The Best Time to Go Thrift Shopping, According to Goodwill

Britt Erlanson/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Getting the most out of your thrift store excursion takes a certain set of skills. After figuring out which items to look for, you have to try and pick out the treasures from the mountains of junk. But even the keenest eyes won’t do you much good if you go at the wrong time. For your best shot at spotting diamonds in the rough, Goodwill recommends shopping early in the day on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Thrift stores are great places to find high-quality items at affordable prices—it’s just a matter of who gets to them first. Many dedicated thrifters show up as soon as the store opens to have first pick of that day’s inventory. If you wait till the evening to make your trip, the best deals may already be gone. 

Shopping in the morning and early afternoon may be a no-brainer for many shoppers, but the advice to go early in the week is less obvious. According to Goodwill, many locations restock the floor after the weekends, which tend to be their busiest time. Stores also may see an influx in donations of yard sale leftovers that didn’t sell by the end of the previous week. 

By shopping on a weekday, you’ll also see less competition from customers who follow a typical school or workweek schedule. If you’re looking for the best time of year to thrift shop, try after a three-day holiday weekend. Many donors use the day off as an opportunity to clear out their closets.

Vintage clothes aren’t the only items to look for on your next Goodwill visit. Thrift stores are also great places to find books, wooden furniture, and vinyl records at affordable prices. Here are more things you should always buy secondhand.