Cheap But Not Cheerful – 5 Common Thrift Shopping Mistakes To Avoid
Thrifting is great for both your back pocket and the environment, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its pitfalls. There are certain things you should never purchase from an op shop (we’re looking at you, underwear without tags), but there are also many not-so-obvious mistakes that bargain hunters make. That’s why we’ve put together this list of common thrift shopping mistakes to avoid:
Buying Old Pots And Pans
Quality pots and pans can be expensive, but the best place to buy cookware sets is not your local op shop. When you find a top brand at a thrift store, it can feel a bit like Christmas. However, you must remember that whoever left them at the thrift store did so for a reason.
Unfortunately, cookware can lose its coating over time, making it at best ineffective and at worst a health hazard. Because of this, we recommend buying pots and pans brand new, even if it takes a little longer to be able to afford them. If you’re looking for a quality set, you can often find excellent bargains at online stores.
Not Trying Things On
When it comes to shopping at thrift stores, taking sizing for granted is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Standard sizing isn’t even guaranteed across brands when you buy things new, but when items are at an op shop, sizing is essentially a free for all.
Many people cut tags off their clothes and have them altered. While employees and volunteers do their best to ensure clothing items are correctly labeled, it’s easy for things to get lost in translation. Because of this, it’s vital that you try on any clothes you’ve selected before making your purchase.
Purchasing Untested Electronics
While many areas require op shops to test and tag appliances before selling them, it’s still possible that you may discover an item that hasn’t gone through this process. You may also simply be unlucky enough to live in an area where this isn’t required.
While you may get lucky and still manage to get your hands on a perfectly functional appliance, faulty ones can be a potentially hazardous waste of money. This is particularly true of appliances that require fluid to operate (think aromatherapy diffusers or fish tank filters), as we all know how water and electricity don’t match. Because of this, we suggest only purchasing electrical appliances brand new unless you are sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’re safe.
Looking For Things You Needed Yesterday
If you need something immediately, looking for it in a thrift shop is probably only going to lead to disappointment. Always head to an appropriate retail shop for things that you need urgently. That way, you can be sure you’ll be able to head home with what you need.
Buying Too Many Things That Need Fixing
Finally, while you can find inspiration for plenty of DIY projects at your local thrift store, and restoring that designer piece that’s only $10 thanks to a few rips in the material feels fantastic, buying too many fixer-upper items can leave you with a hole in your budget and nothing to show for it. Focus on selecting quality items, and keep those that need repairs to a manageable level if you want to get the most out of your op shopping experience.
Now that you know these common mistakes to avoid, your next thrift shopping adventure should be far more fruitful. Happy shopping!