Thrift stores may hold more treasures than you expect, from high-end jewelry to one-of-a-kind art pieces to exquisite home goods. There are some items in thrift stores and flea markets you should never pass up. Part of the beauty of thrifting is wandering around and looking until you find that perfect item.
1. Vinyl Records
One of the top things you should purchase is desirable vinyl records. If you see one of your favorite old artists' records, like Prince or Amy Winehouse, don’t hesitate to buy it. With records having a resurgence in popularity, you can likely find some hidden gems to add to your collection.
2. Sterling Silver
Sterling silver might not be the fanciest type of metal, but it is one of the most durable and long-lasting. It’s brilliantly resistant to tarnishing and discoloration so that it can withstand a lot. If you see anything sterling silver you like, whether a bracelet or cutlery set, grab it!
3. Antique Mirrors
Mirrors can be wildly expensive when new, and modern ones are often made with cheap materials. However, antique and vintage mirrors are often more extravagant and high-quality. Look for grand mirrors at thrift stores to elevate your home and ditch the cheap-looking mirrors.
4. Wicker and Rattan
Wicker and rattan items, whether a chair or a basket, are precious. Many people adore these products' homey but natural look, but they can cost a pretty penny when you buy them new. They’re perfect for a porch, sunroom, or even a bedroom.
5. Lamps and Lights
Similar to mirrors, lamps, and lights can be very expensive when you buy them new, and they often don’t have the distinct charm of older lighting. If you see a lamp or light fixture that speaks to your soul, don’t second guess yourself — take it home.
6. Vintage Art
The art in stores like Target and TJ Maxx can feel cold and commercial. As much as it’s wonderful to buy art straight from talented artists, it can be costly. Supplement your home with vintage art from thrift stores and flea markets to give your space a special aura.
7. Ceramic and Porcelain Items
Like sterling silver items, sticker prices on ceramic and porcelain products can be steep. However, you may luck out and find beautiful ceramic bowls or porcelain vases for just pennies or dollars! Keep an eye out for these stunning pieces on your next thrifting trip.
Pyrex may not sound exciting, but older Pyrex dishes and containers can be simply exquisite. If you find anything labeled Pyrex, scoop it up before someone else does. Modern Pyrex is still fabulous but is expensive and doesn’t have the lovely vintage flair thrift store Pyrex does.
9. Pine Furniture
Pine is one of the most durable and attractive varieties of wood, but it’s also costly. A high-quality pine dresser can cost hundreds of dollars, but you could find one at your local flea market for only $50! The soft, nutty color and dramatic wood grain pattern tell you it's pine.
10. Stoneware and Studio Pottery
If you don’t know how to make pottery, never pass up some beautiful stoneware and handmade pottery at a thrift store. These pieces are charming and one-of-a-kind, so don’t miss out on taking these babies home. They may even have initials on the bottom, making them even more unique and special.
11. Coffee Table Books
You can buy coffee table books practically anywhere, from Target to Amazon to Barnes & Noble. But the coffee table books you’ll find at thrift stores and flea markets are wonderful, as they often have a lovely amount of wear in them, and you’ll find books about wild topics you can’t find anywhere else.
12. Scandinavian Furniture
Scandinavian furniture is very hot right now, offering clean lines, simple silhouettes, and high-quality construction. If you find a piece of Scandinavian furniture at your local flea market or thrift store, don’t wait to grab it!
13. Artificial Christmas Trees
Artificial Christmas trees are built to last for a decade, if not longer, but people often grow tired of theirs after only a couple of years. So, they donate perfectly good trees that sit there and wait for you to rescue them. It’s substantially more affordable than buying a brand-new tree.
14. Vintage Novels
Aside from coffee table books, which are mostly just for show, thrift stores often have collections of vintage novels. If you take your time going through them, you may find some super old books, or maybe even a first edition, if you’re lucky!
15. Designer Clothes
Most people know that if you see a high-end designer name in a thrift store, you should take it home with you. These items are usually priced higher than other thrift items, but they’re still a steal compared to buying them new.
16. Name Brand Bags and Shoes
Along with designer clothes, you should also keep an eye out for name-brand handbags, wallets, shoes, and other accessories. Shoes especially can be crazy expensive, so if you find a high-quality pair that fits you, make sure you grab them.
17. Fine China
Believe it or not, you can find fine china at flea markets, antique stores, and thrift shops. There’s no need to spend a fortune on fine china if you’re willing to scout out some of these stores. You may even find a complete collection of plates, bowls, and cups!
18. Hand-knitted Blankets and Throws
Like studio pottery, hand-knitted or crocheted blankets and throws are one-of-a-kind and a lovely way to make your place feel homey and cozy. You can find marvelous patterns and vibrant colors that you can’t buy at your typical home goods store.
19. Antique Jewelry
From dazzling engagement rings to simple earrings to extravagant necklaces, the antique jewelry at flea markets and thrift stores can be mesmerizing. These pieces are more affordable but contain a mysterious history that makes them even more captivating.
20. Cast Iron
Steak from a cast iron pan is unmatched, but cast iron can be very expensive. These pans also take substantial time and effort to season properly. A stunning cast iron pan from a thrift store will likely already be well-seasoned and way more affordable!
21. DVDs and CDs
Like vinyl records, DVDs and CDs are a thing of the past and mostly not made anymore. If you still have a CD player or DVD setup, thrift stores are the best places to find old classics that are difficult to come by nowadays. You may also find a CD player or DVD player at the store.
22. Unique Fabric
If you love to sew, there is no better place to find eccentric and ravishing fabrics than flea markets and thrift stores. From high-end silk to quirky patterns to elegant colors, the fabrics you find at these antique shops are irresistibly beautiful.
23. Sporting Goods
Do you need a new pair of ice skates or a baseball bat? Before dropping hundreds at your local sports store, check out the thrift shops first. They often have hockey sticks, football padding, cleats, and other sporting goods that may be old but are in excellent condition.
If you’re not a Kindle person, you’re probably like me and have an excess of books in your home. I haven’t yet built my grand library, so I need bookends to keep my books in place, and thrift stores and flea markets are my favorite places to find cute and eccentric ones.
Along with the hand-knitted blankets and throws, you may also find adorable quilts at your favorite thrift store. Again, these are unique and an easy, sweet way to make your house cozy and inviting. I recommend having them dry-cleaned before use!