Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast, an antique collector or have a good eye for preloved items, thrifting is often the best way to get a great deal. Though searching for the perfect find at thrift shops may take a little longer, your reward is a low price that will make it all worth it.
Though it may be an attractive proposition to thrift everything in your home and wardrobe, there are some things you may be better off purchasing new. Here’s what you should buy at thrift stores and what you should reconsider before you hit the register.
Furniture and Decorations
While you definitely don’t want to sacrifice quality when it comes to important furniture such as as beds and mattresses, seasonal furniture and decoration can be scored at a fraction of the price at thrift stores!
- Seasonal Decorations
Why spend a lot of money on decorations that will only be put to good use for a short period of time?
You’ll be able to find ample Halloween and Christmas decorations at most thrift stores for cheap. Why splurge when decorations will only be in-trend for about a month?
Dressers, nightstands and even coffee tables of pristine quality can be found at any thrift store -though it may take you a while to find something that fits your style. Though some items may come with scratches or marks, there’s nothing a little DIY can’t fix! And considering the low price tag, you may even let yourself take some creative risks!
- Mirrors and Picture Frames
Standard mirrors and picture frames can easily be found for cheap at your nearest Walmart or Target, but if you’re looking for something that has a little bit more character, thrift stores are your go-to for more unique (but affordable) pieces!
Books are costly these days. If you’re a fan of owning hard copies, however, you don’t need to pay retail. Instead, opt for your local thrift shop, where you might find vintage and exclusive editions of books for cheap.
Find out: 20 Ways to Pay Less at Costco
- Vintage Clothing and Apparel
Shopping for vintage clothing is a popular past-time and thrift stores are the perfect place to find fashions that wow. Though not every rack will hold a treasure, you’re bound to find designer pieces for cheap on the regular.
Thrift stores are your best friend when it comes to collectible items. From antique kettles and clocks to record players and silk rugs, you never know what you’ll find when you enter a secondhand shop.
Check out: Best and Worst Things to Buy Generic
What Not To Buy at Thrift Stores
Though thrifting is great, one man’s trash is not always another man’s treasure. Here’s a list of things you should buy secondhand.
Children’s Safety Equipments
When shopping for your children, their safety and hygiene should be your utmost priority.
- Car Seats
Do you know that most car seats have expiration dates? The lifetime of car seats is approximately six years. Manufacturers will often stamp these dates to make sure that parents are providing their children with the latest approved safety equipment. In addition, used car seats may be missing some parts that are crucial in case of any emergencies. Is saving a few dollars worth sacrificing safety?
- Baby Cribs
Baby cribs are often updated to adhere to the latest safety guidelines. A $60 baby crib that you thrift might be cheap, but it might also be defective or overused. Loose and weakened parts could compromise the safety of your child and small parts may be a choking hazard.
A helmet is designed to sustain one crash or impact. After that, the structure of the helmet changes and it will not protect your head as it’s supposed to. And you may not always be able to tell if a helmet has lost its integrity. Plus safety standards for helmets are updated approximately every five years, so unless you’re buying a vintage piece to display, you should go ahead and get the best helmet money can buy.
Contrarily: 11 Things You Should Never Buy New
You definitely don’t want to cheap out when it comes to important everyday devices.
- TVs, Laptops and Phones
With newer (and more expensive) models coming out almost every year, it’s definitely cheaper to scour the secondhand market for electronics you’ll use every day.
But as convenient as buying electronics secondhand sounds, used TVs, laptops and phones could end up being nightmares. These products may have been surrendered to the thrift shop because they’re defective, have faulty hardware or, in the case of computers, are loaded with viruses or malware. You may get the item for cheap, but it won’t come with a warranty. So you may have to pay for a new product much sooner — sometimes immediately — than you’d expected.
- Kitchen Appliances
Kitchen appliances such as blenders and food processors rely heavily on their sharp blades to make cooking and baking more convenient. Used blenders and food processors, however, may have worn-out blades that will make cooking more difficult. Skip the hassle and buy new.
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