Duration: 01:00

For one expert, these secondhand bargains stand out from the rest. You know those bumper stickers that read, “I brake for yard sales”? Well, mine says, “I brake for thrift stores.” And I do. Over the past three decades, I’ve thrift-shopped my way across the Midwest, Northeast and from L.A. to Seattle. Thankfully, I’m too picky to be a hoarder. I buy only what I need or what I know I can sell for a profit online. And though every secondhand store is unique, there’s a standard set of items I’m always on the lookout for. Here are some things you, too, should always buy at thrift stores. 1. Jeans Think all thrift store jeans are junk? Think again. There are loads of high-quality clothes in thrift stores if you know what to look for. 2. Tools With just the slightest TLC, most old tools can go for another generation or two. 3. Totes, trays and baskets Sure, Amazon sells countless products to organize your home. But, again: Why pay retail? Canvas totes are always on my shopping list. They’re handy for stowing items in the trunk of my car, packing for an overnight trip, and shopping at garage sales and flea markets. 4. Holiday decorations Thrift stores sell artificial trees, tree skirts, wreaths and wrapping paper. Best of all, when you buy from charity-related shops, you’re directing your dollars toward worthy causes. And that’s a good idea every season of the year. 5. Art and craft supplies With a little inspiration, nearly everything in a thrift shop can be reimagined and repurposed. And since the raw materials are so inexpensive, you can let your creative spirit run wild. 6. Dishware I’ll say it loud and proud: “I buy all my dishes at thrift stores.” Sure, nothing matches in the strictest sense, but that’s part of the fun. Creative designers make an art form of setting tables with highly curated “mismatched” sets of dinnerware. You can copy this great look for pennies at a thrift store. 7. Perfume Many thrift shops aren’t familiar with high-end fragrance brands. Some bottles sell for $3 or $4 apiece. 8. One-of-a-kind items Thrift stores are filled with the humble and handmade. When you see something you love, buy it. Heck, turn 10 pinch pots into a windowsill herb garden.