AK Secondhand Store Blog and Announcements keeps you up to date on what's happening in the store and on the website. Watch for special sales, thrifting tips, announcements, and website updates.
Life is too short to wear boring clothes. Scour the thrift shops, and you’ll find a whole array of not-the-least-bit-boring.
Life is too short to not buy that great looking thrift shop item you spy today.
For second hand store shoppers, recycling isn't a trend, it's a way of life.
Bargains! Shopping second hand stores can save you a bundle. Resale prices are a fraction of what you'd pay otherwise.
“Is it strange that I enjoy going to thrift stores more than going to the mall?” she asked.
Of course not! What would be strange is if you liked going to the mall and paying full price or lesser quality.
Sets and matching pieces can get separated. Look for them in different parts of the store. The missing cover for the kettle or casserole dish may have gotten put into the box of lids under the table. A pair of candlesticks may have gotten separated, one placed with general brick-a-brack and the other put with the holiday items. A suit jacket might be on the rack with light weight coats, while the skirt is hanging with other skirts.
Secondhand stores don't all restock according to the same schedule. I've read tips that say to shop in the a.m. as that is when new merchandise is put out or to shop on Monday because that is the restocking day. It could be that some secondhand stores do it that way. But, those that I am familiar with restock throughout the day and throughout the week.
Sales are sometimes according to location within the store. For example, everything in a particular room. Or, everything on a particular book shelf or table.
Reuse something for its original purpose. Buy a used t-shirt -- wear it. Buy a used fishing rod and reel -- go fishing. Buy a large soup kettle -- cook soup. Buy a book -- read it.
Reuse something for a completely different purpose -- without doing anything extra to it. Buy a watering can -- use it as a planter. Buy a solid oak kitchen chair -- use it as a bedside table. Buy a gravy boat -- use it as a flower vase. Buy a plastic shower curtain -- use it as a waterproof cover for your lawn mower.
Research items on your shopping list before heading to the resale shops. Get an idea of the price range. Study items in that range to see what makes some more expensive than others.
Resale shopping (second hand) is a great way to acquire luxury and high end items. Search out designer brands and top quality pieces. They may be priced the same as other items in their product category. Example: purses may be $5.00 each, whether discount store brand or a Gucci bag.
Reduced prices are sometimes according to the type of item. For example, all shoes, or all lamps, or all baby clothes.
Put old t-shirts to use. Cut into large pieces and use for shop rags. The cotton ones are wonderful for this. Look for them sold in bags at your local thrift shop.
Planning an "Over the Hill" birthday party? Check your local second hand shop for appropriate decorations and gag gifts.
Pillows made from old Pendleton blankets are selling for $50 each -- or more. Pick up a wool blanket a second hand shop and make them yourself.
Paint can be your friend. White board paint, chalkboard paint, magnetic paint, just simply colorful paint...can turn mediocre used items into decorative and useful items.
Mix old and new. Whether decorating, buying furniture, or adding to a collection, you can mix it up. You can mix brand new pieces, second hand shop pieces, and vintage pieces.
Meet like-minded people. Shop the record albums sections of thrift stores, and you are bound to meet others who appreciate vinyl. Hit resale boutiques looking for designer labels, and you may meet another fashion diva who shares your love of vintage dresses.
Make a bathmat with second hand shop t-shirts. Tear or cut the t-shirts into short strips, loop them through wide-spaced plastic canvas, and tie. You'll have a nubby, reversible, mat to use outside the bath or shower. The bargain bags of t-shirts are great for this, as you can easily cut the strips around worn or stained areas.
Change the Hardware – Change the Look: Swapping out the old door handles and drawer pulls can give used furniture a whole new look. Your local second hand store may have the hardware, as well as the dresser or cabinet.
Buying used power tools is one way to outfit your shop without breaking your budget.
Buying used clothing: If a piece of used clothing has a stain on it, can you cover it? You can try to remove the stain, and that may or may not work. If it doesn't, is it in a place where you can add a brooch, a pocket, a decorative patch, some embroidery, or some other cover-up?
Buy--and use--what you love! Let your home express what's unique about you and your family.
Books, books, books! With all the great bargain priced books you can find at thrift stores, why would anyone buy them new?
An easy way to live “green” is to shop secondhand stores for most of your belongings.
Get jars of buttons at secondhand shops for the cost of a single carded set at the fabric store.
A spritz of spray paint and some new light bulbs can transform a ho-hum chandelier or light fixture into a great focal point.
Ah, the joy of a broken in pair of jeans or shoes, or denim jacket. Buy them used, and someone else will have gone through the days of wearing them while new and stiff.
Add to your collection. There's something about finding an addition to your collection at a second hand shop that is just better than going out and buying it from a new shop.
According to thredUP, 1.25 billion pounds of unwanted gifts end up in the trash each year. What a shame those items aren’t regifted, sold through consignment stores, or left at second hand stores to be resold.
It’s a new year and a time for new beginnings. Give your unworn clothes a new life. Donate them, so someone else can love them.
People just got a bunch of new things for Christmas! That means they are taking their old stuff to thrift shops. It’s a great time to look for small appliances.
Plans are to celebrate my birthday (it's today!) with an out-of-town shopping trip tomorrow. We'll probably have a quick breakfast out, then hit the thrift shops, break for lunch, and then, look for more secondhand bargains.
People are in the mood to clean and purge this time of year. That means lots of stuff going to second hand shops. It’s a great time to shop!
Christmas shopping tip: Vintage! Shop second hand shops and antique stores for vintage jewelry and other cool gifts.
The grungiest looking thrift stores can have the best deals. You may need to dig. And, you’ll likely need to spend time cleaning what you find. But, the finds can be fantastic!
Get organized! Clean out your closets—and donate what you don’t like and won’t use to your local second hand store.
Returns and refunds are unusual for thrift stores. Examine what you buy, before
Tip for cleaning things with built up or baked on grease or heavy grime: Super solution. Our recipe for homemade cleaning solution that works wonders is mix half rubbing alcohol and half ammonia in a spray bottle. It is strong and may strip off paint and printing, and otherwise damage surfaces. Don't breath it. Use it in a well ventilated area.
Tip for buying used power tools: Check the plastic housing. Is it cracked? Are there screws missing? Look at the air vent. Is it full of grime and crud? Do you see any signs of burn, such as smoke trails?
Thrift shops are great places to get items you only need for special occasions or that you'll seldom use. If you are only going to use it once or twice, you don't need one good enough to last through a hundred uses.
Happy Thanksgiving to our AK Secondhand store customers, neighbors, friends, and fellow thrifters. We hope that you have much to be thankful for this year. ~Coleen and Bob
Support the community. Non-profit, charity run thrift shops, obviously, help the charity they sponsor. But, privately owned second hand stores also help the community, donating goods and services to local groups and community efforts.
Stores that sell used merchandise go by a number of different names, of types of stores: second hand store, thrift store, resale store, consignment store, pawn shop, garage sale, tag sale, rummage sale, antique store, flea market, swap market, army-navy surplus store, liquidators, (many of these with shop instead of store), trading post, antique mall, auctions, junque shops.
Stencils aren't just for kids! You can dress up storage trunks, chests of drawers, chairs, cubbies, file cabinets, desks, picture frames, and numerous other used household items with stencils. Using the same stencils on mismatched pieces is a good way to tie them together.
Source things at resale shops that you can't find elsewhere -- out of print books, discontinued china patterns, the carafe for your coffee maker that they no longer make, 8-track tapes, one of a kind sculptures….
Some stores sell by colored tags having certain colored tags on sale at certain times. Some rotate through a schedule you can plan on, for instance it may be full price this week, 25 percent off next week, and 50 percent off the week after that. Others do it randomly, depending on when they are overstocked and need to clear out merchandise.