Barb Tobias is a fabulous columnist for The Denver Post. Check in monthly for a link to Barb’s Column, called…Thrift Talk Diva.
How to price garage-sale items is the biggest challenge for most novice merchants. The key in determining pricing is to fairly assess the quality and condition of resale merchandise. PURGE. Start collecting your merchandise to sell by cleaning out attics, basements and closets. Pull out everything that hasn’t been used in the past year. (Chances are they won’t be used next year either.) Click to read more.
The Art of Garage Sale Bargaining – April 2013
People repeatedly ask where I shop to find such fabulous finds. The answer is … everywhere. Smart shopping is not whether you can find extraordinary things at local garage sales; rather it is a question of how and when you buy. Click to read more.
With the economy still sluggishly creeping along, more and more smart shoppers are making frugal decisions that meet their budgets. Here are 11 thrifty tactics.
Shop thrift. The resale industry is booming, and for a good reason. People are dressing in frugal chic and decorating their homes with secondhand finds. Over the years, upgrading, as your budget will allow, can allow you to amass many cherished treasures. Hunt around for gently used or unique items at estate and garage sales, auctions and thrift stores. Each venue offers a distinctive adventure and you just might find that the “hunt” is an exciting quest versus the banality of purchasing new. Additionally, there is the environmentally responsible aspect of rescuing or repurposing used treasures. The thrill of the hunt and the art of recognizing a good deal come with time, but the rewards can be great. Click to read more.
While 2013 is still fresh, it’s a good time to look around the house and see what needs doing. Homeowners can spiff up their dwellings while watching their budgets. Making better financial decisions while keeping an eye on our buying habits allows us to produce less waste and a live a richer life. Click to read more.
The Happy Marriage of Thrifting and Recycling – December 2012
Thrift stores and recycling go hand-in-hand. But consumers are often unaware that they can recycle a lot more than paper, glass and plastic. Here are three lesser-known recycling agencies that work alongside the thrift store industry. Click to read more.
These Thrift Shops Champion Community Outreach – October 2012
The community programs that benefit from most thrift stores may not be foremost in the minds of bargain-hunting shoppers.
Like many people, my early motivation to try “thrifting” was purely for the thrill of the hunt and the joy of snatching up fabulous items for a fraction of their original retail price. Click to read more.
Fifty women gathered in the parking lot of the ARC Thrift Store in Green Mountain in August for my first hosted Thrift Crawl.
I’d like to say that philanthropy and the desire to recycle and go green spawned this idea. But it actually came to me last year after my HOA complained, ad nauseam, about the cars and merriment surrounding my annual garage sale. Click to read more.
A Vendors Take on the Mile High Flea Market – August 2012
HENDERSON — Enthralled by the grandeur of Mile High Flea Market, I took the four-day challenge.
As a shopper and as a vendor, I visited this sprawling bazaar, farmers market and antiques fair northeast of Denver on a consecutive Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click to read more.
A hot marketing campaign can mean the difference between a busy, lucrative yard sale or garage sale and an exhausting event that reaps scant profits.
Granted, many elements go into holding a successful garage sale: the purge, the sorting and the set-up, to name a few. But the pre-sale chore that many people pay too little attention to is effective promotion. Click to read more.
Selling secondhand or recycled items isn’t a novel idea. But here are three Denver entrepreneurs who have added a new twist to the resale game. Click to read more.
Years ago, I thrift shopped with complete abandon. Little thought was given to equipment, packing material or how I would get my new-to-me treasures home.
Today, as yard sale, garage sale and outdoor market season ramps up, I plan, and I turn my vehicle into a well-stocked “thrift-mobile.” Click to read more.
Thanks to that annoying midlife weight gain, shopping can become a wearisome proposition for women with widening girths. Most second hand shops cater to younger, slighter women. Sure, I was that svelte gal once. As a fashion model walking the American runways in my 20’s, I weighted 127 pounds and stood 5 feet 10 inches tall. I kept that shape until my mid-40’s, when I hit the proverbial hormonal roller coaster, and a size 16. Click to read more.
Best Spots to Hunt for Seconhand Treasures – March 2012
Most of us have less cash to burn these days, so buying other folks’ castoffs is a great way to save a few bucks.
The Internet, specialty shops, bookstores and going-out-of-business sales carry drastically reduced items that are especially good for occasional needs or events. Here are some of my go-to bargain hunting sites and stops. Click to read more.
As the economy spiraled downward and Americans tightened their belts, secondhand shops made a move onto Main Street.
Thrift shopping tends to increase during hard economic times, according to a recent Brigham Young University study. So it follows that secondhand shops are now among the fastest-growing outlets in the retail world, according to the Association of Resale Professionals. That trade group says the number of thrift stores has grown 7 percent a year over the past two years, with sales climbing 12 percent a year. Click to read more.
For Barb Tobias of Evergreen, thrift is a lifestyle. In her book, “Tossed and Found; Where Frugal is Chic,” she asks, “How would your life look if you tossed out the tired and unwanted … and found a new you?”
Tobias writes of treasures such as a $1,000 vase for $40 and designer outfits for $50. She decorates all shapes and sizes of homes using only thrift items. And she says you can actually thrift shop your way to wealth.
Tobias gives all kinds of ideas on where to find these items — from demolition to estate to garage sales — and how to look for the “good stuff.” She also has a great list of stores and marketing ideas so you can make the most of buying and selling.
Her web site is http://thrifttalkdiva.com/
Three caveats to living the chic life on thrift: Have patience. It takes time to make the best finds. You can’t build your own cheap and chic Rome in one day. Sometimes, a store might be packed with deals, other times, you might not find a thing. Secondly, make sure to purge the old when you bring in the new. Third, keep an open mind. This classic form of recycling has stood the test of time for a reason. Snobs do not find the real treasures.
On a personal note, I absolutely hate the feeling of knowing I left behind a diamond in the rough. As long as an item isn’t too expensive for my budget or too large for me to store, I’ll pick it up to avoid that pang of regret. If I change my mind, I’ll sell or give it away as soon as possible rather than let it collect dust.
And remember, there’s no law that says you have to tell people you bought something second hand. I usually do, just because I get a kick out of getting compliments on my Goodwill shoes. But if someone says they like your new find, you can always just smile and say, “Thank you for noticing!” — wink.
By the way — end-of-season clearance at Payless Shoes right now — I found some really cute styles for the kids (and even some for me!) for $3 to $8! I even bought some school shoes and some of those cool wedges I wanted, but wasn’t ready to pay full price. The sales clerk tells me the deals are going at all Colorado stores.
Happy hunting! Don’t forget our CBS4 Deals of the Day, and please pass along your thrifty tips in the comments section! I’d love to hear from you.
– In her Brooke’s Bargains blog Brooke Wagner writes about finding bargains and saving money for her family. She calls it one of her favorite hobbies. Blog entries cover everything from the latest steals, deals, and freebies to cheap family activities, saving for college, and what to buy right now.
I just made the best buy of the day… a Aurora Library. I was actually looking at all their $1 books because they are closing for good. I found a free bookcase and had just taken it to my car when I walked back in to find that they had just pushed out a love seat from the back room.– FREE, courtesy of
I was the first to look at it and another lady started pushing it around and inspecting it. Since I had already made my decision to buy it, the sales people let me have it. Can you believe that?
This is a big ole’present to myself. I can’t even tell you how great my family room feels to me – it’s feeling more like my home every time I add something.
Oh, and I got a fabulous lamp Goodwill $24 with my Senior Citizen’s discount! Ha, ha! My family room is so cozy and the lighting is great now. I love it.
I can’t believe that I’m so looking forward to garage sale season! I would have never thought I would be such an ardent convert!