The Five Rules of Thrift Store Shopping (by an Ex-Thrift Store Employee)
Thrift Store Shopping - Yes, There Are Rules!
Take it from an ex-thrift store employee, there are rules to thrift store shopping—five rules to be exact! As a teenager, I worked at a thrift store for about two years, and I can tell you that I have seen every single one of these rules being broken! Anytime you are in a thrift store doing some thrift store shopping, you need to keep these rules in your mind because they just might save your life!
1. Don't Pull Price Tags
The number one rule while thrift store shopping is to never pull pricetags off of the items! It is rude and shady, but besides that...you may have gotten a better deal on the item with the price tag on! The reason I say this is because when I worked at my thrift store job, if someone pulled the price tags off of an item or many items, I would know and I would usually bump up the price just to teach them a lesson. Don't try to get out of paying two dollars for a shirt because you think it should only cost you one dollar, for crying out loud! Isn't two dollars cheap enough? Get over it and pay the thrift store's set price.
2. Never Buy Underwear
The second most important rule of thrift store shopping is to never buy underwear from a thrift store! It is disgusting and unsanitary, to say the very least.
Yes, I have seen people buy underwear right off of the rack at a thrift store. What's worse is that I would throw away any underwear that was donated to the thrift store, but my boss would hang them up on a hanger and slap the tighty whiteys on a rack! Let's just talk about the nasty things that could be present in a used pair of underwear...crabs, streak marks, you name it. Well, that's as far as I'll go, but you get the point, right? Just don't do it!
3. Don't Dig Through Items Not On Floor
The third rule of thrift store shopping is to never dig through items that aren't already for sale on the floor. What do I mean by this exactly? It is NOT cool to rummage through carts of unpriced items or scour over racks that have not been placed amongst the rest of the items for sale in the store. This is mainly a rule coming from a thrift store employee and why? Because it's more than annoying to the thrift store employees, and don't you want them to be on your side and not against you? Exactly!
4. Don't Haggle With Thrift Store Employees
Following the same concept of not annoying the thrift store employees, don't argue or haggle with them while doing your thrift store shopping! I had dozens, actually probably hundreds, of weekly and daily customers that would try to haggle with me over the price of a cup. We would mark them at $1 and these ladies would argue with me that they should only be .50! Okay, maybe $1 is a little expensive for a used cup, but the more you argue with a thrift store employee the more they'll despise you and not give you a break in the future!
5. Don't Purchase Electric Appliances Without First Testing
The fifth and final rule of thrift store shopping is to always test electrical appliances before purchasing them from a thrift store's shelves. This rule is strict to protect the thrift store customer and why? Most thrift stores do test the electrical appliances that they put on their shelves, but I can guarantee that many do not! This rule is simple - if you want to purchase an antique/vintage lamp, ask the thrift store attendant/employee if they have an outlet that you could use to test that the lamp works. The same goes for radios or clocks. I would advise against things such as toasters and microwaves, as this is unsanitary and could have some other electrical problem that you would not be able to detect upon one test.
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© 2011 Nicole Canfield