How to Find the Best Thrift Store Scores

You all saw that I had my first guest post from Paula at Sweet Pea on Monday, and today we are finishing off the week with another guest post. I’m so excited to have Serena from Thrift Diving share how she scores the best items at thrift stores. Read on to hear more about her fab tips!

Hey there! I’m Serena from Thrift Diving, a blog that inspires you to decorate, maintain, and improve your home on a budget! Thanks to Megan for inviting me to come share some thrift tips with you.

Remember when you were a kid and you’d get teased for your mama shopping at thrift stores? Things have changed! Thrift stores are cool, hip, and trendy. But I was shopping thrift stores before people knew how hot they were ;). I’ve picked up a few tips along the way and wanted to share them with you. I also wanted to share some of my favorite thrift scores!

TIP #1 – Stalk the Thrift Store!

If you love thrift stores, this is an easy tip: go often! It’s true that thrift stores get lots of shipments and turnover of inventory. You may pop in after work one day to find nothing, but the next day you find a gem like this:



Yesterday I stopped by the thrift store, convinced there would be “just junk” there, and look at the beauty I saw! If you can believe it, it was only $50. GASP! I know….. Sadly, I didn’t buy this because 1) I had my teeny Honda Accord and no amount of bungee cords was holding this thing in my trunk, and 2) my garage is already full of beautiful thrift finds. I can’t move another thing in until I move one out!

TIP #2 Become a Fan!

If you’re not following your favorite thrift store on social media, you may miss out on some fabulous merchandise that just hit the floor! Better yet, join their mailing list and you’ll get alerts when sales are coming.

This here beauty I found at my favorite thrift store for just $60! I happened to get their email about an upcoming sale. I will purposely rearrange my schedule just to make it!

I haven’t yet painted this to go in my bedroom, but when I do?? Watch out! It’s going to be even more beautiful!

3 Things a Husband Should Never Say to a DIY Hoarder


On another day, I scored this mid-century modern dresser for a measly $20! Hey– at half price (original $40), I couldn’t walk away:

1 - dresser for boys

Once I got my hands on it, it was lovely once again! (Click here to see how I transformed this mid-century modern cast-off into something pretty! It was a bear of a project, though!)

Ombre Mod Dresser

TIP #3: Embrace the Wobbly & Broken!

If you’re reading this post, it’s because you love DIY. You probably have some DIY skillz you’ve picked up along the way. Therefore, when you see wobbly furniture, or broken furniture, it’s okay–buy it. As long as it’s good quality wood. Because you may just need a drill to tighten up some loose bolts. You’re handy. You know how to do that :). Or, maybe you can remove a flimsy drawer and get creative with filling that space.

TIP #4 Don’t Let the Ugly Fabric Scare You!

There’s a lot of great stuff at the thrift store. Most of it, though, has worn, disgusting fabric that makes your skim crawl to even think of sitting on it. But don’t let it scare you. Of course, check it for bugs….leave it out in your garage for a year to let all the creepy crawlies die off (hopefully), and then pull out your pretty fabric and get ‘ta reupholstering!

Here’s a solid, but outdated chair I got from the thrift store for $60.

Vintage Chair Makeover BEFORE99.jpg

After I stripped off the old fabric, this was the beauty that was just waiting to be revealed! (See the full project post for details on how I achieved this look).

A Vintage Chair Makeover

If you’ve never done a chair makeover before, don’t worry. I did a post on 7 Tips for Better Chair Makeovers that will be a good starting point for you. As a bonus, there is a video on my YouTube channel, too. (Would love it if you were to SUBSCRIBE!!)

TIP #5 If You Love It, Buy It!

I know that’s not the best advice if you’re trying to stick to a budget. At the very least, put it in your cart until you’ve made up your mind if you’re going to buy it or not. My experience has shown that if you love something, never walk away from it. It won’t be there tomorrow. Heck, it won’t even be there 2 minutes after you walk away! Someone has already spotted it and they’re just waiting for you to walk away so they can get their claws on it. And you’ll lament forever about letting that {{insert that awesome thing here that you let get away}} get away.

So there you have five tips that I hope will help you navigate thrift stores a little easier! To see all my projects, and for more tips on thrift stores, DIY, and home improvement, subscribe to my blog, Thrift Diving. I look forward to chatting about home decor with you! You can also find me on Pinterest and Facebook. Oh, and don’t forget YouTube, where I put out new tutorials and videos bi-weekly! 😉

Serena Appiah Profile


  • Thanks for the invite, Megan! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Serena has great tips. What I need to do is go more often. I’m sure if I made it a habit to stop by stores near my work that I could find some great deals. I wonder if any of our local stores have any social media like they do in Serena’s area?ReplyCancel

    • They do Paula! I follow quite a few. The estate places downtown, Restore, the consignment place on Timberlake (I forget the name). It’s definitely nice to see what they post online so I don’t always have to visit in person!ReplyCancel