Tips and Guides

5 Thrift Shopping Tips

Score quality pieces with the help of these handy hints


If you need new pieces for the home, you may want to consider dropping by thrift stores first. You'll be surprised as to what you'll find as long as you know how to shop and negotiate with sellers. Let these tips guide you on your next thrift adventure.

Photos used in this feature by Vincent Coscolluela.

Keep these tips in mind:

Think of what you need.

Thrift shops offer a lot of cheap finds, which might cause you to hoard stuff that you don’t need.  It’s best to focus on what piece you want and need, so you won’t feel overwhelmed.  

Test the furniture first.

Before buying, make sure that you lean on the tables, open the drawers, and sit on the chairs. This is a great way for you to confirm if the piece is still in good shape.

Examine the piece carefully.

Check for dent marks, missing knobs, and other minor problems that you can easily repair before you leave the shop.

Don’t be afraid to fix it up.

After purchasing your cheap find, you can now turn it into something new and fresh! If a table has  a few scratches, consider using a mouse sander to smoothen its edges. If a chair’s cushion looks worn out, try reupholstering it.


To get the best value for your chosen piece, you need to bargain. This is the essential part of buying second-hand furniture. Try discussing the final price with the sellers since most of the time, prices of items at thrift stores aren't final.

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