Holiday shopping at a thrift store can help consumers find unique gifts at bargain prices. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.
If holiday shopping on a tight budget has left you empty-handed, consider a trip to a thrift store or consignment shop.
For some tips, NY1 stopped by a Goodwill thrift store in Chelsea to meet with expert bargain shopper Carolyn Schneider, the author of savvyshoppingguide.com.
"You can save up to 90 percent off the regular retail price for an item," says Schneider. "Not only that, but sometimes you can get unique items in these stores and you can find like-new and nearly-new items. Sometimes the items have the original retail tags still on them."
Shoppers need a sharp eye, a certain amount of luck and patience.
"Not only can you find clothing for men women and children but you can find lots of accessories, jewelry, scarves, hats, also housewares, video games, CDs, toys," says Schneider. "A lot of stores get new merchandise in daily."
When NY1 stopped by the Goodwill, there was a spotless, new Michael Kors blazer that retails for $249 but was a steal for only $40.
Before reaching for the wallet, inspect the finds carefully. Check for holes, stains and cracks, missing buttons or stones, and make sure an item like a toy or a clasp on a necklace works.
Also, don't forget about gift presentation.
"You can also find some beautiful unique items to actually put gifts in," Schneider says.
Before the item is purchased, check the shops's return and exchange policy, as it may be final sale.
Lastly, you'll be hard-pressed to find a thrift store or consignment shop that offers a gift receipt, so be sure the recipient will not have second thoughts about the thoughtful gift.