Thrift store and second-hand shopping isn’t only economical, it’s fun too, and is a great way to spend a weekend afternoon in the Dayton area. Want to plan your next second-hand treasure hunt? Here’s our guide on how to second-hand shop in Dayton with the best.
Second Hand Furniture in Dayton
How closely you need to watch your purchases depends on how much time and money you want to invest into your purchase. Remember SSAFE when purchasing:
- Smell the item. Unfortunately, smells are usually the kill all in second hand furniture sales. If the item smells like smoke or an animal, move along.
- Shake the item a bit. This doesn’t mean bring a level 5 earthquake to its second hand base, but give it a firm jiggle. If things creak, move, fall off or feel extremely loose, this may not be the item for you.
- Always check the assembly. This is especially important for any ready-to-assemble furniture you encounter second-hand; they aren’t built to withstand moving several times and may have irreparable damage. This also helps in determining the value of the item; if the piece has dovetail joints it may be an antique.
- Foundation is important, especially for a sofa. You can change the upholstery but you can’t fix sagging springs, crumbling cushions, or broken supports without a great deal of effort and cost.
- Examine the item for any “red flags” such as stains on the seams, bug carcasses, or droppings which can indicate a costly pest issue. If you see any staining around the base fabric or sides, walk away; this could be a sign of damage from an animal.
Be aware that most thrift stores will not be able to help you load or transport your purchase. Once you do get your item home, move it to a storage location outside of the home.
For wooden items, remove all drawers and open any cabinet doors to let it air out. Spray down wooden parts with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water and let dry to kill off anything that may be clinging to your find. Spray with a store-bought disinfectant or use a disinfectant cleaner if you find any dirt or residue.
For upholstered furniture, remove all cushions then sprinkle the item and cushions with baking soda and let sit for a few hours. This should absorb any lingering smells. Vacuum the item thoroughly. You can also use a fabric-safe disinfectant spray. Spot clean any stains, or send it off to the restorer for reupholstering.
A special note on mattresses—it’s simply not a good idea to purchase a mattress second hand. They’re impossible to wash and can harbor germs or worse.
Thrift Store Clothing Shopping in Dayton
For clothing, the Village Discount Outlet, Goodwill, Valley Thrift Stores, the Salvation Army stores, St. Francis Thrift Stores, and St. Vincent De Paul are notable. Expect to sort through lots of clothing; some stores are very well organized by size, color, and style but others may be cluttered and disorganized. A good way to shop is to look for fabric that is appealing or catches your eye, then pull the item out to examine size and style.
Look for high quality, name brand items that you normally wouldn’t (or couldn’t) buy. Try on all items if you can this way you can identify any damaged or worn sections. If you cannot, make sure you examine all buttons, try all zippers, check areas common for wearing such as knees and elbows, and overlook for stains. Check sweaters for picks and pockets for holes. Shoes are usually not good for thrift shopping since soles can be worn per the original owner’s gait and are hard to clean.
Once you’ve made your selection tie the bag shut and immediately take the bag in from the car and put contents into the wash. Wash the clothing in as warm as water possible for the fabric type, then dry on a medium-high setting for at least 30 minutes to ensure nothing could be living within the fabric.
Yard “Sale-ing” and Estate Sale Shopping in Dayton
Another great way to thrift is to go yard “sale-ing” or estate sale shopping. Check your local newspaper for sale listings or subscribe to a website such as EstateSales.Net to receive emailed listings.
Many of these sales will not accept credit cards so be sure to have cash on hand for any purchases. For estate sales, you’ll want to find the auctioneer both when you arrive to register and receive a number with which to bid. Again, there usually isn’t help on site to assist you in moving the item you purchase; make sure you plan in advance if you wish to buy a large item.
Modern estate sales aren’t just for antiques. Many families will hold estate sales to assist in a move. Be on the lookout at these for household items and furniture from all eras.
We hope you enjoy our guide to thrifty shopping in the Dayton area. Need some decorating ideas with second hand, vintage items or antiques? Check out our Pinterest board. Do you have tips on how to find the best second-hand deals in Dayton? Share in the comments or on our Facebook page.