Many, financially successful like to spend weekends and spare time spending money. For some, an evening dedicated to wearing heavy designer shopping bags around the Valley Plaza is considered a night well-spent. Unfortunately, I am not one of these wealthy individuals. Though I love shopping, I’ve developed a more competitive, cheap alternative to shopping. I’m a competitive thrift shopper.
I’d like to think that I’ve developed my interest in secondhand stores from the hundreds of mornings spent with my grandmother during my early childhood. The woman had the act of thrift shopping down to an exact science. Today I’m going to share some of her wisdom she has passed to me.
1. Don’t expect to find what you are looking for
Goodwills, Salvation Armys, and mom and pop stores are filled to the brim with stuff. Toys, furniture and clothes are typically arranged in chaotic piles and finding items that suit your style can be a little challenging. The best method to avoid feeling overwhelmed is to dig around for something you like.
2. Be aware of your shadow
Regular thrift shoppers can sense other regular thrift shoppers. I know this sounds weird but as you shop, others are watching you. They’re aware of the interesting things you are looking at and even if they would not regularly be interested in that item, the mere act of seeming interested in it will make others covet your find. For example, I once found this cheap tin box. It was beat-up and army green, worth no more than 5o cents. Anyways, I held on to this item because I had a use for it. As I walked around the Goodwill I simply set the box on the shelf in front of me as I inspected another item. I still had every intention of buying the box. Out of no where, an older gentlemen snatched my box as it sat six inches from my face! This is a regular occurrence so just be aware. If you want something, don’t let go of it.
3. Bring a form of mobile internet
I once found a typewriter in a thrift shop that was in perfect condition. It was a Royal model O from 1934. How did I know this hunk of junk with a $15 price tag was worth more than $300? I check its worth on Ebay. By looking it up on my phone I knew this device was a killer investment.
So now you are enthusiastic about second-hand shopping, here are a few places you should visit in Bakersfield:
- Goodwill on Coffee Rd- This place receives most of its product from big chain stores who are unable to sell all of their stock. Target on Rosedale contributes its unsaleable clearance items here.
- Salvation Army on Ming Ave- Go here for furniture.
- Plato’s Closet on Ming Ave- in the same parking lot as the Guitar Center. Though the prices are typically higher at this store, the clothes are a much better quality and name brand.