Best Thrift Store Finds That Hold Their Value  

There are a lot of fabulous things to find when you shop at a thrift store. Every time you visit, you are sure to find something that is impressive, beautiful, or even a seasoned treasure. There are some things that may not fit your needs or your desired quality, though. As you are shopping there, how do you know what you should buy?

Look for pieces that will hold their value to get the most out of every purchase you make. That may mean choosing only those items you know are going to stand out for years to come. You can count on finding good prices on all of the items in-store at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona. Yet, some items may be more of a good deal than others. How do you know what to expect when shopping?

Tips and Tricks for Buying Quality at the Thrift Store

Whether you are looking for something specific or you’ve found something special as you were browsing, there are a few things that can help ensure you are making the best buying decision. Here’s what to look for before you make any investment.

Brand Names

Knowing brand names makes a big difference in your shopping experience. If something does not have a brand name with it, that may make you question what you’re purchasing. If you can find that name brand, chances are good you will know right away if this is something you should buy. Here are some tips to consider.

  • Name brands, especially high fashion brands, tend to be the best quality overall. If you would pay a lot for them off a store shelf, they are going to last longer, most of the time.
  • If you don’t recognize the brand, do a quick Google search. Chances are good you will learn exactly who is selling it as well as the price point that it is commonly sold at on store shelves.
  • Store brands can still be of very good quality. These may not be designer labels, but they are worth taking a closer look at to find out what they are really offering.

When comparing brand names, remember that if you are looking for reviews, consider the majority of reviews rather than the minority. Some people may have had a bad experience with a single product, but that does not represent the entire brand name.

Real Leather

Whether it is a piece of furniture or a stunning jacket, real leather is always worth the investment. The key is to know whether or not it is leather. There are many imitation products on the market that may look and feel authentic but really are not. At the same time, sometimes real leather is not worth the investment if it is broken up and falling apart.

There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at leather products. Valuables made of leather tend to have specific features such as these:

  • The material should feel soft and yet still have a slightly grainy feel to it.
  • Leather is very flexible, with the ability to move easily without causing any bends or folds in the fabric itself.
  • Faux leather products are not flexible – often impossible to bend and flex easily.
  • Leather tends to have a warm feel to it, rather than faux leather that tends to be cool or cold to the touch.
  • You can also smell leather to see if it’s real. Expect a distinct, oak-like smell to it. Faux leathers smell like plastic or chemicals. Sometimes faux leather does not smell like anything.

Real leather is a comfortable and appealing product. Verifying its authenticity is important. Look for name brands, too. You may not be able to assume products labeled as genuine or authentic are, in fact, authentic, just from the stamp on them.


Verifying artwork pieces is very challenging unless you have a skilled eye. If you find a piece of artwork that you’re considering, be sure to look for any signature on it. You may also find a certificate on it that can provide some additional information about the piece’s quality and authenticity. Even if you don’t find a known signature on it, it may be well worth your investment if the quality is good. The key with artwork is that if you love it, it is worth investing in it.

Furniture Pieces

Furniture can be very valuable if you buy quality. Before making a purchase, take a good overall look at the piece. Was it well cared for by whoever owned it? Is it in good overall condition without noticeable damage to the structural components? That’s going to give you the best idea of the value of the piece outright.

Then, to determine how valuable it is, you may want to take a closer look at things like the name brand attached to it. If there are noted dirty areas, you may want to consider things like how hard it would be to clean up. Still, if the structure is in sound condition, it tends to be worth the investment with most furniture.

A piece of sturdy wood furniture is well worth it, in some cases, even if you have to make repairs later. A new coat of stain or an update to the paint could bring it back to life and help it find a place in your home again.

Designer Items Including Designer Handbags

One of the tricks to buying valuables is to know your stuff. If you know the name brand well enough, that is a good starting point. Designer handbags, for example, tend to be easily counterfeit. Look for tags and logos on the pieces. Look for the print located on the inside of the piece. If you’re unsure if it matches the product in hand, do a quick search online for the product itself. You can use images you find there to help you determine if the piece you’re holding is authentic.

Collector’s Items

From baseball cards to vintage buckles, there are many treasures found at the thrift store that are well worth investing in if you love these items. Your goal is to verify their authenticity. That’s going to be hard to do, in most cases, if there is not a certificate with the item. If you’re unsure, do a quick search online to determine the value. If you are still unsure, and the item is priced well enough, it may be worth purchasing it to find out what it is worth.

Take your time comparing all of the items available to you at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona. With a few minutes to check out the items and do some basic research, you are sure to find items that are perfectly worth the investment. Knowing what to look for can help you to find items that are just right for your needs, whether you plan to use them as they are or make changes.

Many of the products you find here are able to hold their value long-term, especially if they have been well cared for through the years by the previous owner. It is always worth taking a closer look before you decide to buy.

Exciting Events this Week!

Amazing things are always happening at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona! Whether you are looking for a daily special or want to participate in one of our job training events, we have something for you.

*Daily deals are valid at select Metro Phoenix, Prescott, and Yuma locations. Please check with your neighborhood Goodwill for details. Dollar Day pricing adjustment goes into effect on Jan. 5, 2023.

Discount valid on used merchandise only. Not valid on food or drink, new goods, seasonal or holiday items. Not valid at Goodwill Clearance Center.