Thrifting is more strategy than luck

Leo Narrison, Campus Carrier Graphics Editor

Thrift stores are intriguing meeting grounds of forgotten items and newfound treasures. Unfortunately, many people believe that the only way to find these treasures during a trip to a thrift store is to have an excessive amount of luck on their side. 

I would argue that planning and persistence are far more important than luck when it comes to having a successful thrifting adventure. 

Whether you are searching for clothes, antiques or something more unique, knowing where to look and how to look for treasures at a thrift store will provide you with the greatest opportunity to find something worthwhile.

A well-constructed plan for visit to a thrift store should include a goal, a budget and a patient mindset. Having a goal when entering a thrift store ensures that you can remain focused if you are hoping to find a specific item during your trip. This goal will help you seek out items that you will be more likely to buy. 

Knowing exactly what you are looking for prevents you from having to look at each individual item that is hanging on the racks or shelves. If you go into a thrift without a specific goal, you will likely be overwhelmed with the store’s selection and leave without finding a treasured item.

Being able to set a budget for yourself before you go into a thrift store is the best way to prevent impulse buys that you will likely regret later. Telling yourself that you are only going to spend $15 to $20 forces you to choose the items that you appreciate the most since it is very easy get carried away when shopping at a thrift store.

The most important part of a successful thrift store visit is having a patient mindset. This patient mindset comes from taking the time to properly search around by taking multiple laps through the store. Upon arriving at the thrift store, you should always walk through the entire store to see if there is anything appealing out in the open. 

During this first lap of the store, you should be open minded as you look around but not actively searching for any specific things. After you have glanced over the entire store, you should return to the areas of the store where you believe that you can find your goal item for the trip. This two-lap method of searching through the store will help you devote your efforts more efficiently and will improve your chances of finding something of value to you.

Thrift stores are not going to reward you on most trips. Because of this, you need to be persistent and continue to visit your favorite thrift stores on a regular basis. If you want to find some of the treasures hidden on the racks or shelves, you need to go back to the store each week or even every day since many of these businesses receive daily donations.

 While many people may not understand the appeal of putting actual effort into shopping for secondhand goods, those who do form a plan will appreciate the rewards that come from their strategic thrifting.

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