The City Magazine Since 1975

Second-Hand Shopping Tips

Second-Hand Shopping Tips
March 2009

There’s an art to efficient scavenging—know where the good stuff is and how and when to strike. Veteran secondhand shopper Hollie Wood offers a few tips to get you started: • Go early and often. You snooze you lose in the flea game. By the time your Saturday coffee is poured, Hollie has landed a couple of silk embossed lamp shades ($1 each) and lovely brilliant-cut candy jars. Be a frequent shopper at thrift stores, if only for a whirlwind five-minute glance. Speed browsing helps train your eye. • Be impulsive. Again, you snooze—or stall—and you lose. If you like it, buy it. You can find a use for it somewhere. • Pay attention. All the time. Dumpsters, piles by the side of the road—it’s all fair game. •Go solo. At least, that’s what works for Hollie. She still loves shopping with her mom, but “friends just slow me down, and you’ve got to be nimble and swift.” • Be a good sport. If her mom snakes her on a find, Hollie might be a little jealous, but she shares in her mother’s excitement. “It’s one of the rules,” she says.