Tips for Thrift Shopping

As you may know, we here at Georgia & Daughter love a great find. We love the thrill of the hunt and we scour antique shops, thrift stores, consignments markets and auctions for those special pieces for our homes.

Over the years, we have found some absolutely wonderful treasures and wanted to share them with you. Plus, in case, you haven’t been thrift shopping, we wanted to share a few tips for a successful score!

1. Big Cities v. Rural Towns  – We live in the country and appreciate all things slow paced. Thrift/consignment/antique shopping and even auctions are completely different in a big city, like Atlanta, compared to their northern counterparts. More than likely, you will find the high-end pieces in the city and more of the rustic, primitive items in the country. We shop in both the city and country to stock our homes with unique pieces.

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Old wood buffet gets a modern day makeover. We bought this piece in a very rural part of Georgia.

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2. Thrift Shops v. Consignment Stores – Thrift shops are furnished by donations (such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc). Most thrift stores aren’t looking to earn the maximum profit for an item, but rather to turn over items quickly. On the other hand, consignment stores are furnished by individuals who have ‘loaned’ their item to the store and would like to gain as much money as they can. Consignment stores take a percentage of the seller’s profit, between 15 – 50%. Most of the time, you can negotiate at consignment stores but not at thrift shops.

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These hand drawn flowers were purchased for $15 for the pair at a thrift store. The colors and theme fit perfectly with Daughter’s vintage, floral guest bedroom.

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3. Be Realistic! – If you find a piece of furniture that you love but the piece is missing a drawer or door knob, do you have the time, money, ability to fix it? Minor repairs such as painting or loose leg should not be a deterrent. However, major repairs such as broken legs, missing hardware, water damaged wood, should all be considered. The cheap $50 dresser may take $100 worth of repairs, is it still worth it?

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TV stand bought at an antique mall for $125, we added 4 legs for $15.

4. Accessories, Accessories, Accessories – Thrift/consignment and antique stores are meccas for small, decorative items. They also offer the chance to score unique, vintage items that can add soul to your home. When buying accessories, you can overlook the dust but look for chips, working parts, broken glass, etc.

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These gold finials were found at Daughter’s favorite thrift store for $5/pair as is – no chips, no re-pianting.

5. Deep Discounts – Most thrift and consignment stores will have their own discount policy depending on how long an item has been available. Over 30 days, our local consignment shop will mark the item 25% off, then after 60 days, 50% and after 90 days 65%. Ask the store clerk or manager about their specials!

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All accessories on this table (minus the wedding photo and album) were purchased from thrift stores or yard sales. Jewelry box, dresser, peacock, ring dish and candle holders.

6. Keep an Open Mind – You never know what you will find when thrifting! Keep an open mind to what is available in the stores. When searching for a specific item, we have found something that we were completely not expected!

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For the Blue Hair Poker nights, we found this perfect tin box to keep all of our quarters in! Daughter paid a quarter!

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7. Be Ready to Hunt – And by hunt, we mean dig, sort, browse, etc. Again, its the thrill of the hunt. Behind some very old furniture, may be the best treasure yet. Prime example, this handmade, crochet quilt was tucked away and hard to see in a local consignment store. Once we pulled it out, we found a gorgeous red and black chevron quilt in the most perfect condition! When we were checking out, the clerk told us that a young, college age lady placed the quilt on consignment and that her grandmother made it for her when she was a freshman at the University of Georgia. Hmmm, hello! Please do not sell something that your precious grandmother spent so many hours and love on! However, the quilt is now very much loved by a UGA alumni and her family.

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So adventure out to the land of thrifting! We’ll be out and about at yard sales and auctions on Saturday!

~georgia & daughter

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