I’m so inspired by all the thrifters and DIYers out there that can transform ugly ducklings into beautiful works of art. I have to be honest, I’ve never been big on that kind of design. I remember when I first started my staging businessCommunicating How Home Staging Helps Sell Homes in a Buyer's Market v. a Seller's Market. Read more ... » and someone talked about how they turned their ice chest into a coffee table by throwing some fabric over it. All I could think was “oh, hell no!” I mean, I had picky clients that would complain about real furniture, let alone disguising something as one. The occasional spray painting of a mirror or lamp I can handle, but beyond that…it’s not really my cup of tea.
In more recent years, I must say I’ve become more open to the concept. I can see the benefits, especially when working on a tight budget. You have to get more creative when you don’t have the privilege of buying all new, ready-made items.
Here are some of the best places I’ve found to get bargains for your home:
1. Craigslist. This online community has amazing resources. Remember, one (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure. Check postings under FURNITURE or HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. You may even want to check under FREE. I have a friend who’s found phenomenol deals that way. You can narrow the search so that you only see posts for sale BY OWNER or BY DEALER and you can choose to see only posts that HAS IMAGE. Frankly I don’t even know why people bother otherwise, but there are brand new items, slightly used items and even vintage finds. As long as you’re willing to go pick it up, it’s like having access to thousands of garage sales online. It’s also a great resource for selling items that you no longer need. I’ve had great success with it. The best part is, it’s FREE!
2. Thrift Stores. Again, this has never been a huge interest of mine personally. I’ve donated to them, but never really shopped them. Over the last few months, I kept hearing and seeing people post online about what great finds they scored at their local thrift stores so around the new year, I decided to pay a visit to my local thrift stores: Hope Station, Goodwill, and Thrift Town. I did score a box of Christmas ornaments for less than $2. I thought some of the items were overpriced for what they were, but I can tell that thrifting is really a sport. Those who are serious about it, know when the sales are, there are certain days dedicated to additional savings on specific types of items such as clothing or household goods. It makes sense that if you go around the new year or during spring cleaning season, you’ll find better items because that’s when people do the most donating. It’s the thrill of the hunt for many. Check out your local thrift store and see what you find.
3. Garage or Yard Sales. This is a very traditional resource. As the weather is improving, I’m sure more folks will be having garage sales. The difference between going in person and shopping online via Craigslist is that you can physically see and touch and bargain in person. Plus, there are a lot of little things that people have available for sale that they won’t take the time to post online.
4. Big Box Stores. You just never know what’s available in these stores. Costco is a great resource. They buy in bulk and negotiate for the best prices so when it’s available, you have to take advantage of the deal. I’ve seen great deals on plants, toilets, lighting, plumbing fixtures, and furniture. It’s usually a limited supply, so don’t think too long. Your local home improvementEffective Home Staging Tip: Create a Lasting Impression on Your Buyers by Avoiding the "Vanilla Box" Syndrome. Read more ... » stores also have great bargains. I’ve seen beautiful, nice sized mirrors for as little as $30 and firepits for $60. The key is to keep your eyes open.
Last, but not least, 5. Your Own House. This doesn’t work for me personally because I’m much too diligent of a purger to find hidden treasures in my home, but most people have tons of extra things in their closets, cabinets, garage or attic that can be repurposed. I recommend that you take some time to clean out a space and see if there isn’t a hidden treasure lying in wait…way back in the corner there.
Hope you found these tips helpful. Any store you walk into can have a hidden gem. Good luck and happy hunting!
Where do you find great bargains? Let me know by leaving a comment below.