Thrift Shops – White Elephant Gift Superstores

Posted by PartyWeDo on Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finding secondhand white elephant gifts

Many people share slightly used gifts during their white elephant gift exchange events. We think that idea is fine, as long as the host is OK with that thinking.

We suggest that you check with the host prior to the event to discover if used items or regifting is approved for the party.

If all is well, then get out to the thrift store and find that perfect white elephant gift among the shelves of Goodwill, Salvation Army or many others.

Thrift store shopping is exciting, and it’s always unique. Whether you’re doing it out of economic necessity or for fun, there are some tricks of the trade that will help you in your pursuits. Every thrift store has hidden gems, but it takes an experienced shopper to find them. Here are some tips that will help you find the best items in any thrift store.

Make Friends with the Employees

It’s a good idea to get to know the employees at your favorite thrift stores on a first-name basis. Talk to them every time you go in, even if it’s just small talk. Let them know what kinds of things you’re looking for, and they just might do you a favor and put something you might like aside for you when it comes in. If you’re looking for something in particular, ask them and they’ll be more willing to look in the back if you’re friendly with them. The employees know what items come into the store, so building a good relationship with them will help you out tremendously.

Go Early, and Go Often

Thrift store merchandise is constantly changing. Usually items are placed on the shelves or removed from them on a daily basis. A really great item can pop up at any time. The more often you visit the thrift store, the more likely you are to be the first person to see it. Find out how often they change inventory and when. If they do it in the mornings, come to the thrift store in the late morning or early afternoon to get first pick of the new stuff. If you go late in the day, more shoppers before you have had the chance to find the good stuff you want.

Look at Everything

You can’t just skim the shelves at a thrift store and expect to come up with great stuff. Especially if thrift store shelves are cluttered or clothing racks are packed tight, you need to take the time to look at each individual item. If you don’t, you can easily miss something. The good thing is that lots of other people probably already missed it, so your diligence in looking at everything will pay off. Take the time to move each hanger to look at each piece of clothing. The more you do this the quicker you’ll be.
Let Your Smartphone Help You

If you have a smartphone, you definitely have an edge for finding the best stuff at any thrift store. As you’re shopping you can look up any brands you’ve never heard of and find out if they’re high-end or low-end brands. If an item still has a barcode attached, you can use a barcode scanner to quickly look up its worth and find out if it’s a steal or not. Performing searches on items you’re not sure about will help you avoid missing out on something great and help you avoid purchasing something you thought was great but really wasn’t.


Michelle Leigh is a fashion expert and freelance writer who enjoys covering topics from relationships to style. She is currently upgrading the style of her own kitchen and implementing a new transitional kitchen design.

Photo Credit: RetailByRyan95



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