I love going for thrift stores in search of new mid century treasures, really do!
To me, this is like a scavenger hunt… but it also has ‘dark sides’.
Today I was reading a post called Waste not, Want not. The author was complaining about her ‘addiction’ to the local thrift market and her being unable to say NO to cheap buys, totally useless for her.
In the article, The Vintage Cabin explains how the result of this ‘addiction’ of hers is a storage room chock full of useless (or unsuitable for her house) mid century furniture that she now wants to sell or get rid of in some way.
The post brings up a couple of interesting points about her ‘impulse’ thrift purchases:
1. All the money she spent over a year on not-so-essential items could have been invested on something much more useful or necessary.
2. All this buying forced The Vintage Cabin to redecorate her house all the time to find a place for all the things she bought ( really feel for her!)
Let’s talk for a moment about point No.1. After reading all the comments to her article, I realized other many people there are out there with this same ‘problem’.
Then I thought to myself:-”You love thrifting as much as they do. Why don’t you share your suggested solutions to this impulse-buying habit ?”
How did I stop wasting money and started saving for what I really need (a teak sideboard)?
First of all, every time I visit a thrift store, I give myself a budget: 50 euro. Up to you how much you want to spend each time, I normally go for 50 euro and it works; I learnt that the more permissive you are with yourself, the more difficult it is to stick to the magical four rules below.
The magical four rules to save money while you are thrifting.
1. I go at the end.
This is especially true for flea markets. Going – say – one hour or so before the closing time, you will have more chances to buy what you want at the price you want it…I call it the ‘Desperate Seller Hour‘.
On the last hour, most sellers need to complete as many sales as possible and therefore they are much more open to negotiations and discounts than they are at the beginning of the day; it’s natural…otherwise they wouldn’t have a profitable day!
2. I avoid taking the car.
Yes, I know that this can come as a shock for many of you. If you go by public transport or on your bike, or even if you share the car with someone else that wants to thrift with you, you will not have enough space to carry useless stuff and you will be forced to make a selection !
Ok…you are probably wondering…and what if I find that perfect object I have been looking for a long time, then I couldn’t buy it! Of course you can, you can always leave a deposit and come back later with your car
3. I have a ‘thinking walk’ before buying.
If I see something I like, I go for a walk before I ask for the price…Going around and having time to think about it is like counting until 10 before saying something
While I am having my ‘thinking walk’, I always ask myself:
- Do I really need it?
- Where would I put it in the house?
Having a walk around also helps to understand the average price for that kind of object and be sure that the one you saw is not over-priced; it happens very often!
4. I never say OK I BUY IT.
If you are absolutely sure that you really want that object, that you have the right corner for it and that it doesn’t cost too much compared to others in the market: go for it but don’t buy it.
What about you? Which is your ‘saving money’ technique while you are in a thrift store or flea market? I’m curious, let me know!
Check also the Ultimate Guide to Thrift Store Shopping for more tips for an effective thrifting.
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