elevate them from a life of poverty.


Remember what every item you buy is helping to fund

As mentioned above, buying something from a thrift store doesn’t just put money in a wealthy business owner’s pocket, it puts money into the hands of the people who can really benefit from it. Not directly, of course, but through training programs and job opportunities funded by items purchased in the store.


Below are just some of the items you can buy that will help your community grow stronger:


Clothes – buying used clothes is a more environmentally conscious way to shop, and can help you save a lot of money, too. Update your entire wardrobe for the price of just one item from a fashion designer!


Toys – why not take your kids along to your local thrift store and let them browse the toys on display – and trust me, there’ll be plenty! With toy fads changing so often, and kids quickly getting bored of one toy before moving on to another, you can find some modern, expensive toys for a fraction of their normal retail price.


Books – you can find books of all kinds in thrift stores, and if you’re a quick reader, buying them brand new can quickly get expensive, making a thrift store the ideal place to liberate your inner bookworm! Who knows, you might even find a valuable first edition lurking on a shelf…


Kitchen supplies – quirky and mismatched kitchenware are on trend right now, and in your local thrift store, you might be able to find several stunning pieces that you can add to your existing kitchen supplies.


Ultimately, what you gain from your thrift store shopping experience is down to you, but it pays to keep the reason why the store exists and the people it’s helping to empower, in the back of your mind as you shop, or as you donate. Have you paid a visit to your local thrift store yet? If not, what are you waiting for!

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