On Antiques Roadshow; a person brings in an item for appraisal he bought at a thrift store, flea market or garage sale for a couple of bucks, and it’s worth a bundle. We all think, “Hey, I could do that.” These finds are rare, but one can find treasures, or at least, good deals with a little planning by knowing how to shop at thrift stores.

Typical Garage SaleCredit: Smm650


Knowledge Of Bargains

To find rarities one should study the subject enough to recognize a find when they see one. A person should know the different manufacturers and styles to be able to spot the treasure. Most lamps that look like Tiffany lamps aren’t Tiffany lamps, and one should know the difference. Antiques Roadshow occasionally shows a treasure modified and treated to look old. If there’s enough money to do it, people are willing to put in the time to fake something. One method is to treat furniture to look like the wood has the patina that comes with age. When buying wooden furniture, one should know the different manufacturing techniques for the period they’re looking at. If a person collects silver, he should be acquainted with maker and silver content marks. People buying treasures successfully at thrift stores,garage sales and flea markets have been doing it for years and have knowledge of what to buy. It’s likely the person on Antiques Roadshow goes to every thrift shop, flea market, and garage sale in his area as often and as early as he can.

Online Thrift Stores

Buying from an online thrift store may or may not be a bargain. Getting a bargain on the internet depends on if the item is as advertised and genuine. This is a concern when buying collectables from an online site like ebay or other online sites. This isn’t to say they don’t have online deals. This is another instance for one to be knowledgeable about what they’re buying. One shouldn’t buy sight unseen unless there’s an equitable return policy or money back guarantee.

Shop For Bargains

Good buys on second hand bargains can be had even if they can’t be resold for enough to pay for retirement. Thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets may have higher quality items cheaper than newer, inexpensive merchandise. If buying wood furniture, look for manufacturing details such as dovetails, this gives an indication of craftsmanship and quality of older items. This is true of all things. The buyer has to know what to look for.                                                                                        

Good Locations For Thrifty Buys

The location of the thrift store, flea market or garage sale is important. It makes sense that affluent areas have higher quality discards than in a less affluent area. The age of the area influences the merchandise. An area developed in the early ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s are likely to have furniture and some popular items from that era.

If one is careful and knows what they’re looking for, a person can pick up good deals cheap. At garage sales and flea markets it possible to negotiate and deal with the seller to lower the price, or throw something else in with the bargain. Remember to go early and get there before the best merchandise is gone.