In addition to being eco-friendly and affordable, thrift stores are comprised of a variety of unique items. Thrifting gives shoppers the chance to upcycle, repurpose, or simply rehome pre-loved and donated items.
Knowing the best items to buy from a thrift store got a bit more complicated when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Many, like Missions Thrift Store, 2721 E. Millbrook Rd., in Raleigh, implemented stringent cleaning and sanitation measures once mandates allowed them to reopen.
“We’re fortunate to have lots of space for donated items to be sanitized and then aired out for several days before being placed on our retail shelves,” explained Vicki Combs, Missions Thrift Store manager.
So, what are some of the best items to buy from a thrift store? Taking into consideration their usability and recyclability, here are the top 10 items to consider purchasing:
1. Vintage records
Thinking of starting a vinyl record collection or looking to add to an existing collection? Thrift stores are a great place to find classical, jazz, pop music and other music genres on vinyl.
Most thrift stores have a wide variety of books—from classic children’s books to cookbooks and everything in between. Books are no longer just for reading; they can also be used as decoration. Even the most well-loved, torn books can add style to your family room or a built-in shelf
3. Children’s clothing
Kids grow fast! It seems like you buy them an outfit and then the next day, it doesn’t fit. Thrift stores help parents, grandparents and even aunts and uncles keep kids in-style and on trend at a reasonable price.
Thrift stores usually offer many affordable and customizable mirror options. Mirrors not only enhance light and reflection and help make spaces look larger, but they can also be used in art projects by painting borders, words, or designs on them.
5. Paintings, picture frames and wall décor
You’ll find a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles of art, frames, and wall hangings at local thrift stores. Choose to display as they are or find other ways to make them your own.
6. Dishes, pitchers and tableware
Whether you’re looking to replace a broken dish or lost fork from a silverware set you already own or find something unique for a special dinner, thrift stores can be a great place to purchase dinnerware, flatware, or glassware.
7. Wood Furniture
A little sanding, a paint job, or a change in hardware is sometimes all it takes to makeover a piece of furniture purchased from a thrift store. An upcycled or repurposed piece of furniture can be the perfect addition to your home, dorm room, apartment, or office.
Barbies, games, and bikes, oh my! Parents, grandparents, and others can find a variety of fun toys that are loved by not only their children and grandchildren but by their wallets. Mission Thrift Store staff and volunteers clean and wipe down hard-surfaced items, like toys, before putting them on the sales floor.
In addition to being the perfect organization solution for items such as dog toys or throw blankets, baskets can also make for stylish décor. Paint them, stack them or keep them as-is for a creative way to store items or make a statement.
10. Wedding dresses
Buying your bridal gown from a thrift store can be a great way for a budget-conscious or thrifty bride to save money. Instead of money being spent on an expensive wedding dress it can go toward reception or honeymoon costs.
Don’t be surprised if you come in for one of these items and leave with more than what was on your list. With 12,000-square-feet of retail space, Missions Thrift Store offers a variety of new and gently used merchandise at bargain prices.