Ask Andy: Shopping Thrift Stores - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: Shopping Thrift Stores

(WMC TV) - At a thrift store, if it's cluttered up, there's a cover-up.

Disheveled and disorganized thrift stores are hiding something.

Three years ago, I busted an East Memphis thrift store that was a mess. Sure enough, it had stocked damaged bike helmets, expired child safety seats -- and a suitcase with an entire container of prescription drugs.

The AARP and U.S. News & World Report, as shared with consumer resource Bottom Line Secrets magazine, shared the following for shopping thrift stores:

* SHOP EARLY IN THE WEEK. Most thrift stores' donations arrive on weekends, so the inventory's larger at the beginning of the week.

* HUNT "CATEGORY BARGAINS." Shirts, for example, may be all the same price, whether they are K-Mart or Tommy Hilfiger.

* SURF THE INTERNET FOR RECOMMENDED STORES. Reliable sites include TheThriftShopper.com and ConsignmentShops.com.

NEVER buy the following at thrift stores. They are either safety hazards or health risks:

* USED CRIBS

* USED CHILDREN'S FURNITURE

* USED BICYCLE HELMETS

* USED CHILD SAFETY SEATS FOR VEHICLES

* MATTRESSES

* SWIMSUITS

* SHOES

* HATS

* MAKE-UP

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