When most people consider thrift stores they often think of used items. But sometimes a major thrift store will collaborate with a major department store, offering many of the same items. So the question is, should you buy a new item from a thrift store? Well….
When a thrift store in my area had its grand opening, I went. When I walked in the store was like a rock concert, people everywhere. I had no intention of buying anything until I spotted a box of cherry-wood suit hangers.
I really needed some good-quality hangers and these were less than half of what they would be in the department store. And they had two boxes of them in the thrift store. Even better, the store is still stocking the same hangers!
Thrifting: When Not to Buy
Rule #1: Buy a new item in a thrift store is when the price is significantly less that what it would be in a department store.
Just because an item is brand new in a thrift store, doesn’t mean it’s currently being sold in regular retail store. It can simply mean someone donated a product that has never been used and still in the box.
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For example, I picked up these Ralph Lauren sterling silver wine chillers earlier this year.
The $135 price tag from the original store was still on them. I knew I’d use them for years to come so I bought them.
Rule #2: If the item is brand new but not currently in circulation, and the price is right, buy it.
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What happens if you see an item in the thrift store, but you also know regular stores carry it? While it is good to patronize thrift stores that have a good mission to donate and give back, don’t pay more for an item that you can find elsewhere cheaper. For example, purchase small items like batteries or pencils from a traditional retail store.
Rule #3: Don’t check your price-checking skills at the door. Buy only the real bargains.
Do keep in mind that thrift stores return policies do vary.
So have you purchased a brand new item from a thrift store? What was it?