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Six Types of Thrift Store Shoppers: Which One are You?

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

When it comes to shopping at thrift stores there are different types of thrifters. I've identified six, but I'm sure there are more. Maybe you can relate to any one of these:

1. The Non-Starter: Basically, if you think shopping second hand is disgusting or beneath you, you fall into this category.

2. The High-Low: You might be a High-Low if you have high expectations of finding exactly what you're looking for while also having a low tolerance for the amount of patience needed to do so. You stop by thrift stores occasionally (maybe a couple times a year) and hold expectations that the exact china you’ve been searching for in order to match Great Aunt Lucy’s 1942 collection will be found. What you find instead is disappointment that the item wasn't there and your nagging annoyance with second hand institutions. This annoyance dissipates slowly over time, eventually leading you, six months to a year down the road, to believe once again in your unrealistic expectation that you'll find it.

3. The Patient Hopeful: You are probably the patient hopeful if you are looking for a specific item, but browse thrift stores regularly, even while on vacation, because you know it’s going to take time to find it. You remain hopeful, browsing faithfully while picking up treasures here and there to add to your collection until you finally find it!

4. The Professional: You recognize the type. These are the ones who enter the store quickly, make a sharp left and turbo browse the perimeter of the store as efficiently as possible in a store that changes daily. They will either leave the store as quickly as they entered with nothing in their hands or will leave with a cart (or two) filled to the brim.

5. The Over-Indulger: You may hear this shopper before you see them. It’s like they are on auto-repeat saying things like, “Oh my gosh…this is SO cheap.” Or “OOh, I need that” even though we all know need is too strong of a word and the price tag is directing all the traffic. They are also the ones who say, “Pink tag. Only $.99. Might as well.” This shopper generally doesn’t need any of the things they are purchasing. It’s all roses and butterflies until they end up spending their grocery budget at the thrift store and have a house full of things that will eventually be donated right back to the place from which they came.

6. The Treasure Hunter: These are the folks who wake up declaring ‘Today is a great day to go treasure hunting.’ They arrive at the store with an empty car and an open mind. They’ve told whomever is in charge of the kiddos to plan dinner because they have no clue what time they’ll be home. They’re patient, steadfast and browse every. single. aisle. They read labels, they check for function, they google brand markings and end up finding…you guessed it, treasures!

Which type of thrifter are you?

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