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What valuables should I look for in thrift stores?


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If you’ve ever visited a thrift store, chances are you liked it or hated it. Perhaps you’ve visited a thrift store with a menagerie of items covered in dust from decades past or items so worn out that you wonder why they weren’t just thrown away. Or maybe the thrift stores you’re used to are more organized and neatly organized. One thing is for sure: when you visit a thrift store, you need to have the patience (and knowledge) to sift through many items to find a gem. The question is: what makes a thrift store find value?

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“The reasoning of Why these items are a good investment depends on the timing something is trending, ”said Brynn Wren, a retiree who visits thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales to find cheap collectibles, then sells them for a profit on eBay. “For example, collectors’ plaques were once worth a lot, but even [though] they are older now, there is little interest and they are not worth much. The most valuable items will often stay high sentimental value for people, especially if the object comes from their childhood. For example, Furbies are now starting to get more valuable because millennials get older and get sentimental about their childhood. Old teacups were very valuable, but like the generation that grew up with they die, they don’t have the same value. Basically knowing when selling or keeping an item will also dictate its value, in addition to its rarity, so check regularly what is selling on eBay – or wherever you plan on the sale of your items. “

Here are some of the items that seasoned thrift store buyers recommend that you should always be on the lookout for.

Last updated: August 16, 2021

JTGrafix / iStock.com

JTGrafix / iStock.com

Games and toys

Of course, not all games and toys are valuable. You need to know what to look for, and the keyword is “vintage”.

Nathan Hughes, Marketing Director at Diggity Marketing, gave this advice: “While saving, you should always look for board games and tin toys. Vintage board games are rare collectibles. They are worth thousands if they are in good condition and have a set. Likewise, classic pewter toys are rare and quite valuable. “

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Imagesbybarbara / iStock.com

Imagesbybarbara / iStock.com

American folk art

If you’re looking for an item that’s on-trend or in demand right now to resell or collect, follow Hughes’ advice:

“Never overlook folk art,” said Hughes. “Today, classic American folk art pieces are in great demand. While it is difficult to determine the authenticity of a folk art piece, it is not a bad collector’s item if you consider it. ‘get cheap. “

According to information on the Don’t Waste Your Money blog, check Americana art carefully for markings, names, stamps or stickers that can help you identify if the piece is real or a reproduction.

Learn: 5 Collectibles That Are Worth Selling For The Extra Money

urban cow / Getty Images / iStockphoto

urban cow / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Vintage Records and Concert T-Shirts

“As a music enthusiast and record collector, I have had great success in find rare gems at the thrift store, ”said Nick Shackelford, Managing Partner of Structured Agency. “For example, the original pressings, as an Elvis album “King Creole” could be sold at a local thrift store for a dollar, when its actual resale value online through eBay or other sites can go up to $ 400. In addition, discover the concert shirts tours of popular groups on successful stays can also pay off resale value on the net. It’s always a treasure hunt and there are a lot of them products that you can find if you just went to a thrift store with the right pair objectives and have a little knowledge of the resale market. “

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Rowena Murakami, co-founder and chef of Tiny Kitchen Divas, recommends going to a specific part of the thrift store to find valuable jewelry.

“Check out the accessories aisle and see what the thrift store has to offer, ”she said. “There are cases where they incorrectly rate items, sometimes mistakenly classifying gemstones as costume jewelry. If you have an eye for jewelry, you can certainly find a good buy. “

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lechatnoir / Getty Images / iStockphoto

lechatnoir / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Luxury bags

“There is a market for vintage or pre-loved bags,” Murakami said. “If you plan to resell, or even keep for yourself, check the bag deals and you could get a luxury bag for less. “

According to information from The Spirited Thrifter blog, you are more likely to find designer bags if they are present in the usual local retail market where the thrift store is located. Look for both used designer bags and vintage designer bags at thrift stores. If you can’t find them, stores can keep them behind the counter or in a locked case.

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Vintage designer clothing pieces

“To be fowarding something for vintage designer pieces, “said Celie Danes, marketing and public relations manager for Personality Max.” Sometimes you can find real designers clothes and accessories that can be added to your own closet or be [re]sold for a fair amount of money – according to their condition of course. “

Isaac Robertson, co-founder of TotalShape, agrees. “A surprising number of unique pieces of clothing are found by saving, “he said.” For example, my favorite jacket, a used vintage the Burberry suede that I bought recently, is probably one of the best clothes I own for half of its original price. “

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Mkovalevskaya / iStock.com

Mkovalevskaya / iStock.com

Storage baskets

If you’ve ever searched for storage baskets at your favorite retailers, you know it’s hard to buy large baskets of any quality and style for under $ 30. But it turns out that a thrift store can be a good place to score baskets cheaply.

“I’ve been saving money for years and my house is full of places like Goodwill and The Salvation Army (although that doesn’t seem way!), ”Maternity & Lifestyle blogger Lisa Carnett said. “One thing I have noticed over the years is that people spend way too much money on storage baskets. You can find baskets of all sizes at thrift stores, spray them any color you want, and it will save you so much money! Personally, I do not buy storage containers for my house at full price anywhere. “

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