Friday, July 22, 2011

The Top 3 Trends in the Thrifting Community

The thrift community is thriving. If feels like there have never been more television shows, websites, blogs, books, and social networks aimed at thrifting and living a frugal lifestyle. I love it, and I enjoy being in the middle of this movement as an accidental authority.

From someone who's right in the middle of the movement, here are the Top Trends in the Thrifting Community:

1. Thrift Presence on Social Media is Growing Exponentially

There are hundreds of blogs dedicated to thrifting across the globe, and more thrift blogs are created every day. Just like every other industry,  thrift and antique stores are trying to increase sales and reach a new audience by setting up social media accounts and being active in the online thrift community.

2. There are More Resellers Than Ever

Reselling is providing income for many who can't find it elsewhere in a slow job market. I've seen reselling provide better lives for families, I've also seen people flounder because they were misled, thinking it would be an easy way to make cash on the side.

Either way, there's competition internationally at thrift stores, yard sales, and estates sales with resellers trying to make money from anything and everything, not just antiques.

3. Thrift and Frugality is a Mainstream Media Fixture

Thrift stores and being frugal is being reported more and more in mainstream media. In the U.S., shows like Cash & Cari, Auction Hunters, American Pickers, Storage Wars, Picker Sisters and The Flea Man have popped up over the past couple of years; all tapping into America's innate love of vintage treasures and giving hope that there's easy money in reselling. 

I'm frequently asked about my opinion on this subject, so expect Thrifting Trends to become an ongoing discussion on Thrift Core. In the next post I'll go deeper into the trends and address some personal thrifting FAQs.

What are the top trends you're noticing in the thrift community?
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  1. It has become harder and harder to find bargain at yard sales and the Goodwill anymore. If you don't get to the yard sales early enough, all the "good stuff" is gone. And the Goodwill has caught on to this trend and I have found that their prices have gone up a bit knowing there is a thrifting mania going on right now. At least the additional cost goes to a good cause.


  2. I think that with the explosion of interest in food, anything food related are hot items in thrift. Anything to prep, cook hold or present with are what seems to make the rounds.

  3. I've definitely noticed that it's getting harder and harder to find things. A lot more competition that I think is in part due to all of the online and TV based buzz. Also because of the economy. People are looking at used things as having more potential for usage as well as income now than they did before.

    Plus many of the thrift stores are keeping back vintage items instead of putting them on the shelves. They list them in their own online shops. I kind of miss the old days. :)

  4. Diane: That's another trend, a rise in prices for second-hand goods. It's getting harder to find big grab bags of things for cheap. I miss those Wild Wild West thrifting days...

  5. Jessica: I'll have to keep that in mind as I hunt. It makes sense, people trying to save money by cooking their own food.

    Eartha Kitsch: I've noticed the same trends. I've talked to plenty of flea market vendors and resellers that report the same things you've described.

    I feel lucky that here in North Florida there's a huge plethora of places to hunt, even with lots of competition I still find vintage bits.

  6. I think here in Jax there is some places where you can find a good deal. I know at City thrift in paxon they have .99 mondays where the color ticket they have listed anything 19.91 and under is .99 for a few exceptions. Then I find deals all the time at the city rescue mission store and thrift store in cedar hills. It depends on the days you go.

  7. I've noticed the increased prices at the thrifts as well. Many times they will check prices on the internet for pieces of china (and other things, too) before they price. The real treat is finding something that slipped through and is priced at a deal.

    Some things are just priced ridiculously so finding the "deal" is more of a thrill for me now.

  8. Since I've on the selling side for 3 months now, I have lots to say on this! But, briefly, prices online are higher than at brick and mortar (or grass and apartment) sales. Also, buyers really know prices. If something's priced below the going rate, it's snatched up immediately. I marked a big, beautiful Quaker lace tablecloth at $15 and it was spied and purchased within 5 minutes.

  9. Thrifty Crafty Diva: Thank you for the valuable tips, I shall be using them! I love City Thrift.

  10. Tammylovesdishes: You're right, thrift scores are more thrilling now that they're somewhat scarce.

    Diana: I can't wait to interview you in detail and clean the knowledge you've gained from running your own B&M! Thank you for the feedback.

  11. I was so disappointed by Cash & Cari - I don't watch TV, and a lot of my friends/family were telling me to watch it because she seemed just like me! But when I went to watch it, she just seemed soulless and all about the money. There was that episode where she sold the guy's motorcycle for a fraction of what he wanted it for, I feel like just for commission. Isn't the vintage business all about story-telling and soul? I guess you have to sort of strike a balance between business and historian.

  12. Cara: I don't like Thrift TV in general. I like the hosts and think they're one of us- thrift lovers who just happened to get a TV show deal- but I think all Thrift TV is soulless. That's a rant for another post ;)

    You're not alone in your thoughts, Cara.

  13. Here in the city I've seen people pricing items at yard sales at vintage store pricing.

    ET & Holly Hobbie games? $15 each.
    A really tacky orange vase? $25.
    Credenza? $200.

    Not what comes to mind when I think of a yard sale.

  14. cara lynne, that's the way I feel about American Pickers. There was that one episode where they went to the guys house & the owners had wanted him to pick his sons bedroom, which was full of '80s & early '90s stuff, but they weren't into it & then found out they he was a collector.

    He ended up having a piece that he was extremely attached too & they talked/suckered him into selling it to them & he was saying, "I sold it to them because they were good guys & I think they'll appreciate it as much as I did." Uh huh. Turn around & sold it ASAP for that profit. I felt really bad for the guy, he was really attached to the piece. God knows what they said to get him to sell it to them off camera.

    & won't stop at taking advantage of old people for a buck, it's actually a bit disturbing.

  15. I'm finding it easier to shop at yard sales than the local thrift stores here, also. My local Goodwill NEVER has tag color sales, but we do have a Salvation Army that does, and I shop there frequently (1/2 off bric a brac Mondays!!)and they have helped me in the past, so I like to give back. I do see trends in kitchen wares, and really solid mid-century pieces, stuff that just screams '50's!!' I also have good luck with oddites and things that I refurb in 50's+60's colors (olive greens etc).

  16. For the past few weeks I have come across some Sweet Deals, Salvation Army, Pyrex Glass bowls with the dark blue lids, set of 8 (missing one rectangular bowl with lid) $4.50, Online I've seen it for $13.00 to $25.00 plus shipping & an A-Line dress, $2.50. While at this Thrift Store in my neighborhood, I found a three piece Porcelain Corning Cookware from the "Spice of Life" Collection $6.00, I checked online to see how much the 8.5 inch frying pan was $35.00 what a steal! oh and I found this simple blousey black dress for $1.80 and guess what it was HALF OFF!!!

  17. My local Goodwill has jacked up prices in the past two months...grrhh! Yard and estate sales have been where most of my scores have come from! Some thrift stores have still kept prices low so I still have a fairly good selection.

    I've noticed using your phone to look up pricing has increased. I don't have a smart phone but I saw some 65+ man on his smart phone at an estate sale looking up prices of the things he was buying.


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