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Thrift Stores, And Where To Find Them

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#1 Draconis

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 11:54 AM

I've been talking to some of the folks on the Nerfchat lately, and it surprised me how many of them buy all of their Nerf at retail prices. Sure, if you want brand new blasters, and have more money than you know what to do with, go right ahead. But for the rest of us, thrift stores are the best option.

In my area, Goodwill has the largest presence. Unfortunately, it appears that the federal legislation for lead reduction in children's products, which was enacted earlier this year, has gotten Goodwill's panties in a bunch. Many regions no longer accept older toys, including Nerf stuff. I don't understand it, though, because there are specific exemptions in the law for second hand stores, so I guess the management is just a bunch of idiots. Oh well. They do have an exclusive deal with Target, so they receive large amounts of clearance and returned products, ESPECIALLY right after Christmas. Keep an eye out for that stuff. Here is their home page, complete with store locator: Goodwill Industries.

My overall best source for used blasters and randomness is Value Village. They generally have better pricing than Goodwill, not to mention substantially better selection.

I don't tend to have the best luck with Salvation Army Stores, but there are a LOT of them.

Some of the best stores, though, are not chains. Try searching through the locator at TheThriftShopper.com to see what might be in your area. Many areas will have stores associated with community organizations, such as rescue missions, the Humane Society, Kiwanis Clubs, etc.

Another organization that I find indispensable is the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. They are an excellent source of supplies for mods. I buy nearly all of my pipe, couplers, fittings, etc. there.

If anyone else has a good suggestion, post it up, or PM me so I can add it to the list.
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#2 VelveetaAvenger

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 02:25 PM

I just wanted to add that some thrift stores have a "no toy guns" policy, so if you never see anything at a specific store you might want to check on that to make sure you aren't just wasting your time.

The best tip I have for Goodwill is to keep an eye out for blasters that have been taken apart and priced separately. Their policy is to use the lowest price on an item, so I got a complete longshot for the 2 bucks that they were selling the scope for once I reassembled it.
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#3 Fome

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 04:49 PM

I've checked the thrift stores in my town periodically and unfortunately haven't found a single nerf gun. Some towns are just different, ie. the nerf section in my Walmart is a tiny little space in the back of the store with terrible variety and hardly any sales past 10%. I don't think there's enough retail influx to fuel the thrift stores.

The internet is another great option if your town is like mine, with barren thrift stores.

When would be the best time to go thrift store hunting for nerf guns?

Edited by Fome, 13 December 2009 - 02:14 PM.


#4 Alecrules

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 11:17 PM

Thats funny, I just went to a thrift store today and i bought a Hornet (2$) and a Tek 6 (50 cents). Iv'e only been there three times before and every time i found at least one nerf gun. Once I even found a Nf, an AT2K, and 2 Reactor Ball Guns. (About 5 bucks for all of them).
I think Thrift stores are awesome places to find cheap guns to use as modding supplies and stuff.
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#5 JATDO

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 11:40 PM

I've check every thift like store in my city, and most don't even carry toys, let alone toy guns.
I stick to online as well.

Or just steal them from my friends who don't use their nerf guns.
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#6 ArmyOfNone

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 01:06 PM

For what it's worth, I've found there's a temporal aspect to thrift-store shopping, as well.

I visited one thrift store about a week before Halloween, and the plethora of Nerf guns was just staggering...I remember there were Titans, Mavericks, PAS's, Tek guns, RFRs, Double-Shots, Dart Taggers, the list went on and on. They were all just piled in, on and under costume parts and pieces (I guess Nerf guns make great Halloween weapons). Came back a week after, and it was all gone - whether it was bought or stored away for next year, I can't say, but there was nary a gun to be seen.

Point is, don't discount a store just because there's nothing Nerf there the first time you go, keep in mind the timing/season when you go a-hunting...and don't assume what you see will always be there!
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#7 KingBouyah

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 04:32 PM

For the west: Deseret Industries.
Includes:
Arizona
California
Idaho
Nevada
Oregon
Utah
Washington

They usually have better prices on things than Savers(Value Village).
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#8 Wisp

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 06:29 PM

Just went to a goodwill, they had a very broken longshot, something that looked like a knock off maverick, but I didn't get any. But in the past I've seen some nice guns there for very cheap.
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#9 Mr BadWrench

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:11 AM

You never see any nerf blasters in Ohio thrift stores, Just don't even bother.

Don
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#10 Coop

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:12 AM

You never see any nerf blasters in Ohio thrift stores, Just don't even bother.

Don


Yeah, this is 100% true. I go out to them every once in a while, but I never find anything. Ever. So, if you live in Ohio... just don't even try.

We're just trying to save you time.
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On the other hand, the guy who posted before me used the word 'fuck' a lot so he probably knows what he's talking about.


#11 Jedijoe9

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 08:58 AM

You never see any nerf blasters in Ohio thrift stores, Just don't even bother.

Don


Yeah, this is 100% true. I go out to them every once in a while, but I never find anything. Ever. So, if you live in Ohio... just don't even try.

We're just trying to save you time.


Perhaps just because I am buying them all? I've sustained my collection with a ton of thrift store blasters from places all over Ohio. I had to give up a 99 cent scorpion bow, titan, and DTG the last time I was thrifting because the store only accepted cash.

My point is, be persistent. Check stores as often as you can. Don't listen to Coop, he's just trying to get all of the Ohio blasters for himself :D
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#12 Coop

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 03:51 PM

You never see any nerf blasters in Ohio thrift stores, Just don't even bother.

Don


Yeah, this is 100% true. I go out to them every once in a while, but I never find anything. Ever. So, if you live in Ohio... just don't even try.

We're just trying to save you time.


Perhaps just because I am buying them all? I've sustained my collection with a ton of thrift store blasters from places all over Ohio. I had to give up a 99 cent scorpion bow, titan, and DTG the last time I was thrifting because the store only accepted cash.

My point is, be persistent. Check stores as often as you can. Don't listen to Coop, he's just trying to get all of the Ohio blasters for himself :D


Shhhhh, Joe! Why are you lying to them!?
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On the other hand, the guy who posted before me used the word 'fuck' a lot so he probably knows what he's talking about.


#13 MrDelish

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 03:55 PM

At my Deseret Industries I've found several old guns and dozens of newer guns. They often have Mavericks, occasionally have Longshots and other newer guns, and rarely have older guns, though I have found a crossbow and an ultimator.
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#14 durka durka

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 04:11 PM

I almost never buy guns new from the store (unless it's something I really want). I go to the farmer's market, the kind where people come with their extra clutter and rent a spot for a day to sell it all. I usually can find at least one gun a weekend, always for under $10.

If anybody knows of a place like this near them, I would recommend going on most weekends, before twelve.
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