Do words like shopping and offers make your heart skip a beat? Do you find it extremely difficult to control your urge to go running after these offers? Congratulations! We have diagnosed your problem. You, dear friend, are suffering from oniomania! Don’t worry. It’s not a serious medical condition. It basically means that you’re suffering from a condition that makes you want to shop more. Basically, you’re a shopaholic!
Well, shopaholic or not, you need to be a pro at thrifting. Before you start wondering what thrifting actually is, let’s make things easy for you. It basically means shopping from a thrift store; a flea market, charitable organisation or a garage sale. It’s all about finding some great stuff at a much cheaper rate as compared to the main market. Has this got you excited already? We thought as much!
The first thing you need to think about is where to shop. To find an answer to this, you need to open your web browser and hunt down the old, street markets of your city. Yes, we know it’s hard work. But, come on! You’re getting to save a lot in the end. Is there anything more rewarding than that (apart from the excitement to go shopping)? No, right? If you’re not well-acquainted with the city, asking some locals for help might be a better idea. Since they’ve been around for quite some time, they know the best places to street shop.
The advantages of thrifting are quite clear. You get to buy some amazing stuff, which isn’t available everywhere. You also get to get a good deal and save money too. Since we live in times where everything is so costly, settling for cheaper (and more unique) alternatives is probably the best way out. They might be cheaper than the usual branded stuff you splurge on, but they’re totally worth it. You get to stand apart from a crowd without spending much. Quite cool, right?
So, after listing down all the good things about thrifting, we won’t leave you confused in the middle of all those questions popping in your head. Here are a couple of tricks and tips that can turn you into a thrifting pro:
Plan, plan & plan again
Before stepping out into the dusty streets of the local market, make sure that you know what you want. Looking for things and finding exactly what you want is never a cakewalk. You need to be prepared to face the scorching heat, and other extreme weather conditions. Wait! That’s not it. You also need to step your bargaining game up. You can’t really get the best deal at a street market unless you have a tact to bargain well. The chances of getting distracted and buying a lot of other stuff are quite high. If you’re getting something really great, then why not! Don’t restrict yourself. Go ahead and buy it. Just keep a set budget in mind and try your best to stick to it. Even if you’re getting lot of good stuff, you shouldn’t compromise on your monthly budget. Remember that you need to save for some rainy days as well!
A friend in need
If you want to get the best deals at your street-shopping spree, you need to take a bargaining expert along. We all have that one friend or family member who’s a pro at bargaining. Be it something as irrelevant as green chillies or exotic as leather products, they know how to crack the best deals. No shopkeeper can ever break their record. If they want something at a particular price, they’ll make sure to get it at the exact same price. Yes! We know you’re slightly jealous of them. That’s okay! Everyone doesn’t have the skill to be a great negotiator. But be glad that you at least have such people around.
Never forget to ring them up before making any plans of going on a street-shopping spree. Even if you’ve to modify your plans according to their convenience. You’ll benefit a lot out of it, we’re telling you! Apart from getting a negotiator to help you crack great deals, you’ll also get some nice company. It’s nice to have some good company while hunting for some good deals on the dusty streets. It’ll also give you an opportunity to catch up with them. You’ve delayed it quite some time, haven’t you?
Yes! It is. We know carrying cash around in a crowded market might not sound like the best thing to do. But if you wish to get some awesome stuff, right then and there, you got to take some risk buddy! There are high chances that you’ll find something you’ve been looking for since long. But if you merely rely on Credit Cards or Debit Cards, you might miss the opportunity to finally buy it. All shops in a local market might not necessarily have the option for swiping your plastic mate. So, you need to be well-prepared for such situations. Don’t load yourself with cash bills, but do carry a decent amount around. If you’re too scared about the safety, you could try being more careful. Follow the usual street-shopping safety tips and that’s it!
Become a conversation expert
Even if you’re not great at negotiation, you need to work on your people skills. Interacting with a couple of locals who stay around the market can prove to be really helpful. They can provide you a clear idea about the usual rates, discount timings, and other relevant information. Once you’re familiar with everything in and around the market, you’ll know where to go looking for different things. It can help you save a lot of time and energy in future, and of course, will help you get better deals. Being a loyal customer always has its perks. If you like the quality of products at one shop, better continue being loyal. Bring them some business by referring your friends and ensure to make it clear that you’re the reason for the pumped-up sales. This way, you’ll not only help your favourite shopkeeper make some profit, it’ll also open up more prospects for you to get better deals in future.
Keep calm and shop on!
Give a break to all those calculations and stop being so serious. Ultimately, you’re out there to have some fun, right? Cut yourself some slack and give in to those temptations. It’s good to listen to your heart once in a while. It’s not all about buying what you need. It’s more about enjoying the whole experience. Try and absorb the vibe of the whole place. There can’t be anything more charged-up than seeing people rush in different directions at a crowded market. If you’re into photography, now’s the time to go *click click*! You might get some of the best shots for your portfolio from the hustle-bustle of the market. In short, live the moment.
Everyone can shop. It’s no rocket science. But finding the right places to shop and looking for the right things is what makes all the difference. With these tips, we hope you’ll be able to master the art of thrifting.
BankBazaar.com is an online marketplace for loans, credit cards and more.