Best and Worst Items to Buy at the Thrift Store

The thrift store can be a great place to save your family money, but it is also full of bad deals and unsafe merchandise. Read on to gain some insight on the best and worst deals in the world of used goods.


Jeans/Khakis– Both jeans and khakis never go out of style and are made from durable materials, meaning you will most likely find plenty of them at the thrift store! Best part is, especially for hubby, sizes will be easy to find without much digging. Make sure to check zippers and buttons are in working order.

Children’s Clothing– Children tend to grow out of their clothes before they wear out. This is good for you, because there is almost always tons to choose from at your local thrift store. For children’s clothing, it is best to go to a thrift store that charges a flat rate per item instead of variable prices because you can take advantage of getting the best brands for your buck.

Glassware– Not only does your local thrift store probably have hundreds of glasses lining the shelves, but they are often priced lower than dollar stores! Vintage glasses are usually higher quality than newly produced glasses, and it is fun to piece together a mismatched set. Check glasses well for cracks, and you will be on your way to a full and colorful cabinet!

Ties– Typically priced around a dollar, ties can be found in all sorts of colors and designs! Many are out of style or stained, but it is not uncommon to come away with a designer tie at a 99% discount! It’s definitely worth a trip over to the tie rack!

Furniture– It’s almost impossible to walk in to the thrift store without coming across a great piece of project furniture. Many items just need a touch of paint to become your new fave piece of shabby chic.

Evening Wear– Believe it or not, the thrift store can be a great place to get that one time wear dress for a wedding or other big event. Since most people only wear these types of dresses once or twice, it is definitely feasible to find one that is clean, and in style.


Electronics– More often than not, an electronic item ends up at the thrift store because something is wrong with it, and this can be hard to test in the store. Some stores will allow you to plug things in, but this won’t always alert you to annoyances, like a television that changes channels on it’s own. It can also be unsafe to use thrift store electronics because of faulty wiring or items that are not up to code.

Cribs/ Baby Gear– While there may be some things that are safe, it is typically a bad idea to buy big items like your new baby’s crib or car seat used. When you don’t know an items history it could be dangerous. Car seats should be thrown out after being in an accident, and cribs are constantly improved for safety. Save the money on things like nursery decor or clothes and spend it when your child’s safety is at stake.

Shoes– Although an occasional pair of buyable shoes may pop up, you are typically wasting time sorting through masses of dirty worn out pairs. Especially for items like running shoes, it is important that they aren’t over worn (even if they look nice) or they won’t do the job of foot support.

Make-up/Perfume– Make up and perfume do expire, and the thrift store is usually home to items over 2 years of age in this category. They also can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and cause infections, especially eye make-up.