Top 5 Things To Buy From Thrift Stores – That AREN’T Clothes!

I shop almost exclusively at 5 different places. I am confident that if you were walking through my house, or even browsing through my Instagram, I would be able to say that 99% of my belongings came from one of these five shops: Daiso, The Reject Shop, Kmart, eBay, and thrift stores.

The reason that I constantly go back and spend all my money at those five stores is because they all cater to my very particularly sense of style, which can be summed up in two words: unique and affordable.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m the only one who knows how great thrift stores are, because we all know that’s not true. I honestly don’t know many people who don’t love thrift stores – and if I did, I’m not sure I would WANT to know them for much longer, to be honest!

Thrift stores are truly wonderful places. They help eliminate a ton of waste that would otherwise go to landfill by giving people a place to donate their unwanted goods, and they give those who don’t earn a lot of money the chance to get basic household items at great prices. I honestly love the feeling of both giving to thrift stores AND shopping at them.

I think we can all agree that the most commonly thrifted items are clothes. I know I personally own quite a few thrifted dresses that I adore, as well as various handbags, and heels that actually fit me – the latter item is practically impossible for me to find in other stores as I have child-size feet (not kidding at all; my work boots are children’s size 4 and cost me $4!).

However, clothes are not all I look for in thrift stores, and you all know that The Small Adventurer is far from a fashion blog, so let’s get into all the things that I personally love to scour all my local thrift shops for! 🙊

thrift shop books thesmalladventurer

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BOOKS

Daniel and I visit a thrift store every single Saturday morning, and without fail I ALWAYS leave with at least one book in my hand. Usually it’s at least two, and more than often it’s up to five at a time.

I LOVE reading – and am currently reading my way through the Rory Gilmore Challenge, as well as the many other books that I’d like to read – so I am constantly buying new books, which is why I never buy them new.

Last Christmas was the first time I asked for books because Daniel wanted to buy me more things so I gave him a short list – and I DO mean short – and he bought them all.

It ended up costing over $100 and since then I have found EVERY title except for one at a thrift store for a fraction of the price he spent. So, I am never buying a book brand new again!

My tips for thrift shopping for books is to check regularly as there are MANY people like me who go back to the same store at least once, and sometimes multiple times, a week to check out what’s new, so make sure you are also getting in on the good, new stuff!

Also, practice your scanning game. There’s always an abundance of books to look at, so you need to get good at the heat-tilt-and-scan so you don’t waste too much of your time. I like to briefly read through my “to read” list on Goodreads, which is actually my to buy list.

I remove any book that I purchase so if I can’t remember if I own a certain book I can look it up, and if it’s marked as “to read”, then I know I don’t have it yet. Reading the list ensures that the titles and author’s names are fresh in my mind. Shopping for books is a sport in The Small Adventurer world!

OUT OF SEASON ITEMS

No matter how much scientists try to inform the world, society as a whole has not yet seemed to fully grasp the effects that global warming is having on us. What I mean by this is: Winter is no longer full of cold days, and Summer is not always scorching hot either.

Where I’m from people always complain about ” bloody Melbourne weather” because one day it could be hailing and thunder-storming outside, and the next it’ll be so hot it will actually feel like you’re melting.

However, I know from having people on the internet from all over the world that this happens everywhere, which causes a problem when shopping.

Shops follow trends, themes and holidays – as pretty much everything in the world does – and that becomes a real problem when there’s a thunderstorm going on in the middle of Summer and you just broke your only umbrella. Get my gist here?

Thrift stores are great places to find things that regular stores don’t have in stock at a certain time of year – gloves, hats, umbrellas, beach towels, etc – AND they have them at a great price, too.

Now you can handle the unfortunate consequences of global warming until the world comes together and decides to do something about it!

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VINTAGE/RETRO ITEMS

Everybody loves a little bit of nostalgia, no matter how old you are. Whether you’re seeking items from your childhood, or you’re in love with a time that happened way before you came along, thrift stores are a treasure trove of vintage and retro items.

I personally look for mostly geeky items, such as Pokemon videos or anything Sailor Moon related, as I love both those franchises and know that those things only increase in value.

But there is an endless amount of retro items out there waiting for you to discover them! Classic record players, typewriters, rotary phones, cassette players, and old TVs are just a few that come to mind.

Whilst these kind of objects can be remade and re-released – and have done so quite a bit lately – nothing will beat owning the real OG versions that will mostly be obsolete due to people throwing them out. They will certainly set you apart from the crowd!

BAKING ITEMS

As anyone who enjoys baking will know, baking items can get super expensive! Some stores sell a single cake pan for $10-$30, which seems overly extreme to me. Thankfully, our good old thrift stores have our backs! I have bought many cake pans and silicon moulds from thrift stores, all for very low prices, which is my favourite 😉

You can also find quite unique baking items too. I’ve seen some very specific cake pans before – think trains, animals, etc – and some fun silicon moulds too, in both unique styles (I found a LEGO one not too long ago that I’m dying to use!) and some more common shapes that always come in handy, such as spheres and hearts.

The only thing I will say is thoroughly inspect each item before you buy it! I’ve seen a few baking items that have been far too dirty, sticky, and/or scratched that NO amount of cleaning on my behalf would have been able to fix. Be sure to check first and save your money!

UNIQUE MUGS

Oh boy, do I love mugs! My mug collection used to be quite out of control, but I’ve actually managed to calm down with that particularly obsession of mine as they take up quite a bit of room and often break whenever you’re moving houses.

Once Daniel and I have our forever home, you can guarantee that my mug collecting will start up again at full speed and will eventually take over the house.

Anyway, thrift stores always, always, ALWAYS have an extensive mug collection, and I have seen some truly uniquely designed mugs in my time.

I personally have thrifted quite a few mugs that have cakes and other sweets on them as well as other cute prints, but there is always something for everyone over in the mug section. Take a closer look next time, I guarantee you’ll find something that peaks your interest!

There you have it: all my favourite things to thrift! Man, I really do love a good thrift store. Once in a blue moon, Daniel and I will both get the same day off (and I really do mean it when I say that is a VERY RARE occurrence!), and on those days we often go to multiple thrift stores together, seeing what kind of treasures we can find.

We also love going to Cash Converters! We buy a lot of retro games, consoles, and DVDs at great prices. We just can’t say no to a good bargain 🙊 Do YOU like thrift shopping? If so, what are some of the best things you’ve found? Let me know in the comments! 👇

Until next time,
Indya xx

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32 thoughts on “Top 5 Things To Buy From Thrift Stores – That AREN’T Clothes!

  1. I get the majority of my books from thrift stores 🙌🏼 I also look for cool pieces of furniture that I can upcycle, fabric and other sewing items and coloured vintage glassware (which I collect). I love the thrill of never knowing what treasures you’re going to find

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    • It’s SO much cheaper to buy books secondhand, isn’t it?! Plus I love that you can find older copies, sometimes with notes hidden inside then. I also buy large t-shirts and pillows from thrift shops so I can re-use the fabric, too! SO much cheaper than buying it new 😊

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    • Yes, I agree! I now buy a lot of books that I otherwise wouldn’t have looked at because they’re so much cheaper at thrift stores, which has really opened up the different kind of books that I read 😊

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    • Clothes aren’t really my thing so I don’t check my local thrift stores’ clothing sections unless I’m looking for a specific piece, but I know they can have some wonderful items in store! ☺️

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  2. I definitely shop thrift stores for books. I got the entire Twilight series, along with SEVERAL of my other favorite books and series – sometimes for only $1 per book. It’s the best way to save on good reads. And I’ve never looked at thrift shops for mugs, but now I want to try that. So fun!

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    • Wow, $1 sounds awesome! The closest thrift shop to me tends to sell books for $3-$10, so it can still be a little steep when I’m buying 5+ books at a time 😅 but still so much cheaper than buying new! That’s great that you managed to find complete series. I found the first 13 or so Pretty Little Liars books, but now I’m struggling to find the last few to complete the set 😂

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  3. We always get books from thrift stores – and I love to get nice serving dishes for just a couple of bucks! It’s amazing how many hidden treasures you can find!

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  4. I love shopping at thrift shops! I purchased so many vintage-like items for my wedding decor at my local shops – vases, metal trays, metal gauntlets — and now I have all of those items in my home decor! They have so much character, and they were a terrific deal! 🙂

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  5. I love shopping in thrift stores, but I rarely buy clothes there. My youngest child shops at the thrift store all the time and has a great mug collection. My weaknesses are dog figurines, green glass, and prints.

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    • I still think it’s worth a look! The thrift shop I frequent the most is a big name one, purely because it’s closest to me. The prices are higher, but there’s still a great selection of items 😊

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  6. I love them for retro/vintage stuff – I do a lot of theater and themed parties and they are a great resource!

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  7. Vinyls, CDs, and tapes are my Go-To item when I go to thrift stores. You would be surprised that signed copies or rare versions are for sale thee for cheap!

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  8. What a great post (love that you mentioned Daiso too)!! I love going to thrift stores to buy books – you do have to get used to looking over them quickly, otherwise, you’ll be there all day XD but I always end up leaving with a book or two – always in excellent condition and just a fraction of the price. Another thing I love to shop for at thrift shops? Vinyl records!

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    • Haha yes, I adore Daiso! Since I visit thrift stores once a week, I’ve developed a system: 3 out of visits I’ll do a fairly quick check of every section – taking a little while longer in the areas where I’m looking for a specific book – and then, on the fourth time, I’ll stroll a while longer and allow myself to really soak it all in. Either way, though, I leave with some books! I bought four today 😊

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