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7 Thrift Shopping Secrets To Master From A ReStore Shopper

7 Thrift Shopping Secrets To Master From A ReStore Shopper

7 Thrift Shopping Secrets To Master From A ReStore Shopper

Save money & make money shopping second-hand furniture with these 7 thrift shopping secrets. Want to know our best-kept-secret for buying used furniture? 4 words… Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Mind blown? Discover these thrift shopping tips, tricks, hacks & secrets to find the best thrifted furniture. 

Our favorite thrifted furniture from ReStores is our vintage desk that we transformed into a media center; a vintage mirror that we gave a bold makeover & our newest favorite is a piece of art that we’re planning to update.  

thrift shopping secrets for habitat for humanity restores

#1. DON’T JUDGE ALL RESTORES BY JUST 1 STORE

This is the most important thrift shopping secrets to master if you’re shopping at ReStores. We’ve been to 7 of the ReStores in our area & each one is uniquely different from the other. ReStores are like snow flakes, no two are the same. 

How do the stores differ from one another? 

Some stores offer sales based on the color of the price tag, while other stores do not offer sales. 

thrift shopping secrets at the restore

Same but different – while all of the inventory of ReStores are directly related to the donations each store receives, no two ReStores will have the same exact donations. 

habitat for humanity restore thrifty shopping secrets

Each store has their own “system” for pricing items. In the same day, we found 2 antique ice boxes at 2 different ReStores priced differently. While one store priced theirs for $50.00, the ice box at the other store was $60.00. 

thrifty shopping tips for Habitat ReStore

#2. MAKE A TRIGGER DECISION

If you see something you absolutely love, don’t hesitate to purchase it on the spot. This can be the most difficult of the thrift shopping secrets to master if you’re naturally indecisive {like me!}… so drag along a thrift shopping buddy! 

Ask an associate to temporarily “store” the piece near the counter, so you can purchase it after perusing the entire store. 

the hardest of the thrift shopping secrets to master

Habitat for Humanity ReStores have a high turnover of inventory, so what’s there today, may be gone tomorrow. For the majority of the ReStores in the NoVa area, their turnover is so high that the entire store may look different in just a few weeks time. So don’t dilly-dally, make a trigger decision & claim your second-hand furniture!

formal dining set at habitat restore

#3. ASK QUESTIONS

This seems like a no-brainer, but if you see something you love without a price tag, ask an associate! OR… if you’re an introvert like me, make your husband ask. 🙂 Haha! When my eye caught this uniquely-shaped mirror without a tag, I persuaded my hubby to ask for the price. 

habitat restore vintage mirror

I would add a caveat here: The ReStores are a fantastic organization that provide the capital {money} to further their affordable housing mission for those in need, so please think twice before price-haggling & don’t be an asshole. 

cabinets and small nightstands at restores

#4. INVESTIGATE THE INTERIOR

You never know what’s in the inside of furniture pieces, until you investigate. Open up the doors, lids, drawers & cabinets to fully inspect before purchasing. For some vintage furniture pieces, it’s hard to judge what the interior looks like by the looks of the exterior.   

inspect vintage furniture

 

#5. LOOK FOR “FURNITURE TATTOOS”

You can call them Maker’s Marks, but I much prefer the term “Furniture Tattoos.” The furniture tattoos are likely to be either inside of a drawer, on the back or the bottom of furniture, or on the inside lid of a hope chest. 

search for a makers mark or a furniture tattoo

If I’m interested in a piece of furniture, I buy it regardless if it has a furniture tattoo or not.

What are furniture tattoos good for?

This is the easiest & most interesting of the thrift shopping secrets! You can determine when it was manufactured, where it originated from, how old it is & even the materials used in the production of the piece!  

#6. HAVE A MENTAL LIST OF THE UNIQUE FEATURES YOU WANT YOUR FURNITURE TO HAVE

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are usually bursting at the seams with inventory. Instead of getting overwhelmed with the huge selection, know exactly what unique features you’d love your furniture to possess.

awesome vintage marble and claw foot furniture

Here are a few features to spark your mental list: claw feet; marble; unique hardware; Mid-Century Modern; Bombé; Waterfall; Burl Wood; Industrial, etc. 

Mini History & Rant about Bombé

  • In this context, Bombé refers to a style of furniture that originated in 17th Century France.
  • In America, this style of furniture also goes by the spelling “Bombay.” {Although the spelling differs, the pronunciation remains the same.}
  • I prefer to use the French spelling, Bombé … as “Bombay” refers to a mass-produced furniture company with shitty quality. Why would anyone pay thousands for a piece of furniture that’s made of particle board? 

MCM waterfall and lion head hardware

#7. BE IN THE KNOW

Do a quick Google or Facebook search or ask a ReStore associate if their ReStore has a Facebook page that they update regularly. Most in our area do not, but a few do! Aside from volunteering at the store, following your local ReStore on Facebook is the best way to know about the new cool stuff hitting the sales floor. 

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habitat for humanity restores

DONATE, SHOP & SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RESTORES!

LOVE, PEACE & HAPPINESS, 

HIPPIE & SPARKY

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