This goes out to all of our thrift queens out there — and to our wannabes who are intimidated at the prospect of earning a crown. Navigating thrift stores, estate sales and Facebook Marketplace is a whole other beast compared to a traditional shopping experience. But if you’re up for an adventure and the thrill of the hunt, sharpening your thrifting tools may help you score some gold that won’t break the bank.
Buckle up friends, because you’re entering a world where instantaneous decision-making is the difference between coming home with a keeper or passing up a valuable opportunity.
General Tips for Newbies
(Seasoned thrifters carry on below)
Some people love thrifting. Some people hate it. Some, like you, are curious about the concept. There are definitely times when you come across a piece that’s been used, abused and in dire need of some TLC. However, sometimes the saying “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” feels more real than the five year disappearance of flight 828. Here are some tips to get you started, from local thrift queen Lorelei C.:
- Identify styles you like and don’t like — not everyone’s tastes are the same. Check out some hashtags, designers or brands on Insta or Pinterest to get your wheels turning.
- Think about what you really want to elevate your space. Is it a new chair? A new table for your entryway? A piece of art? Some fun dishes for your girls night happy hour?
- Measure areas where you want to put a piece and save it in a note on your phone
- Carry a tape measure with you when you go out to sales or stores
- Know that this ain’t a traditional store. No, there is not another color. What you see is typically what you get. And if you don’t hop on what tickles your fancy, someone else could.
Navigating Estate Sales
Think of Estate Sales as 2-3 day in-house pop-ups. Homeowners hire a team to sell their belongings. If you’ve been to an estate sale, you know everything is everywhere, and for the most part, clean and organized. Darlene S., a local estate sale queen, says to keep these tips in mind:
- If you like it, you should buy it
- If you want to start a collection, do research of what you like
- Learn the markings of brands & where to look for them to identify quality pieces
- If you can picture where it’s going to be in your home, get it
- Better to get one expensive piece over 15 inexpensive pieces
- Have fun
- Stay up with trends and know what will be easy to sell. That China may be fine, but she won’t move if she’s not microwave or dishwasher safe. Sterling silver is out, but anything mid-century modern is in.
- Furniture with clean lines always go fast. Chests are especially popular.
- Tools are always hot.
P.S. Want the steal of deals? While it is a risk to wait, typically estate sales have a discount structure as time passes. If you head in on the last day, you’ll see limited finds with even better prices.
Facebook Marketplace Insider’s Guide
- You can search by item or by category
- If you’re interested in picking up a piece, you can set the radius for how far you’re willing to drive. Sanford? Yes. Charlotte? No.
- Turn your marketplace notifications on
- Making an offer on the piece of your dreams? Sellers tend to prefer a quick and easy sales experience. Cash, venmo, and same day pick up offers have worked well for us.
- If an item has been listed on Marketplace for a while, try to negotiate. It could be a win-win for you both.
- When planning for pick up, be safe. Porch pickups or meeting in a public place could always be arranged between you and the seller.
Local Thrift Stores to Have on Your Radar:
- Sandhills Habitat Restore – Aberdeen, NC
- The Bee’s Knees Antiques & Thrifts – West End, NC
- Practical Posh – Carthage, NC
- The Coalition Resale Shops – Southern Pines, NC
- Design Market – Aberdeen, NC
- The Community Thrift Store – Aberdeen, NC
Our full 19-shop list here: https://itsthesway.com/thrifting-in-southern-pines/
There you have it, thrift queens. May the thrift powers that be, be ever in your favor. Share with a friend who could use a thrill.