Thrift Store Jigsaw Puzzles

If you are going to buy jigsaw puzzles at a Thrift store, Charity store, garage sales or yard sales here's a few little tips for you to reduce buying the ones that may have missing pieces;

  • inspect the box
  • buy only taped/sealed boxes
  • watch for slits/cracks/tears along the edges and bottom of boxes
  • shake the box - if the pieces are loose the risk is bigger
  • buy the ones where the pieces are stored in a zipped/lock or sealed bag inside
  • buy on the 50% off days or Senior Days

Just to take the " 50% off days" a step further, I did this once. The night before the day of the 50% off sale, I went into the Thrift store near closing time. I scanned the puzzle on the shelves and lined up the puzzles I would purchase at 50% off.

The next morning I was there at the opening moment and went directly to my selection with my shopping cart. They were all there so I simply loaded them in the cart plus I bought even more......THAT's how my hobby collection is growing. 

The following 4 images are from the local Thrift Store I try to visit once a week on Tuesdays which is their Senior Discount 10% day. Also about 6 times a year they hold a 50% off day which is usually a Saturday.

The 2 images on the left side share a huge display of a Puzzler's Thomas Kinkade collection among several others. But all the Ceaco's were 50 cents each.

The top right image shows to very vintage children's puzzles and the bottom right shows what is normally the selection available at this particular store. The prices range from 50 cents to $4.00. They also try to keep the boxes taped.

The best 'previously-loved' jigsaw puzzle to buy will be the new-sealed packages or ones that have the box taped and/or the puzzle pieces are sealed inside a bag in the box. That usually means the previous owner was respectful of the hobby and hoping the next hobbyist will be too.

Sometimes I will take a real chance on buying a jigsaw puzzle at the Thrift store simply because I want it for my collection. I have to admit that I have been extremely lucky at buying used ones with only 2 having a missing piece so far (as I have so many to assemble yet).

But I have also seen/heard of many others who have bought them with 1 or more pieces missing. Some have mentioned smoke-smells, mold-smells or pet hairs.

It all boils down to how much of a risk-taker you are willing to be. If you are lucky enough to live near Thrift stores that do sell jigsaw puzzles at low prices AND you do many puzzles then the occasional missing piece is not going to bother you too much.

However there are puzzlers who just plain out refuse to buy from Thrift stores because the whole idea of missing pieces does not sit well with them.

The following was written in 2015 and is about my adventures of shopping at Thrift Stores.

Too Many Jigsaw Puzzles at Charity Stores

Ok, so I have to force myself to stay away from these stores...I have a cross country move coming up in the spring of 2015 and I know full well I should not be buying these puzzles ~ that said.....look at the 2 very long shelves of jigsaw puzzles to pick from. And it is not uncommon that the boxes are not even open.

How am I supposed to resist these when there is such a plethora to choose from? And this is only 1 of 3 charity stores that I shop oh collection is growing......yikes!!!!

I keep saying I am only looking for the old vintage jigsaw puzzles but who am I trying to kid here.....I came back with these 2 today. They were only $2.00 each. One is created by our very own Group member Lori Schory and the other one is a Disney, made of a fine wood...both being 1000 pieces each.

Oh yes....I just HAD to have one of these too.....I bought it at a different store I will be sure to start buying fresh cut flowers to enjoy, both the flowers and the vase. 

Brand: Pintoo Vase

Title: British Flowers

Pieces: 160 numbered on back

Size:  9.5''x4.5''

I highly recommend buying 'previously-loved' jigsaw puzzle. It grows your hobby collection fast at low prices. Just be mindful and pick carefully and next thing you know your stash will be huge like mine ;)



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