There are a multitude of different thrifting guides on the interwebs. Most of these guides tell you how to shop a thrift store. I am of the opinion that how someone thrifts is unique to them. Some like to head straight for the knick knacks, others flock to the clothes, while others shop the accessories first.
I shop each of my regular thrift store stops differently. Since I frequent these places often, I have a pretty good idea which stores tend to carry which items I look for and I shop accordingly. Some stores I start with the clothes, while others I start with the housewares.
However, no matter what you thrift store shopping strategy, having some good tools in your arsenal will help you find the treasures worth digging for.
Here Are My Top 3 Thrifiting Must Haves:
1. Dressmakers Tape Measure
I probably own a half dozen of these. I keep one in my purse, in my car, in my supply tote for shows, and have a few laying around at home. I buy almost all my clothes based on measurements. It saves time trying things on; plus, some thrift stores don't have dressing rooms.
2. Jewelry Loop
A loop is great for making out the sometimes hard to see hallmarks on jewelry. It also comes in handy magnifying marks on dishes, clothing tags, and anything else you'd like to see up close.
3. Smart Phone
Thrifting in the 21st Century has it's advantages and the smart phone is one of them. There are some really wonderfully apps out there that alleviate the need to carry a bag full of tools that normally assist thrifters (such as the flashlight). I also use my iphone to access the internet to check labels and other information before I invest in some pieces.
Those are my three can't live without thrifting tools. What's in your thrifting arsenal?