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The best time to shop at a thrift store

While everybody else is looking for deals at the big-box stores and malls, savvier shoppers are adding a trip to the thrift store to their lists.

Charlie at the Three Thrifty Guys blog explains why the holidays are the best time to shop thrift stores: “The Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays are the prime donation times — around the holidays (to include New Years) people are aggressively donating unused and old items to thrift stores to make room for all the Christmas gifts they'll receive.”

He also points out that because of New Years resolutions, many people get on a decluttering kick and donate their stuff.

Clark Howard extends the thrift store season to the early weeks of January: “(Early January is the) best time of year to go to thrift stores because so many people … donate during the last week of the year to get a deduction on last year's taxes. So the thrift stores are chock a block full of great stuff these days.”

Patrice J. Williams' Looking Fly on a Dime blog also loves this time of year: “If you're like me, you're gearing up for the new year by tying up loose ends and cleaning your home from floor to ceiling. And part of cleaning involves clearing out your closet. … The end of year usually equals people getting rid of the old and making space for the new. Their 'old' tends to get donated. … And don't think you'll only find clothes and accessories. The holiday season is a big time for electronics and big-ticket items, so as people get new televisions, computers, etc., they pass down the old.”

Williams says just because it is donated doesn't mean it isn't good.

Lifehacker, however, says spring is the best time: “It's true — people really do clean house when the weather gets nicer. Spring cleaning often means a better selection of goods at your neighborhood thrift store.”

Williams at Looking Fly on a Dime also agrees that spring and even summer can have good donations coming into thrift stores for various reasons.


Twitter: @degroote