Bargains can always be found at thrift stores if you look closely enough. There is a lot of undesirable merchandise to sift through first before you get to the good stuff. Recently, thrifty shoppers met in an online discussion to reveal items you should never pass up on when shopping at secondhand stores.
1. Cast Iron Cookware
Above all else, cast iron cookware tops the list of items you should always buy. But, as one person explains, they are usually donated for nonsensical reasons. "Don't pass up cast iron cookware," she suggests. "Usually, if it gets rusted, people will donate it. Plus, 'it's too heavy.' It's the heaviness that makes it work so well."
2. Solid Oak Furniture
Think about it: Would you rather buy (and assemble!) cheap particle board furniture that will last only a few years, or would you instead purchase a piece made of solid oak? Countless shoppers confess that they always take advantage of solid oak furniture - after all, sometimes it just needs a fresh coat of varnish to look brand new.
Candlesticks can be upcycled in many ways, and their relatively cheap price point in thrift stores makes them no-brainer purchases.
I think I see candlesticks every time I go to the thrift store," admits one person. "Glass, metal, wood, ceramic, silver - candlesticks come in many different materials. Think outside the box for these, too. Don't just use them for candles. You can glue plates or pie tins on top to make your own cake or cookie display." Oh great, now I'm hungry.
Who doesn't love a good mirror? As long as the glass is in good condition, it's easy to refinish the frame and turn it into an authentic statement piece for your home.
The key to savvy secondhand store shopping is to identify items that had no chance of being abused by their former owners. Vases fit the bill nicely - there's a 99% chance they were used solely for holding flowers, and they're usually priced at only a few dollars. So it's always well worth picking up a vase or two whenever you come across them!
Although shutters can be used for their intended purpose, be honest: that's no fun! "These can be used as a headboard, jewelry organizer, or just wall decor," one home designer reveals. Shutters are arguably the most accessible thrift store find to transform any space in your house into something exceptional.
7. Toys That Can Be Disinfected
If you're a parent, I'm sure you know how much you spend on toys for your children. Utilizing secondhand stores as a resource for toys is an inexpensive way to give your kids more things to play with - make sure they can be bleached or otherwise quickly disinfected since they used to be some other child's plaything.
Physical media is quickly becoming obsolete, and many people scoop up DVDs and Blu-Ray discs of any film and television series they come across. "I know that this sounds crazy in the age of streaming, but I rarely pass up buying DVDs/Blurays," one man says.
"There are a lot of shows that simply cannot be obtained any other way. Be it for licensing, political, or other reasons. They just cannot be streamed."
9. Leather Coats
For artistic and creative types, finding cheap leather coats at a secondhand store feels like winning the lottery. You can easily repurpose the leather fabric itself for nearly any garment you can think of. That strategy is way less expensive than buying leather directly from a manufacturer. Think of all the fantastic one-of-a-kind goods you can create!
10. Old Books
There is a direct correlation between a person's perceived intelligence and the number of books they own, making old inexpensive books a must-buy for many shoppers. "I'd have to say, an old book is something I'll never pass up," says one obviously brilliant man.
"Old books are pretty crazy sometimes. Very interesting and entertaining, to say the least. Plus, they add that intellectual touch to any home. Oh, and they smell great!"
Coolest Things People Found At The Thrift Store
Join the league of thrift store lovers who have found the coolest things in the most unforgettable of thrift marketplaces. Rare paintings, vintage clothing, and Renaissance-era furniture have been found in thrift racks, and here are a few thrift store finds by real people that will make your jaw drop. 10 Coolest Things People Found in Thrift Stores
10 Horrifying Finds From Thrift Stores
A Pennslyvania resident describes how he found a photo album at an auction house belonging to a U.S. soldier who served in the South Pacific during World War Two. "The first few pages were mostly snaps of various friends and acquaintances," says our contributor. However, as he went deeper, images of mutilated Japanese casualties began to appear... 10 Horrifying Finds From Thrift Stores