You can save hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars buying these 5 thrift finds at your local resale stores. Because not every store carries all 5, you may have to invest time in searching, but the dividends more than makeup for it.
1. Eyeglass Frames
You pay enough for the eye exam and lenses, then frames that can add hundreds of dollars. The average price for name brand frames is $180 – $1,000+. That’s a big jump from the frames you can find at many thrift stores for around $2.
The only thing you have to check, if your lenses are prescription, is that the lenses will fit the frames. At such low prices, you can also get a second pair.
Bonus: For non-prescription glasses, like magnified “readers” and sunglasses, you can use thrift finds with frames and the lenses.
Estimated Average Savings: $178 – $998
2. Picture Frames
Frames can range from $6 for a low-grade frame at a discount store, to hundreds of dollars at a custom frame shop. Usually, resale stores that carry framed art have a large supply and come in all shapes, sizes, and degrees of quality.
Thrift stores traditionally price what’s inside the frame, not the frame itself. Often because the matting is soiled, the picture faded, the style is out of date, or for any other number of reasons, the price is low, even though the frame may be high quality and worth much more than the pieces together.
Bonus: You may keep the original art without the frame, or you can donate your thrift finds back to the store and get a tax receipt.
Estimated Average Savings Range: $2 – $500+
3. Men’s Suits
Thrift stores get more women’s clothes donated than men’s because men have more of a tendency to wear their clothes until they fall apart. Except for suits. Because men don’t wear suits as much these days, often a man will outgrow one before it shows wear.
Men’s suits are a pain for a thrift store. It takes workers time to measure pants and jackets. If no one measures them, no one buys them, and the store wastes racks and suits.
Pricing is also difficult unless someone is on hand who knows the difference in fabrics, brands, and differences in quality.
When you need one, nothing else will do, and the average price of a custom suit is between $800 – $1,400 dollars. The average price of a thrift store suit is $10 – $30.
You may get lucky and find one that fits perfectly. Or, you made need alterations. Average alteration prices:
Sleeves shortened or lengthened – $30
Trousers brought in or out – $30
Major work done on a jacket – $100
Average savings with basic alterations : $600 – $1,000+ Wow!
4. Cards and Gift Wrapping
Wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, box, and a card – do you ever feel you’re spending as much money on wrapping a gift as you did on the gift itself?
Card – 3.99 .50
Paper – 3.00 1.00
Bow – 3.50 .25
Box – 4.00 1.00
Average annual savings: $11.74 savings per package, multiplied by 10 gifts a year, $110.74
5. Pet Supplies
Tired of going through your expensive towels to wipe muddy paws? Are you paying too much for pet toys that get chewed in a day? Many stores will give them to you for free.
Reputable thrift stores don’t sell linens with stains, wear, or fraying, but chances are your pet won’t complain. People donate unsaleable towels and other linens all the time, and if you ask to have some put aside for you, you’ll probably get enough for a lifetime.
You’ll find the same is true of stuffed animals. Some stores won’t sell used stuffed animals and are happy to get rid of them. Though other stores may sell them, they get overwhelmed by the amount, winding up with a surplus. If they’re washable and you can remove anything that might be harmful to your pet, like plastic eyes, you won’t stress anymore if these thrift finds are chewed up in a day.
Average savings: 100%
Next time you are in the market for any of these items, do your wallet a favor and try the thrift shops first. You’ll probably find more great savings along the way!
Please note: all dollar amounts are approximate based upon current retail and resale prices. Your actual savings may vary, and are not guaranteed.