Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!
Last week, I was walking through a local big-box store, and I noticed that they already had Christmas ornaments on the shelves. This month is actually a great time to get started on your holiday thrift shopping. By shopping early, you can beat the crowds. Also, if you shop now, you won’t have to rush around at the last minute to find the items you want.
So here are some steps that you can take right now to organize your holiday thrift shopping and snag
the best deals on second hand merchandise. Here you go:
1. Jot down a list of everyone you want to give to this year. Leave room below each name so you have room to take notes.
2. Determine what each person on your list would want. Need toys for the kids? Does your loved one prefer designer, brand-named clothes or vintage threads? Would they appreciate preloved costume jewelry? Does someone on your list have a hobby? (You can save big bucks on hobby supplies at thrift stores.) Do they play sports? Are they a collector? Create a short list of possible gifts under each person’s name.
3. Set a budget. Then stick to it.
4. Check out the flea markets. I love them because you can buy armloads of preloved, designer clothing, vintage outfits and accessories for very little money. I once bought a hat for $35 at a New York flea market that was signed by the hat’s designer.
5. Go online to sites like EstateSales.net and EstateSale.com to find upcoming estate sales that you can visit in your city or town.
6. When shopping at thrift stores or consignment shops, ask the clerk if the store offers gift certificates. Most second hand stores don’t offer them, but some do. Therefore I think it’s definitely worth it to ask. A gift certificate for the thrifter on your list would be the perfect present.
7. Want to buy top, name brand fragrances for less? Thrift stores, flea markets and retail establishments that specialize in selling closeout merchandise offer good deals on perfume and cologne gift sets as well as scented soaps, shower gels and bath salts. I’ve even come across items like these at estate tag sales.
8. Ask about layaway. Some flea markets and antique malls offer layaway for as long as 30 days.
9. Sit back and congratulate yourself for getting an early start on your holiday thrift shopping.
LaCherylRelated posts you might like!
Thrifting at Department Store Outlets
The Beginner's Guide to Estate Sale Shopping
Check Out This Gently-Used Menswear and Other Thrifted Stuff
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!
Where can you buy a luxurious area rug for your house or apartment when your money is tight? Well, I’m going to be on WSFA-12’s “News at Noon” today to answer that question.
Putting down an area rug is an incredibly easy way to transform the look of a room. You can use area rugs to hide imperfections on a hardwood floor or on wall to wall carpet. They’re also useful for protecting hardwood floors from scratches.
I love Persian and Oriental carpets in particular because I like their designs and deep, rich colors. Unfortunately, they’re so expensive. If you try to buy them from a rug store or antique shop, get ready to empty out your wallet. An authentic Persian or Oriental rug, depending on its size, can cost hundreds of dollars.
Learn how easy it is to save money on area rugs by watching today’s show. But if you can’t watch it, you can read what I’ve had to say about buying cheap, thrifted Oriental and Persian rugs on my blog. I’m also talking about Chinese and Persian rugs in the latest issue of Flea Market Décor magazine which is now on newsstands.
In my next blog post, I’ll tell you all about my interview today. See you Thursday!
Here are some related posts you might like!
How to Give Your Home the Well-Traveled Look for Less
Antique Beds Add Beauty and Charm to the Home
Cool Decorating Trick: Try Buying Used Store Fixtures
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!
As much as I love shopping, I’m always on the lookout for replicas of designer brands, or knock-off goods.
Unfortunately, I’ve spotted a lot of knockoffs over the years. I’ve seen counterfeit handbags with labels such as Louis Vuitton, Dooney & Bourke, Chanel and Fendi.
I’ve also found knockoffs of high-end designer shoes, athletic shoes and sunglasses. A few years ago, I heard some reports that people were being fooled into buying fake designer jeans.
OK, let me get on my soapbox about knock-off goods.
First of all, it’s illegal to manufacture them.
Second, I think it’s terrible to pass off fakes for the real thing. It hurts consumers and designers.
Third, counterfeit brands are often made of inferior materials, so the products don’t hold up over time. So, if your counterfeit designer handbag falls apart a year or two after you buy it, it’s no bargain.
But what’s also shameful is that often the prices of the knockoffs are too high, in my opinion. You can find real designer brands at thrift stores and pay a lot less.
Knockoffs, however, are sometimes really hard to spot. Last year, on my online show, Thrift Style Living with LaCheryl B. Cillie, Aaron LaPedis, author of “The Garage Sale Millionaire,” talked about how even he once bought what he thought was a real designer purse. It turned out to be a knockoff.
If you want to avoid buying counterfeit brand name items, the best advice I can give you is to spend some time examining real designer brands at department stores. Pay close attention to the look and placement of all logos and labels. Look to see if the items have serial numbers or a signature by the designer. Be sure to check out the construction of the product and the materials used to make them. Examine the colors of the products. Once you know what the real designer goods look and feel like, the knockoffs will be easier to recognize.
Want the designer look for less? You can shop at department store outlets, but don’t forget about thrift stores, estate sales and consignment shops where you can save even more money. You would be amazed at the range of designer clothing, shoes and accessories that you can find at these locations.
Here's a picture of me with a real Prada handbag that I found at a consignment store!
One of the best times of the year to shop at thrift stores is in January and February. That’s because individuals and departments stores often donate clothing and other items to charity-run thrift stores in December to get their end-of-the-year tax write-offs.
Also, don’t forget about estate tag sales. I’ve snagged some great designer clothing and accessories at estate tag sales. And all of it was the real deal!
What about you? Have you ever purchased a fake designer item by mistake?
By the way, if you live in the Montgomery or Birmingham metro areas, don’t forget about my Summer/Back to School Thrifting Tour that’s coming up on Saturday, Aug. 3. On this tour, I’ll take you to some of my favorite thrift stores and consignment shops in Birmingham. Click here to learn more details.
LaCherylHere are some related posts you might like!
Blogger Shares Tips for New York Thrifting
Five Easy Thrifting Tips for Fashion Lovers
Thrift Shopping With Dad in Destin, Fla.
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
I was at an estate tag sale recently when I overheard a woman describe how a fire had destroyed her home. To recover from that awful disaster, she had begun shopping at thrift stores, estate sales, and other second hand venues to replace the items she had lost. I thought that was such a smart idea.
First, by shopping second hand, she was purchasing items at deep discount and therefore, she was stretching her insurance dollars. And she didn’t have to pay sales taxes.
Second, she was able to pay for all of her purchases in full, with cash because they were so inexpensive. Therefore, she wasn’t stuck with a ton of extra bills.
Third, by shopping at estate sales and paying cash, she could haggle with sellers for better prices.
I know that when you lose your home in a tornado, flood, fire, or some other disaster, you lose sentimental objects that can never be replaced. But you can find some wonderful deals at places like thrift stores and estate sales, and this can help turn a bad situation into a new beginning. For example, the woman at the estate sale said she was buying modern and antique furniture pieces that were nicer than what she had before the fire.
If you need to replace clothing and household items, check out places like charity-run thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets in your town or metro area. Go online to sites like estatesale.com and estatesales.net to get information about upcoming estate sales in your city or state. Garage sales are good places to shop because sometimes people will sell items like appliances and lawn equipment that are in good working condition because they have purchased newer models. And at flea markets, some vendors sell non-perishable foods and personal items like makeup, soap, deodorant and grooming supplies.
Here’s just a long list of the kinds of items you can buy at thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, and flea markets:
Big Deals: Searching for Lawn Accessories at Estate Sales
Thrift Style Trick: How to Find Treasure in Trash
Build a Wardrobe With Thrift Store Finds
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Selling merchandise at flea markets is a great way to make some extra cash. The advantage of a flea market over a yard sale is that flea markets tend to attract larger crowds. And the larger the crowd, the greater your chances to sell.
Want to be a flea market vendor? First, you’ll need to rent booth space. You can rent by the day, week or month, depending on the flea market venue. Here’s what else you need to know:
1. Get the required permits. – You may be required to obtain a seller's permit, so talk with the flea market manager to find out what documents you’ll need. And if you plan to sell food, be aware that you'll need additional permits.
2. Know your tax liability. – Check with your local revenue department to determine your tax liability. The laws are different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so get all the facts before the day of the swap meet.
3. Set the terms and conditions for sale. – Decide whether you’ll accept personal checks. Most vendors prefer cash because dealing with bounced checks is a pain. And with advances in technology like the Square app, it’s easy these days to accept major credit cards. You may also want to display an “all sales final” or “merchandise sold as is” sign to protect yourself against having to deal with refunds. 4. Always be honest. – Be fair and truthful with customers. If you know that an item has a flaw or needs to be repaired, tell the customer before they buy. It’s not OK to be dishonest just because you're displaying an “as is” sign. If you get a reputation for being unfair, it will hurt you in the future. Count on it.
5. Be strategic in setting prices. – Flea markets are places where people expect to negotiate prices. Therefore, set a price point slightly higher than what you really want for an item so you'll have room to bargain.
6. Know what you’re selling – Avoid undervaluing your merchandise. Make sure you know exactly what any antique or collectible is worth. You may even want to hire an appraiser to look over some of your merchandise and tell you what it's worth. Yes, appraisers cost money, but you don’t want to sell a vase for $5, only to discover later on that it was worth $1 million.
7. Remember that presentation is everything. – People tend to buy with their eyes, and a messy booth can turn potential buyers off. Keep your space neat and organized. Choose a pretty tablecloth for your display table, but, make sure it isn’t so pretty that it competes with what you’re selling. Another trick I like to use is to set a bowl of penny candy on my display table. I find that giving away free candy helps draw people to a booth.
8. Keep plenty of change on hand. – Make sure you have at least one hundred dollars in change to start the day.
9. Watch the money – A fanny pack or some other small purse that you can wear is, I think, the best and safest way to keep up with your money. Metal boxes or large bags, on the other hand, are hard to hide and hard to watch and can be easy targets for thieves.
10. Don’t forget the bags. – Bring plenty of shopping bags with you so your customers will have a way to carry their merchandise. And if you’re selling fragile items, bring a stack of old newspapers that you can use to wrap and cushion the merchandise.
11. Make it a family affair. – Involving your children in the flea market business is a wonderful way to spend quality time together while teaching them about customer service, accounting, sales, marketing, and responsibility. You can even encourage them to sell some their old toys, clothing, and electronics so they can make their own money.
Related Posts You Might Like!
How to Negotiate at Yard Sales, Garage Sales and Flea Markets
"Picked Off" Stars on Thrift Style Living
World's Longest Yard Sale: The Journey Ends