You eagerly get to the thrift store, to grab some great stuff. The baskets wait by the door, ready for you to fill with all the things you're going to buy.
But aisle after aisle, you realize that there are empty hangers, the shelves are bare, and the ladies looking after the shop are nowhere in sight. What went wrong?
Wait a few minutes until the workers come back from a well deserved coffee break, and it will become clear. You got there after the main rush of customers, who are willing to stand in line to get in the door first.
In my little town, the thrift store opens Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 am sharp. Tuesdays typically are the best day, because even though the store isn't open on Monday, lots of donations are dropped off and sorted then. Early morning Tuesday is the best time to get the most choice of clothing, dishes, coats and shoes.
It is a good thing to get friendly with the staff, whether your favorite thrift store is a charity run organization staffed with volunteers, or a for profit venture.
Things to ask (politely, of course) are when is the best time for your local thrift store; particularly find out when they typically stock the shelves with new merchandise.
Typically, the time to find great stock is in the spring, when people may be going through their closets to refresh their wardrobe, or any time the season change, especially if there is a dramatic change in temperature.
Who wants a closet full of coats and winter boots to remind them of the cold weather?
Finding great quality things out of season is a good way to be prepared for the next season.