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Do you get jealous of seeing all of your friends amazing finds, only to drop by the thrift store to find absolutely nothing? Have you ever wondered where the really good thrift stores are?

Here’s the secret to finding the best thrift store in your area. Come closer. Closer. Whoa too close. LOL. Alright here it is: There is no secret.

Seriously. Thrift stores are amazing in that their inventory changes day to day and even hour to hour. Today you may find a vintage Ralph Lauren blazer and tomorrow you may find a Drexel Heritage sideboard. You may go for another six months and everything else is junk.

Rashon Carraway: Better Life Through Thrifting

While there are no real secrets to finding the better thrift stores, there are few guidelines you can use to scope out those that consistently bring in better donations.

It’s true that the more affluent neighborhoods donate better quality items. Often individuals who live in certain areas do not have time to have a yard sale, so they will simply have their items donated as a quick means of getting rid of them. Many times these items have very little damage and are just discarded because the homeowners no longer want them.

Some of the best items are found at thrift stores that are located a few miles outside of major cities. I was working in a small town about 45 minutes from my home. There was a junk shop that housed a lot of old items. This is also the place where I found an authentic Saarinen Knoll Tulip table and four tulip chairs.

Saarinen Tulip Dining Table + Chairs

Saarinen Tulip Dining Table + Chairs

Photo from Hive Modern

Price? $100. My thoughts exactly.

Small towns are not necessarily on the cusp of design trends. That means many vintage items that have been sitting in homes untouched for years are just waiting to be brought back to life.

My last method for spotting a good thrift store is by simply reading various social networks and online sites to see which ones receive great reviews. Often when people score a great deal, they tweet about it, blog about it and even share pictures. If you see a particular thrift store consistently getting great reviews, it may be time for you to check it out.

Again, there’s no golden rule to finding the best thrift stores. The inventory changes so much. However, if you locate the nearest one in the more affluent community, check out those outside of the city and perhaps take your search online, I’m sure you can find a few that will yield great results.

Happy thrifting!

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Design Inspiration

25 Responses

  1. [...] The first rule is always be pleasant. It seems obvious, but if you’re kind and courteous to the sales associates at a thrift store, they’re more likely to remember you. After you’ve flashed that great smile and put on a little charm, it’s time to starting dealing. It’s important to note that every store has its own policy regarding discounts, so don’t expect the store to bend its policy just for you. How to Find the Best Thrift Stores [...]

  2. [...] How to Find the Best Thrift Stores [...]

  3. [...] How to Find the Best Thrift Stores [...]

  4. Anna@HGTV says:

    Best vintage clothing shopping is in LA on Melrose Avenue at Slow and Aardvarks. I've scored the sweetest suede jackets, kimonos, scarves and more. Especially go the week after Halloween to get the best deals on crazy costumes. Best yard sales in U.S…San Francisco. I've bought amazing home decor and furniture! Coolest unusual find? Vintage '50s wool Eskimo-themed winter coat made in Alaska bought at a vintage clothing store called Moondance at the beach in St. Simons, GA.

  5. Marcie says:

    If you really want to make a good "find", volunteer to work in the thrift store. Many are stores associated with charities and are desperate for volunteer help. You'll be doing a good service, meet some fun new friends and possibly find some great items at the same time!

    • eydie says:

      i don't believe you should be able to buy stuff at a thrift store you work at. that's what's wrong with the thrift stores in my town. employees take all the good stuff.

  6. [...] How to Find the Best Thrift Stores [...]

  7. [...] someone buy furniture if not at a retail store? Thanks for asking; the answer is flea markets, thrift stores, vintage stores, antique markets, Craigslist, high design showrooms and custom workrooms. But since [...]

  8. [...] someone buy furniture if not at a retail store? Thanks for asking; the answer is flea markets, thrift stores, vintage stores, antique markets, Craigslist, high design showrooms and custom workrooms. But since [...]

  9. Deb Adams says:

    LOVE Moondance in St. Simons, GA!

  10. bhb says:

    At a thrift store in Miami, I found a Christian Dior suite for men for $22, YSL blazer for $10, Escada purse for $4, Theory women pants for $5 each, Coach purse for $10.. I would fly down there just to go to that thrift store..

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