Thrifting – Amber Style

Okay so I thought I would go over a little bit how I thrift, specifically the sales on the weekends: yard sales, garage sales, and the holy grail: estate sales. The first thing to do is find a reliable source of information. I go for the local paper.

Here’s a list of what I bring:
-Basket – guaranteed to make you look genius. I’ve had these for a couple years now and they are freaking fantastic. Every sale I get a "oh your own basket that’s a good idea!" You can stash stuff in here while the mad grab is going on and then before you check out review everything to make sure you need it all.
-Bags – I also bring bags, for linens, and little things to hold in the car. If you always go for glass bring boxes and paper, don’t expect them to have all that for you.
-Directions – very important!
-Thrifting Purse – one you don’t mind getting dirty, can go over your shoulder and leave your hands free, separate pocket for your cash, in it I put:
-Purell – I usually try to avoid anti bacterial in an effort to stop creating super germs, but I do have some just for this because I’ve ran in to some real nastiness.
-Cash – 1s, 5s, 10s, maybe a few 20s, but the thing is the less money the more bargaining power you have; "I only have 12 dollars, will you take 12 for it?" You can always leave more in the car. And I always bring my check book in case I find a big item.
-Cell Phone – a cell phone with a camera is ideal if you need to check with someone about something they have been looking for.
-Business Cards – If you look for really specific things like me, and you run into people who run estate sales a lot you can give them your card and they might be willing to contact you if they run into that thing.
-Sustenance – I always bring Diet Coke so I can wake the hell up as this is usually the earliest I get up all week. Fruit, a power bar, graham crackers, etc.
-Closed Toed Shoes – Learn from my misery. I have been in so gross places, with animal droppings, mold, muddy yards, etc. Plus the time I was parked out in the country next to a snake!

So how did I fare today?

I found some awesome stuff. I registered for one of those puree things, but this was only five, I picked up another snack set (I swear I’ve never seen these before and now they are everywhere), three diaries each with 5 years of entries. Gonna be a good read:

"Today our cook left us." Hmm… Lots of Christmas goodies, which is weird because usually very hard to find and over priced. That angle was one of three. Tomorrow is half price day at that place so I’ll go there first thing and try and get the other two (five dollars normally, so 2.50). This box of bulbs was only one dollar.

And when I was leaving a man came up to me and told me it was his dad’s house and he remembered the bulbs from when he was a small child, always putting them up at Christmas. He said he wanted all the stuff to be happy in new homes, I thought that was so sweet. It’s rare to hear about where things came from or a story about them.

I also scored this chili mug, some sweet older maps, and (not pictured) an atlas, two Gene Straton-Porter books (I had them when I was younger and then loaned them out – they never returned), a history of entomology, with some awesome bug drawings.

Now I’m getting all fluttery because I’m going to get in line for the iPhone. I called 45 mins ago and there were 15 people in line!!!

Join the Conversation


  1. you have really made me want to start thrifting… but i need to wait until i get an apartment of my own, because i will make my mom go crazy if i start thrifting now! haha. can’t wait to hear all about the iPhone! 🙂

  2. ah to have Fridays free to thrift! what wonderfullness! thanks for telling me how it’s done because I was truly wondering what your science was, you do find all the best stuff! and to have an item with a story, that makes it even better!

  3. oh girl.
    i am sooo jealous of the diaries. please make sure you share. that has been the dream since i was a lil girl. actually it was to move into a house with an attic and discover the diary of a person who lived there before me.
    {deep sigh}

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *