How To Thrift Shop Like A Pro | Buyers Beware

by - Wednesday, May 01, 2013

So you have twenty dollars in your pocket and you want to do some thrift store shopping? Yes, thrift shops are fun. Yes, they house a ton of eclectic things. Yes, they are inexpensive for us poor folks. But there are a number of things you should never, ever buy from the thrift shop. Ever.

Here are 7 things you should just buy from a real store instead of the thrift shop.

1. Shoes

No. Just, no. Shoes at a thrift shop are like asking to get athlete's foot. I once bought a pair of "gently used" shoes from an "upscale" thrift shop. An upscale thrift shop just means it's more expensive. It doesn't mean it's any less "used" than items from a regular thrift shop. You don't know whose feet have been in those things. Also, don't trust anything that says "gently used." They don't have that kind of authority to label it that. It could've been "extremely used." You'll never know.

 2. Sheets

Even if they are all packaged and appear to be in good shape, it's just not acceptable. Think about your kids' sheets. Have they wet the bed once or twice? Yep. Thought so. Put down those thrift store sheets and walk away. Besides, sheets aren't really that expensive at a regular store.

3. Toys for babies

You know what I'm talking about. The kinds of toys you know a baby will put in his or her mouth. So everything. There is no telling where these toys have come from and what kind of conditions they have lived through. Just because that teddy bear looks nice and sweet doesn't mean it hasn't had previous baby drool all over its face. Opt for a more sanitary way and use hand-me-downs from your older kids. At least you know the drool on those toys will be running the family.

4. Undergarments

I hope, for the love of God, that you can go to a more respectable place than a thrift store for your undergarments. Need I say more on this subject? Just don't do it. Put down the boxers and drive yourself to a more established joint.

5. Broken things

The sales associates will tell you that the TV you are looking at might work, but for some reason they can't show you. Don't buy it. Why waste your money on something that might or might not work? Same goes for toasters, cameras, blenders, and everything else that needs to be working in order to fulfill its duty to the world. Make sure it's working before you spend your hard earned cash on it. And if that specific thrift store can't prove that its appliances are working then just get in your car and drive to the next thrifty place you can find.

6. VHS tapes

Unless you still have a VCR. In which case, maybe you should go check out those DVD players on the top shelf. But again, be mindful of #5.

7. The games with all the missing pieces

I'm sure it's worth the $15 to actually buy the real Scrabble game rather than the one at the thrift shop that is missing its P, S, and B block letters. That will make for a much less fun family game night when you open up the thrift shop Scrabble box.

About the author: Carly is a blogger for Smith Monitoring, one of the highest rated Houston home security systems. She has a love for thrifty shopping, but she also has standards.

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