Thrifting In and Around Town

When was the last time you set foot into a thrift shop or consignment shop? If you haven’t been recently you might be surprised at how thrift shopping has changed. “Thrifting” is a fun, exciting, and economical shopping pastime that is sweeping the nation!

Take a look at any home decorating magazine or coffee table book and you will find decorators, designers, and homeowners jazzing up their nests with refurbished, second hand finds from tag sales, flea markets, and thrift shops. Gently used home goods are finding fresh new life in fabulous new ways. Furniture, rugs, lamps, glassware, bric-a-brac, linens, and seasonal goods are in abundance at today’s thrift shops and consignment shops, all at deeply discounted prices. Suffice it to say, thrifting is a great way to stretch a dollar.

By Tony Turner
But it’s not just housewares that smart thrifters are searching for. Most shops also carry a nice selection of clothing for the entire family, kid’s goods, toys, books, sports equipment, collectibles, antiques, and more.

Shopping at thrift stores may be the closest thing you’ll ever have to a real life treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find when you walk into a second hand shop – that’s part of the thrill of the hunt! As cliché as it might sound “one man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure!”

10 Easy Tips For Shopping Thrift and Consignment Shops:
1. Don’t be afraid of used. Just because something has been previously owned or used by someone else should not be a deterrent. Remember that you are saving a lot of money!

2. Look for seasonal items, holiday collectibles, and decorations “off-season” (You can often find great deals and better selection of Christmas ornaments in June for example.)

3. Be friendly and courteous to the staff. They will quickly remember you and what you might be looking for, often holding back prime items for you when you come in again to shop.

4. Take cash. Some stores are more willing to haggle or give discounts to shopper’s with cold hard cash.

5. Don’t go with children. You may want to spend hours browsing aisles of shelves or racks of clothing and this is no fun for kids – especially very little ones.

6. Shop with a friend. Split up the store with you taking one half and her the other. You can cover more ground and bounce ideas off each other, plus make a fun afternoon of it!

7. Shop on sale days. Some thrift stores offer special prices on different days or different times of the month. Most discounts are posted at the front of the stores, or even on their web sites. Sign up for e-mail lists so you can be made aware of special sales.

8. Be open-minded and think outside the box. Wise thrifters are always thinking of new ways to repurpose old castoffs. Often times all is needed to make something “new” again is a needle and thread or an inexpensive can of spray paint.

9. Shop often. Good shops’ inventory turns very quickly and you will always find many new items in a week or so.

10. Go with your gut. If something catches your eye and the price is right, put it into your cart. It’s guaranteed that if you don’t and you go back later for it, it will be gone!

Tony Turner has become known in the Richmond area as the “Thrift Shop Czar.” He shops at thrift shops constantly and enjoys teaching others how to best treasure hunt at thrift stores. Tony owns Feathernesters Home and Garden Shop on Lakeside Avenue. Reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with questions or comments.
Community

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Three Lakes Nature Center will offer “Mini Reindeer Moss Gardens” for ages 8-10 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Keeping a terrarium is a great way to grow your very own miniature forest indoors. This mini garden will feature moss, other moss varieties, plus a little surprise. Cost is $10. To register, call 652-1433. Full text

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