Tuesday, April 12, 2016

5 Things I Ask Myself Before I Buy Something At A Thrift Store

Here we are, back at the thrift store again. :)
Oh wow, look at that awesome widget! Hmm. I could use one of those. ...Or could I? 

Does this sound familiar? Do you suffer from thrift store indecision? If you do, it's a good thing. You're brain is doing it's job and is like, 
"Hey, wait a minute, hold up there a second, I don't think we need another widget. Do we?"
Which leads me to my first point in my list of 5 Things I Ask Myself Before I Buy Something at a Thrift Store...

1. Do I need it?
This is probably the most important question to ask yourself. Do I need it? Am I going to use it? Do I already have one at home? If so, why do I need more? Which leads us to the old adage, When in doubt, throw it out. If you find yourself standing there debating this question for more than a minute, then you most likely do NOT need the widget. Move along. 

2. Can I afford it?
Those of you who are thrifters know this very well: Just because it's on a shelf at a thrift store doesn't mean that the price is right. I've visited "thrift" stores that were way overpriced, and I'm not talking about picking up one item and reading a price that is off-kilter. I'm talking about thrift shops whose entire inventory just seems, well, expensive! And I mean expensive across the board. Everything seems to be priced too high. Those shops are the ones that I usually won't bother to visit again. With that in mind, different things have different values to different people. 

3. What is my motivation for buying it?
Is it for me or for someone else? Am I interested in this item only because the price is so low? I can attest to this one myself, as in my own early days of thrift store shopping I found myself bringing home too many "things" that I really had no practical use for. Hoarder alert! Don't be a hoarder. And also don't buy things for other people unless it is something that you know that they are looking for, need, or that they have specifically asked you to look for for them. I can personally attest to this one too. I once knew someone who liked to shop the thrift stores not just for the sole purpose of finding bargains, but because they enjoyed spending. I guess it was the thrill of the hunt - which we all know can be fun. But what was not so fun was having "stuff" dumped on me and my kids that we didn't want or need, even though this person had good intentions. I literally had to come right out and say to this person, "no more!" Bless her heart. hehe

4. Does it work? 
Sometimes while thrifting you will come across that widget that you've been searching for, only to discover that a piece or part of the widget is missing. Or, the widget is not fully operational. Something is wrong with it. It's not one hundred percent as it should be. But you've been looking far and wide for this particular widget for a long time and the price is right. Even though this widget doesn't exactly work (or is missing an important part) it's been on your search list for a long time and you've finally found one. What do you do? Well, unless you repair widgets for a living, or have the spare part at home that it needs, pass it up. Don't buy broken stuff that can't be easily fixed or repurposed into something else. Incomplete and broken things just land up taking up space in your basement or garage until one day you decide to give them to another thrift store. 

5. Do I absolutely love it?
This is a big one for me. I have to absolutely love something to give it space in my home. Be savvy and be selective, but love it through and through. 

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What do you ask yourself before YOU buy something at a thrift store?

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Article copyright Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area.