How do you find treasures in a thrift store? Follow our tips

Sept 01, 2017
All hail the queen. Heather Greco is looking very regal on a love seat with Union Jack striping. She’s wearing a white tailored jacket, $5, black jeans, $4, black shirt, $3, and and red heels, $8. Frenchie, who is being fostered, looks just as regal.

Mountains of clothes. Boxes of vintage glassware. Rooms stuffed with shoes, shirts, dresses, electronics, games and housewares.

That’s what life behind the scenes of a thrift store looks like.

PHOTOS: Finding treasures in a thrift store

When I started volunteering for Austin Pets Alive’s thrift store in May, I didn’t know what to expect at the new shop. Then I became a sorter. I stand in a back room with other volunteers, digging through piles of clothes-filled garbage bags donated to the nonprofit thrift store, which benefits the organization and helps animals in shelters.

Sorters pick out the best stuff we can find, hang it up, put it on shelves and then dig around for quality merchandise. It has hammered home the reality that you can outfit yourself from head to toe for less than $15 in some places. Today, our models and Austin Pets Alive dogs show some of those best finds.

Working at a thrift store has taught me a lot about thrift-store culture. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience and walk away satisfied. Good luck and happy thrifting!

Have dog, will carry. Donald Lee, wearing a long-sleeved shirt, $3, picks up Sweets, the store manager’s dog, for a look around the store. Photo: Jay Janner/American-Statesman Staff