Like the DHM, I like shopping at thrift shops.
But as I've posted before, there are thrift shops and then there are thrift shops. The name of the store or the church denomination running the place isn't always enough of a clue. You just have to get to know the shops in your area--and what a "reasonable" thrift shop price is.
We went to two different thrift stores yesterday--it's still too early in the year for rummage sales. At the first one, I spent so much on two books and two videos (not checking the price carefully enough before I got to the cash) that I had to leave the blouse I'd found behind. The books were still relatively cheap--that is, no more than you'd pay for similar books from a chain bookstore's promo table--but in thrift shop terms, they were marked up too much. The blouse was also more than I was really happy with, so I was just as glad to leave it. That's the store where we found the makings for the glass hurricane lamp, and the nutmeg jar, so it's true we have found nice things there--but the kinds of things we happen to like best are often too expensive.
The second store, though--it's been one of my favourites for about the past year. It makes me a bit sad, in a way, that people get rid of so many great craft supplies, and almost untouched needlework kits (I buy them just for the embroidery floss), and bags of beads obviously picked out and bought specially for some project that never got off the ground. But it's good for the thrift shoppers, anyway--I got a roll of lace, bias tape, a bagful of daisy appliques and other small oddments, and a couple of balls of crochet cotton. Each of those things was 25 or 50 cents. And I found a Cherry Ames book for 50 cents, and Ponytails found me a red sweater.
You can get in and out of there and feel like you've found something unique and wonderful, for a couple of dollars--rather than feeling like you've just bought some else's mistake. I can't put my finger on the difference, exactly--but you'll know it when you've found it.
If you don't like thrift shops--at least the ones you've been in--go out of your way a bit and see what else is out there. You might strike gold thread.