First time I came to know about a thrift store was about 4 years back. My neighbor told me about 'Good Will' when I was talking to her about how expensive cake stands are. She said there will tons of them at reasonable price. That is when I first went to the 'Good Will' store near my place. I was shocked to see how cheap everything is when compared to the retail stores. I agree that they are used and not everyone wants to use the 'used stuff' including me.Here is the list of items you could get from the thrift stores. This is just my opinion.
Anything brand new with tag/seal on is fine. You will probably pay half of the full price on them.
Kitchen appliances like blender, mixer, bread machine, food processor, dry grinder, waffle makers etc are a steal in a thrift store. I wish I knew about it before I bought all of them paying full price. If any of my gadgets break, I am buying it from a thrift store. No reason to pay full price when you can get it for a fraction of the price. Best deal I have got: ice cream machine brand new - 5 dollars, brand new bread machine - 5 dollars that I picked up for my friend (Can you believe that it is the same as what I have and mine was 99 dollars to be exact in Target). Most of the thrift stores take back electronics if they don't work.
Cake pans, cookie sheets, loaf pans, baking utensils are so cheap that if I already didn't have a stash of them, I would be buying everything. Remember that you don't get everything at all the times. Best way is to visit often to find steals. I go once every two weeks (mainly for my blog props). Since it is on the way to my grocery store, it is just another 10 - 15 minutes extra time spent.
Books if the ones they sell interest you, are cheap in a thrift stores. Best deal I have got is 12 books for a dollar. If you are alright borrowing books from the library, you should be fine buying it here too. To be honest these deals are cheaper than what you spend on gas to go to the library. I buy mainly cook books and kids' books from here.
For the food bloggers only:
99 % of my food photography props are from the thrift stores. I cannot justify spending full price on a hobby. When you don't care about having the entire set of plates, bowls and cutlery, best place to get a bargain is a thrift store. One of my friends was concerned about what the plate or the bowl has been used before for. If you are alright eating out of a plate in a restaurant which serves all kinds of food, you should be alright getting serve ware from a thrift store. Hot water and soap pretty much cleans them up. I however do not use these for our daily use. These are exclusively for the blog pictures.
These thrift stores sell a lot of other things not related to food at a very good price. I usually get the ones which are brand new or with a tag if it is not one of the things mentioned above.
Happy Friday everyone.