Thinking Outside the Bag – What to Look for to Fill Your Bag at a Resale Shop Bag Sale


thinkoutsidethebagBag Sales – Don’t you love them for finding bargains? Have you ever walked into a store that is advertising a Bag Sale and thought, “Where do I start?”  – “Can I really get any good bargains this way?” Are you a novice at this kind of a sale? or an old pro? I have loved Bag Sales for years, and have to admit that I watch our local shopping newspapers to find out when local thrift shops will hold their end of season bag sales. One thrift shop in my area has a bag sale every Saturday and I just discovered another store that has one every Friday. It is always interesting to see how different stores have different rules for their sales. Most of the time the items that can go in the bag are limited to certain tag colors or items. One of the end of season sales that I try to catch, allows you to choose from everything in the store – and the cost of the bag is $3. The weekly bag sale is limited to a certain color tag and is $1. I came across another bag sale last summer which I found interesting. They allowed you to choose from most anything in the store and the cost was $2 for the bag, but you could only put in up to six items. That means the best you can do is get the items down to 33 cents, which is still a good deal, but I am used to the art of fitting as much as possible in the bag. bagsalesignAt my store I use Bag Sales to clear out items at the end of the season, and to give my customers some bargains in the process. The sale only includes specially marked items, but you can “stuff the bag” with as much as will fit. I have even encouraged shoppers to Bring Their Own Bag, but they can’t be large garbage bags!! I even offer a discount if shoppers bring our local shopping bag.


Use this bag during our $2 Bag Sale and you will only pay $1 to fill it.

So what do you put in the bag when you shop at a bag sale?Do you ever walk through a store and you can’t even find one item to put in the bag? I have had some customers that have stated that they couldn’t find anything to put in their bag, so I got to thinking maybe they need to “Think Outside the Bag”. So here are some ideas of what to look for when you shop your next Bag Sale.

First – Find great buys on items you will actually wear – maybe next season, as the markdowns usually are on items that are going out of season. I usually purchase items that I would like to put into my wardrobe the next time that season comes. It can be a pleasant surprise when you find that you have something new when you get your clothes out for that season and you find the items that you got at the bag sale and didn’t have time to wear before the weather changed. End of summer is the best time to get tank tops for next to nothing – use them as the base for your layered looks in the fall & winter!! In the spring you can usually find good deals on winter items such as hat, gloves, coats, sweaters, etc.

Second – Look for items for other family members or friends – don’t limit yourself on a great buy that will fit in the bag. Have a running list of sizes and needs from others, or if all else fails, give them a call while you are shopping to check on specific clothing needs. Having the use of a cell phone to take photos of items and sending the photos to others can help to pick out something someone else could put to good use.

Third – Think of charities – causes or missions – do you know of a clothing drive for others who need clothes – fire/flood/tornado victims? Remember, even if the items are for charity, please only pick out items in good condition that you would be happy to put to use if you had a need. Some charities and organizations have drives for sneakers, undergarments, and other items, be aware and collect these items at a low cost to help others.


Wouldn’t this jacket make a great start for a costume?

Fourth – Look for funky, fun items for dress up – Homecoming days, Halloween, little girls parties, plays and more. Start a dress up suitcase for grandchildren/daycare etc. What about purchasing swimwear or formal dresses to make into costumes? Thrift stores and consignment shops can have a great variety of vintage to stylish clothes that you don’t see every day. Be creative!!

Fifth – Here comes the part of Thinking Outside the Bag – Look for things you can re-purpose for crafting. Clothing is made up of material – in so many different forms. Denim, Tshirts, leather, silk, wool, sweaters and more can be repurposed, check out our Pinterest Boards for ideas. One of my favorite things to look for are buttons and other embellishments – such as sequins, beads, etc. The cost of the bag is less than what you would pay for buttons and other items at the craft store – and many times you will find unique styles that you can’t find in other stores. ButtonJarsDon’t limit yourself to just clothing items. Be sure to check out the shoes, belts, jewelry, purses and so much more.

I have been “harvesting” these craft items from clothing that either did not sell or were not up to our standards and headed for donation. That is why we now have jars of buttons, beads and jewelry findings along with an entire rack of buttons, buckles, beads and many unique items for you to choose from for your crafting needs. Some of the items are from my own shopping trips to thrift stores as I search to see what bargains I can find.

So the next time you see a Bag Sale advertised at your local Resale Shop – give it a try and see what you can find. You may be surprised at what you can bring home when you “Think Outside the Bag”!!