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What a Deal! Part I

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My sister knows how to get a deal. She has come home with an amazing array of items which she's found in retail stores (discounted), at yard sales or even on the side of the road. As a modern consumer, she's also become familiar with online resources like Kijiji (eBayClassifieds)--free local online classifieds--and has scored many great deals that way.

Personally I don't like shopping. I try to get in and get out as quickly as possible so you won't find me cruising the malls looking for bargains. If I could do all my shopping from home, I probably would. In the real world I'm more the "browse the thrift store" kind of gal. Occasionally, I'll visit a consignment store. In any case, I don't mind buying used items and I have found many good deals over the years.

In fact, if there is an item I need, I usually try to buy it "gently used" first. I just discovered that there is actually a term for buying second hand that I'd never heard of before: thrifting. I'm not sure that it has made it into Websters yet but give it time. I've gathered some "thrifting" suggestions from some online experts. (I'll give my own list in Part II of this blog.) Here are some of their suggestions:

  1. If you are serious about this pasttime you have to be willing to make regular rounds of the stores. You never know when the next great deal will come in.
  2. Make a list so you can look for what you need and will avoid what you don't need. Stay focused.
  3. On the other hand, you might just find a treasure amidst all the trash. If it's really something you can use then go for it, even if it's not on your list.
  4. Shop off season. As with any store there is only a limited amount of space so they need to get rid of "inventory".
  5. Get your name put on the email list so that you'll be informed of upcoming sales. Take advantage of senior's days or other discount days.
  6. Bring a measuring tape. Make sure the item will fit you (clothing) or fit the space (furniture).
  7. Dress appropriately--comfortable clothes make the job much more enjoyable--wear something you can try clothes on over so you can save time and avoid change room line-ups.
  8. Inspect all merchandise carefully before you make your purchase.
  9. You don't have to buy somehting just because you made the trip. Have the fortitude to walk away.
  10. Ask for a deal.
  11. Clear out items at home when you bring in new ones. You're not trying to set up your own junk shop. Drop the items off on your next visit to the thrift store.

P.S. In case you want some more guidelines you can check out Thrifting 101.

What's your best thrifting tip?

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