Best Unexpected Thrift Store Shopping Finds


As the old saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Across Arizona, people donate their unwanted or unneeded clothes, household goods, furniture, toys and more to organizations like Goodwill, who in turn sell them at their local thrift stores in order to use the profits to help the surrounding community. Thrift store shoppers often find that there are plenty of unique items to discover when they go shopping. 

Unexpected Thrift Store Shopping Finds That You Might Uncover

When you step into a thrift store, you will find that there are endless possibilities within. Most people are looking to score great products for an awesome price, but some may even find products that are worth money, such as valuable art or vintage furniture. In many cases, people who are cleaning out their homes or helping with a loved one’s estate get rid of products that are not their taste or preference, without realizing that they are worth money. 

Here are a few examples of items that may be found in a thrift store: 

  • Furniture — Getting rid of unwanted furniture can be challenging, so many people take their furniture straight to the thrift store as a donation. Shoppers may often find sturdy, handcrafted wood furniture that needs minimal repairs in order to give it new life or bring it up to the design trends of today. 
  • Valuable Art — Art is a personal purchase and investment, and in many cases, people inherit art or are gifted art that is not to their taste. When this happens, they may send it to the thrift store, where someone else may fall in love with it. Sometimes, a lucky few uncover valuable art at the thrift store that is worth money. This is an opportunity to own a masterpiece for an affordable price or to make your own art investment.
  • Vases, Frames and Kitchen Serving Products — Crystal vases, valuable wall frames and designer serving sets for the kitchen can often be found at nearby thrift stores. These products often have a lot of life left in them, and they are just looking for the right home.
  • Antiques — While an item may appear to be a used, dated product from decades ago, it may actually be an antique that is worth money. Avid thrifters often scour the local thrift shop in hopes of finding a valuable antique that would make the perfect addition to their own collection.
  • Toys — Thrifty parents often find that they can score gently used toys for a fraction of their recommended retail price. This is an affordable way to score great gifts for friends and family members.

Tips to Finding the Best Products and Deals at Your Local Thrift Store

For many, thrift store shopping can quickly become a favorite hobby or pastime. Here are a few tips that can help both new and experienced thrifters uncover unexpected finds:

  • Go to the thrift store often. As opposed to major retailers, the inventory at the thrift store can change on a daily or weekly basis. To find the most useful and valuable products that might be worth money, you will want to go to the thrift store at least once per week if not more. 
  • Always check the thrift store at the end of the season. Thrift stores do rotate their inventory based on the season, and they are more likely to offer additional discounts at the end of the season when they are trying to rid themselves of items that will quickly become out-of-season. For example, for discounted Christmas and holiday decor, head to the thrift store in the days after Christmas or during the first week of January.
  • Work with the staff at the store to find the type of products that you want. The staff members at the thrift store are going to have a good idea of exactly what types of items will be located in specific sections. For instance, if you are searching for valuable art, you can ask the staff member where you are going to find various works of art, such as paintings, sculptures or pottery pieces. When you go to the thrift store often and become a regular customer, the staff will start to understand what you are looking for and can provide you with a more personalized experience.
  • Quickly scan each section to see if something catches your eye. Don’t limit yourself when you are in a thrift store. Do a quick walk through each aisle and section to see if you find something unexpected or surprising.

At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we are proud to serve our local community. Thrift store shopping helps keep millions of pounds of materials out of the local landfills, all while providing shoppers with an affordable place to get their favorite clothes, household goods and products. In addition, the revenue generated helps to support our overarching mission, which is to provide the people of the region with the tools and resources they need to find gainful employment and break the cycle of poverty. 

For more information about our local thrift stores and to learn more about our mission, contact us today.

Thrift Store Shopping

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 valid at select Metro Phoenix, Prescott and Yuma locations. Please check with your neighborhood Goodwill for details.

Discount valid on used merchandise only. Not valid on food or drink, new goods, seasonal or holiday items. Not valid at Goodwill Clearance Center. Our REDESIGN by Goodwill and Clearance Outlet are excluded. REDESIGN operates separate sales and discounts from other Goodwill stores.