4 Hot Days to Score Big at Thrift Stores

Saturday thrift store sales.
Image copyright ARC Thrift Stores
The thrift stores in our area say they put out 5,000 new items each day at every store. This hyperbole aside, they do put out new things each day, though nowhere near that amount.

And while they do place many new treasures on the shelves, we've found there are four days with the potential for the best finds. Each day has its good and bad points. Here's why.

By Monday, thrift stores are decimated by weekend sales and the thousands of extra people who take part in 50 percent off day. When we've gone on Mondays, the stores are generally a wreck and workers are spending most of the time returning items to the shelves, rather than putting out new merchandise. Take a peek in the production area, and you'll find no one working.

Thrift store neat and tidy after a Saturday sale
At some thrift stores Tuesdays are seniors day, where everything goes back to 50 percent off. Any Saturday leftovers are again marked down. Basically only the dregs are left, though you may find some new large pieces. Things like furniture, household goods, bikes or stereo equipment. Items that can be processed quickly and can't be stored outside.

Once the middle of the week rolls around, production picks up again.

Wednesday: By the middle of the week the store is pretty much back to normal. Rolling clothes racks are coming out again and carts filled with small goods are making their way to the shelves. It's part of the cycle to get ready again for the weekend sales. This is time to pick through those carts and racks, and make a circuit of the store to see what you may have missed. Give the workers some time to place the new merchandise, so don't get there until mid-morning at the soonest.

Thursday and Friday: The final two days of the work week remain promising for thrifting finds. Workers are stocking shelves and hanging clothes. More and more household goods are being added throughout the day. This is the time where hundreds and hundreds of items are finding their way to the floor and, hopefully, to your shopping cart. Once again mid-morning is a great time to shop. However, we've had great luck at the end of the day, around 5 or 6 p.m. So give your shopping trip a chance no matter the time of day.

Saturday: Saturday seems counter-intuitive to the rest of our advice, but when you dig a little deeper the strategy is there. The only reason to go on Saturday is if you're looking for bigger items like furniture, bikes, stereos and the like. We recommend going late in the day after yard sales have ended and people drop off items for donation. Because most people are working during the week, they clean house on the weekend leading them to bring items to the thrift on Saturday afternoon. This is your chance to swoop in and grab something great as it's being placed on the floor. In addition, some thrift stores continue to stock clothes and other small items throughout the day, though with less frequency compared to the hot days of the week to thrift.

Taking our own advice, we recently hit the a thrift on a late Saturday afternoon. Still in a cart and ready to be shelved, this Montblanc desk set (below) with #144 pen came home with us. It was $3, so we grabbed it.

Montblanc desk set with pen 
scored on a Saturday afternoon


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