TIP #13: SECOND HAND SALLY

When I was growing up, my father would give me nicknames that centered around what I was doing at the time. When I was clipping coupons every Sunday he called me Hector, Hector the Coupon Collector. When I would make my rounds of thrift stores, garage sales, and junking he called me Second Hand Sally. Second Hand Sally was what he would normally call me in the summer because I loved shopping in second had stores, and would always get more than my monies worth.

Thrift Shopping

One time I came home from my walk to the thrift store to show my mom and dad the cool suit jacket I found. They were looking at and wondering out loud,”What on earth is she going to do with a man’s suit jacket?” I put the jacket on my sewing table and began cleaning out the pockets when I found $20 in one of the inside pockets. What’s not to love…saving money and finding money at the same time?

Seriously second hand stores are not just for thrift anymore, although when you have small children it’s the best way to shop because kids grow out of their clothing faster than they wear it out. It’s also great for people who are losing weight, and don’t have the money to spend on a whole new wardrobe.

Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping second hand whether it’s thrift stores, garage sales, clothing swaps, and flea markets,

  • Learn the designer and artist names: Designer clothesare made better than what you’d find at the big box store. 
  • Look for any stains that might be present: The best purchase I ever made was book Stain Rescue I have used it to get out stains that I thought were set to the end of time. Any stain you have this book has a remedy for it.
  • Look for rips, tears, and snags. Snags are easy to fix on sweaters with the Snag Nab It tool. With clothing, if the seams or hems are ripped it’s easy to fix with needle and thread. Some clothes may be ripped beyond repair but if you have a creative eye you can picture it made into something else.
  • Furniture is baby all by itself. If you’re buying a second-hand piece of furniture that needs to be revamped, do some research first. I’ve made many mistakes buying pieces and just reselling them at my own garage sale because I had no clue what to do with them. Reupholstering dinning room chairs are easy, but a whole sofa might need an expert.
  • Learn what days the thrift stores offer discounts. My local thrift store uses the different color tags system and will highlight each color on a different day at 50% off. Some stores offer $1.99 on certain days.
  • Make a list of items along with sizes, dimensions and color you are looking for. Keep the list with you. You never know when you might be driving by a garage sale.

While I may not be called Second Hand Sally anymore, I am still passionate about getting whatever I can second hand. For me it’s a stress reliever. When I have an extra $10 waiting to burn a hole in my pocket I head over to the nearest thrift store and I lose myself in the possibilities of what could be waiting for me. Second hand shopping is like organic eating. It’s good for the environment and it’s good for me.

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