Maximize Your Thrift Store Shopping

 In Item

You know that we love a good bargain at our self storage in San Leandro. I love finding treasures and saving by shopping at thrift stores. This is a bit of an art form, and in order to be very successful at finding those hidden treasures, I’ve developed a system. I’m sharing a few simple rules for things that I nearly always pick up when I’m second-hand shopping that are too good to pass up.

Always and almost always buys

If you find an item that fits you (or a member of your family) with tags, it is definitely worth picking up, or at least giving it a second look. These items, especially clothes with designer labels can often be resold for a profit. Certain items that are extremely popular also have resale value. With the volcanic leap to popularity of the automatic pressure cooker, Instant Pots are typically a good buy and can be resold for a profit. That is, if you don’t buy it and become one of the frenzied users of this appliance, or “Potheads” as they’ve called themselves.

Games, puzzles and toys… to buy or not to buy

This is a tricky one, since many parts to games can be resold for those who have lost pieces of their game. Scrabble tiles are very popular on a resale market for crafts, etc. As a general rule, as our family is a game-playing family, I carefully inspect games for missing pieces, etc. If they appear to be complete, I will usually pick them up for our collection or put them into my gift stash. Puzzles usually are missing pieces, so if I have a craft in mind, such as for Autism Awareness Month (April), I might grab a puzzle, but I never count on them being complete.

With many children, saving on toys is always a big deal. I make it a rule not to buy stuffed toys, pillows, etc. These can carry dust mites, bedbugs, and other nasties into my home that I would rather not deal with.


This really depends on what it is, what kind of condition it is in, and the condition of the items that are nearby. In the case of bedbugs, which can be carried in on furniture, I am very cautious. If everything looks good, I take a peek at the surrounding items, look for areas in which the bedbugs could have been hiding (in knotholes, other crevices, etc.) before I commit.


I can’t resist a good frame. I’ll buy a bunch of dogs playing poker for a good frame! You can easily up cycle the frame without the print or painting.

If you find something particularly good, please come share it with us at Mini Safe Storage in San Leandro.

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