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Thrift Shopping: How To Get Better Deals At Thrift Stores And Flea Markets

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Thrift Shopping: How To Get Better Deals At Thrift Stores And Flea Markets

Thrift stores and flea markets are really popular nowadays and while the world is trying to go sustainable, we realize the need for thrift shopping. Famously known as second-hand shopping!

Thrift stores and flea markets are well known for selling stuff at really affordable prices . Some call it, throw-away prices. But does throw-away always mean ‘thrown-away?’ Sometimes yes, second-hand clothes might be cheap in thrift stores as compared to the boutiques but still, sometimes, the sellers can take advantage of buyers and actually, raise their prices for higher than what you might have in your pocket.

That means that before you actually get a piece, you may need to negotiate the price. Most importantly, before the negotiation is done, it is important to first have limits on what you can buy in thrift stores and flea markets!

Things Never To Buy From  A Thrift Store

Never buy underwear and lingerie from a thrift store, shoes, shape wear like corsets, large linen for decorative purposes for example: throw pillows, young baby clothes, makeup and skincare products and jewelry!

Why? Considering the lack of proper sanitary condition of thrift items, you might not want to buy the above pieces. But with the rest of the thrift items, please go ahead and shop carefully!

So here I share with you my bargaining tips that will ensure you score the perfect deal when thrift shopping!

1. Learn market strategies

Thrift Shopping: How To Get Better Deals At Thrift Stores And Flea Markets

Know ‘Where to bargain and where not to’.

Some markets don’t give room for any bargaining and too much bargaining while others give you so much allowance for this.  That means that unless you were born for bargaining, you won’t get away with much discount here. Sometimes, you have to buy an outfit with its selling price.

But in other markets, you can make your way out with great discounts.

2. Take advantage of sale and clearance times.

Usually, evening times are sales times for most markets. Most of these sellers want to go home with a loaded pocket and with good bargaining, you can exploit this time.

In Kenya, most thrift stores have their sales in the morning while most flea markets will clear towards the evening. This means that you must remember this in order to find awesome pieces at crazy-cheap prices!

3. Know what to bargain for.

Just because you have less in your pocket or you don’t want to spend much doesn’t mean that you have to just bargain.

Some outfits will carry tags to show their prices and so, if your bargaining blood isn’t as hot, please skip these sections or buy as it is. And by the way, some outfits are too cheap to bargain for so rather purchase them at their selling prices. Learn to only bargain for what seems too expensive yet you want it as bad.

4. Know the current market value of some outfits.

If a spaghetti top usually goes for 100, why should you try to buy it at 50? Hardly, the sellers won’t sell it to you. Sometimes, you might be lucky and get the cloth at the lowest price after bargaining but please, not every day is Sunday!

Knowing the current market value of outfits will provide a base for bargaining.

5. Don’t appear too eager to buy the piece of cloth.

Thrift Shopping: How To Get Better Deals At Thrift Stores And Flea Markets

When you are too eager to buy an outfit, it is so easy for the sellers to raise the price higher so that even if you bargain, you will still buy the outfit at their ‘original and desired selling price’.

Usually, if something is worth bargaining for, I’d set my buying price at half the selling price and raise it only accordingly, and if necessary. At most times, I purchase stuff at half the seller’s price especially if it’s an expensive coat or skirt or shoe.

6. Be confident when bargaining.

Knowing the current market value of clothes will bring out the confidence in you and ensure you don’t get exploited by these sellers. Your hesitation will always work against you so just be confident and BARGAIN!!!

7. Know when to accept an offer.

Most and most important, always take a deal when you find it. Trust me; it is so hard to come by these vintage pieces elsewhere so when you feel like you’ve reached you bargaining peak, just take it!

Thrift Shopping: How To Get Better Deals At Thrift Stores And Flea Markets

8. Be-friend the staff.

Making friends with the staff has to be the best thing you can do to ensure you always grab some good stuff! They know the inventory; they can hold things that you love for you; they can contact you when things come in that they know you’ve been looking for. Honestly, I got a couple of contacts from several thrift store staff now and I’m always informed!

Remember to bring along ‘frugal friends’ when off to a thrift store because that way, they could help out with the process of thrift shopping!

Thrift and flea markets are trending so the better you are at bargaining, the better you become in thrift shopping.

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Thrift Shopping: How To Get Better Deals At Thrift Stores And Flea Markets

Happy shopping!!!



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  1. I just learnt. I’m actually terrible at haggling and I feel like I’m being cheated all the time cos the sellers agree almost immediately at any price I offer… Loo

    • I’m glad you have @Ezinne. But that’s funny lol, I always let them give me their selling prices then bargain down from there. And I’m never quick to give in, just take your time in bargaining.

    • Haha!That was me before…at the mercy of the sellers but now I’m sure they don’t enjoy seeing my face around. Stay tuned anyway I’ll be sharing my bargaining treasures!

  2. I am from India and we have a lot of flea markets here. In fact most of my jewellery and accessories come from those shops.i am fairly ok with bargaining but your tips will come in handy next time I hit the streets for bargain shopping 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
    Do drop by my blog as well : 🙂

  3. I totally agree with you. There are valuable item you can truly find in thrift store – great brands and quality too. Those are helpful tips and the most that works for me, even in other store is Don’t appear too eager to buy the piece of cloth. So I can say my negotiation piece.

    • I’m glad you got your negotiation piece and trust me, that’s mine too. I remember being too happy when I saw a pretty pair of ankle boots that the seller had to price it at 1800!Oh my jaws hurt bargaining it down to 800!But I won the deal!Haha

  4. My grandfather was a used car salesman and I grew up watching him try to get the best bargains. He was confidant as they come, never too eager, and had the best instinct for when the offer on the table was the best bargain he was going to get. x

  5. My dad is so good at bargaining, whenever he goes on holiday in places where this is popular practice, he comes back with tons of stuff AND stories about how he bought it half price 😀 I wish I was as good haha

    • Haha!You remind me of a time I stocked my bag full from a thrift market yet I only had 2300 shillings!I spent the night telling of how I bargained! It is so fun no wonder your dad enjoys it too.

  6. This is my greatest weakness. For example if a jeans is going for ksh 500 I say I have ksh 400 and to me I see it as too much bargaining. I bet I will try to reduce and start from 200 bob .😂😂😂😂

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