Feeling like your home needs a makeover but worried about the price? Thrift stores all across Michigan have hidden treasures that can turn a dingy room into a warm and inviting one for little or nothing. Here are 5 tips that will help in your adventure:

1. Scope out the daily deals at thrift stores. Some resale and thrift stores offer special incentives for customers on certain days of the week. Some have student day, senior citizen day or even unemployment days. Call ahead to see what proof you may need and how big the additional discount is.

2. Bring your truck or SUV or find a friend who is willing to let you borrow one. Many resale shops will give you an additional discount if you are willing to take big items with you at the time you buy them. If you find a couch or coffee table that you absolutely love save yourself the hassle of coming back for it. If you simply can’t take it with you right away, check with the store manager if you can receive the same discount if you come back on the same day, rather than leaving it for a few days.

3.  Be realistic about broken items. One of the major downfalls of thrifty shopping is that many items may be broken or damaged. Only purchase the items that you know are an easy fix. If the item requires more work than it is worth, leave it. You will ultimately spend more energy and money trying to fix a broken item than you would buying a new one. If it’s a small appliance and it’s missing a part; ask the store to hold it for you for 24 hours and go home and do the research on the missing part. Don’t be hasty in getting a deal, only to find out that the item isn’t able to be replaced or will cost you a fortune doing so.

4. Think artistically. If there are picture frames you love but unsure if the color matches your new theme remember most frames can be spray painted. If there is a sofa that is in great condition but the fabric isn’t your favorite, consult a local craft store and see if you can make a slip cover.  Even if you aren’t artistic, keep in mind that items like picture frames and sofas can usually be altered for a fraction of the cost.

5. Learn to haggle. Some larger companies that run thrift stores usually won’t bargain. But it never hurts to ask. Be polite and be ready to walk away if things don’t go your way, a better deal is waiting for you else way. Smaller or independent thrift stores are usually more willing to work with you. Make sure that you talk to a manger or someone in charge and be ready to show them that you’ve done the research but remember not to “low ball” any item, it will make them less willing to work with you.

Thrift stores and resale shops are all over the metro area. Use internet search engines to locate the ones closest to your house.  With the economy fluctuating in recent months, many people have become discouraged about thrift stores because they feel they are “picked over”.  It’s important to know that while there may be more people shopping at these types of stores, bargains are still out there – you just may have to look a little harder.