You know that saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? This is one of the major reasons why people shop at thrift stores. Along with the fact that it is a great way to recycle used products, some truly great deals can be found if you’re willing to dig through the chaos.

So just how do you get lucky in the thrift department?

  1. 1)    Frequency: Thrift stores are constantly adding to their stock so going often is one way to find great deals. Try going at least once a week.
  2. 2)    Restock Day: Ask when your local store does their big restock day. This is the day that a ton of “new” merchandise will be available on the sales floor. Hint: it is usually during the week.
  3. 3)    Weekdays: Skip the weekends. Saturdays are the worst. The store will be busy and the merchandise will be picked over. See above tip and go on the big restock day.
  4. 4)    Gift Cards: Buy discounted Goodwill gift cards on for an additional 5% savings off your entire ticket, even the on-sale items.
  5. 5)    Vintage Clothing: If you’re shopping for vintage clothing, remember that the clothing will be sized differently than today’s clothing. It pays to look in the larger sizes for those vintage pieces.
  6. 6)    Off-Season: Look for winter coats in the summer and you just might score a Banana Republic pea coat for $10! Stores typically put the off-season clothing on a deep discount as well, sometimes up to 75% off the marked price.
  7. 7)    Donation Coupons: A lot of the thrift stores will give you a coupon for extra savings, usually 10-20% if you make a donation so don’t be afraid to ask!
  8. 8)    In the Know: Be aware of what makes an item high quality or what brands of clothing are the ones that cost a fortune. If you find a like-new Patagonia down jacket for $18, you know you’ve hit the jackpot.
  9. 9)    Antiques: Vintage furniture and home décor can sometimes be found in the thrift stores. A little TLC can go a long way for the mid-mod dresser. You can keep the piece for yourself or resale it for a profit!
  10. 10)  Get Social: These days, most thrift stores will have an online presence, phone app or a simple email list. Sign up for these and get extra deals in your inbox.

Thrift store shopping doesn’t mean you’re cheap, it means your smart. From furniture to household items to clothing, you can win big in the thrift department.