I get asked a lot about how I find good pieces thrifting or why I even bother to go. I think there’s this misconception from social media that every time I go thrifting, I find amazing pieces or every used piece I have is thrifted.
Honestly, I go to the thrift store and consignment store… a ton. I probably go once a week to a few different locations. This works out well for me mainly because of the location. My house is super close to a GoodWill and Evolution Consignment, but also there’s another giant thrift store right near my Costco so I always just pop in. If I didn’t have these so close to me, I don’t think I would go as often and going to the stores often is the key to finding great things.
The good pieces at thrift stores don’t sit long because they really are a dime a dozen. When it comes to cosigning, this is much easier to find some gems. The biggest difference between the two is the items you’ll find and the prices.
To start, thrifting usually consists of a lot of junk. You will have to spend time digging through it to find the good piece. The pricing is very straight forward and everything is usually really cheap. The problem with this is that you have to dig so it takes time. If you get overwhelmed when you can’t find what you’re looking for, looking for things during this process may be a bit overwhelming for you. If you’re like me and love to casually peruse the aisles looking for charming treasures you definitely don’t need, this will be a great time.
Consigning is almost always better for finding stuff you’re looking for, but it’s also much more confusing. Consignment stores can also look like they’re filled with junk, but they’re run similarly to antique stores in a way (a whole other ballgame). There are vendors who come into the store and pay for a space to sell their things. The vendors then control their prices and how things roll.
There are normally 2 ways pricing can go. The vendor can either come in and mark a price that’s on a tag and that’s that (left photo) or they can do a date tag (right photo). The first option requires the vendor to come in more to adjust prices based off what is selling and what isn’t. Vendors like to do this so you think they won’t drop the price ever, but they will if it sits on the shelf for a long time. The second option is very hands-off. The vendor sets dates and corresponding prices. If the item is still in the store by that date, the price drops. The table with this tag on it is currently $1,050 and then the price will drop again on October first.
One thing you have to be careful within consignment stores is if the pricing is good or not. The vendors set the prices and sometimes the item isn’t worth that much. For example, the table that the price tag is from is used, in good condition, but nothing fancy. It is definitely not worth $1300 and hence it has sat in the store for MONTHS! Those green glasses, the vendor wanted $20 for a set of 4 or $39 for a set of 9. I thought that was pretty reasonable considering they’re in great shape, but you can find glassware like that pretty often.
p.s this table is what they wanted $1300 for… like what?!
Consignment stores will also have a good mix of old and new. Thrift stores do as well, but it’s rare you find really cool antique pieces in a thrift store. The things in a thrift store usually need a little tender loving care, so you just have to decide what kind of effort your willing to put in.
Both thrifting and consigning can save you tons of money and are great for the environment. Don’t let the stigma of “used” keep you from finding some awesome things. Everything from both places can be washed, disinfected, scrubbed, painted, whatever it needs to feel new to you. Giving pieces from here new life is honestly rewarding and fun. I hope you guys give it a try soon!