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.
Thrift stores may or may not have clothing arranged by size. Even if they do, it is likely that some things will be out of place. So, if you see a piece of clothing that you like, look for a size tag.
Ten places you can you buy second hand merchandise:+Thrift stores+Consignment stores+Flea markets+Garage sales+Estate sales+Auctions+Antique stores+Military surplus stores+Through newspaper classified ads+Through “shopper” or “advertiser” paper ads
Resale stores are more than just places to shop. They give you a look back at history. They show you firsthand what was trendy last year, a decade ago, and a century ago. Venture into antique stores to go back and see what life was like before your time.
Recycle your t-shirt collection into a quilt! That way, you can have them out where you can see and enjoy them. (Think all those Ts you have from your kid’s school, or those you’ve picked up on vacations, or those you got as gifts because everyone knows you collect anything with cats.) What? You don’t have extra t-shirts? Pick them up at thrift stores!
Keep Clothing Out of Landfills: On average, each year, each American throws away approximately 68 pounds of clothing. This is according to the EPA Office of Solid Waste. You can keep much of that clothing out of the landfill by simply by donating it to secondhand stores.
Give used furniture a clean look with new upholstery or a slipcover. Chair seat covers are often just stapled on, so replacing them is super quick and easy with a fabric remnant. A neatly tucked in blanket or quilt works as a quick-fix slipcover. For quality pieces of furniture, consider a professional upholstery job that can look good for years.
Get status goods, without the status price. No one needs to know that you bought your designer duds at a secondhand shop instead of from a high-end retailer. Unless, of course, you are proud of your thriftiness, and choose to tell them.
Get Those Amazing Gadgets! That great looking "as seen on TV item" that might be fun to have? Someone probably already tried it and didn't like it. Find one at a second hand store that’s one been used once or twice. Total cost will probably be less than what they original purchaser paid for shipping and handling.
Four Environmental Reasons to Buy Secondhand Clothes:
~Recycling uses less energy than producing new garments~Cuts back on the amount of chemicals needed for manufacturing new clothing ~Reduces the need for pesticide use on cotton crops~Keeps clothing out of landfills
Donating Your Cast Offs Helps the Community: Cleaning and decluttering? Have some useable items you just don't use? Donating them can help your community. What first comes to mind is giving them to Salvation Army, Good Will, Bishops Attic, or some other charitable thrift shop -- and that may help. They may use the proceeds to provide jobs, training, or other services to needy in the community. However, giving usable merchandise to privately owned second hand stores near you also helps your community. Giving to the private shops can help keep another "mom and pop" business in business. These private resale shops pay taxes, contribute when called upon for fund raisers, they shop locally, and oftentimes have lower prices than the charity shops.
Look for furniture with quality construction. You can refinish it into spectacular looking pieces that will last for years. If you aren't up to stripping, sanding, and varnishing furniture, just giving it a good scrubbing and a quick coat of paint does wonders for many pieces.
Kids consignment stores have stuff for adults, too. A kid's table is the right height for a coffee table. A colorful rug for a kid's room can look stunning in an office or kitchen. A pint-sized chair makes a super plant stand.
If you need picture frames, check the artwork at second hand shops. You may find some great frames with not-so-great art. Ditch the art. Reuse the frame.
If you are interested in something grab it. If you don't someone else will, and you'll be disappointed.
If the store offers senior discounts, go shopping with a senior and you can probably get the discount, also.
Have a list. But, don't stick to it. Be open for the unexpected.
Tip for shopping at garage sales, flea markets, and small second hand stores: Take cash. Not everyone is set up to take credit or debit cards. And, please, unless you are planning to buy items that cost hundreds of dollars each, don't take $100 bills.
Tip for cleaning bottles, glasses, and vases: Denture cleaning tablets. Fill the bottle with water and drop in a tablet or two. Let sit, so it has plenty of time to work.
Tip for buying used power tools: You may find some excellent deals on used specialty tools. Most do-it-your-selfers know what an electric drill is for and have a good idea of how to use it. Same goes for circular saws. But, when you get to the specialty tools, fewer people need them and know what to do with them. So, they can be harder to sell. That means if you can find one at a thrift store, you'll likely get a great price on it.
Carry a small, lightweight tape measure with you, along with a list of relevant measurements. That combination can help you gauge if clothing will fit, without trying it on. It also helps with finding the right size cover to fit your casserole dish; to determine if the desk will fit in the corner you need it to fit into, and if the curtains are long enough to cover your windows.
Make a list of what you need, and carry it with you. When you unexpectedly stop at a thrift store, you can check the list to see what they have that is on your list.
Shop thrift stores because it's fun! You never know what you'll find. You never know who you'll meet. You never know how much money you will save.
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.
Planning an "Over the Hill" birthday party? Check your local second hand shop for appropriate decorations and gag gifts.
Pick up second hand serving bowls and platters to take to parties and potlucks. Look for pretty, one-of-a-kind, or those that will appeal to collectors. Use them to tote your food to the gatherings, then leave them behind for the hostess. Be sure to let the hostess know the dish is a gift for her. You won’t need to mess with taking a dirty container home, and your hostess won’t need to worry about getting it back to you.
Outdoor shopping tip: Dress in layers. Mornings may start out chilly. But, a couple hours into your spree, the sun may be out making you wish you could shed a layer or two.
Okay, here’s a way to reuse good quality t-shirts you find at thrift stores, something so obvious it is often overlooked: wear them. Maybe the size, the color, or the message was wrong for the first owner. It may be right for you. Or, you can wear it as a layer under another shirt or sweater, and no one will know what advertising is on the shirt.
No sew curtains! Thread a curtain rod through the arms of second had t-shirts to make window coverings that require absolutely no sewing. Check thrift stores to find the sizes and colors you need. When sizing, the length of the shirt is probably more important than the width. Coordinate them with the room theme or special interest of whomever is using the room.
No need to spend big bucks to buy jeans that are artificially faded, worn, and torn. Grab a pair at the second hand store, where the fade marks and wear spots are natural. Big savings!
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.
Made in America! Thrift stores and antique shops likely have more "Made in the USA" items than your typical big-box discount store.
Go thrifting with an open mind. You just never know what goodie you will find.
Flea market and garage sale shopping tip: Take water to drink in your car or while walking from one sale to the next.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kids can learn so much from shopping second hand venues: eye for quality, delayed gratification, the thrill of discovery, dollar values, negotiations, money counting, people skills….
Learn about old technology. Your kids have never seen a cassette tape? They don't know about transistor radios? They've never used a calculator with a roll of paper? You can still find these things at shops selling used merchandise.
Keeps things out of the landfill. It's a shame to see all the good, usable stuff that goes to the landfill. When you shop second hand, you create a demand for used merchandise. That means more of what thrift shops receive will go out onto the sales floor instead of directly to the landfill.
It’s not about brand. It’s not about how much it costs. It’s about style. Find your style shopping resale shops – and pocket the savings.
It may be true that money can’t buy happiness, but spending a little at a thrift shop can certainly help lift a person’s spirits.
If you’re a loser, it’s time to go thrifting! I better reward that. If you are losing weight, and your clothes no longer fit, it’s time to hit the thrift shops for a new wardrobe of good looking clothes that fit and flatter your new body size.
Take a small flashlight with you when you go thrifting. Use it to look inside things, such as vases and Thermos bottles. It's also handy if you are hitting the flea market before it's fully light, or if you are searching dark corners of outbuildings at estate sales.
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.