1. Go early and go often:
Just like they say the early bird gets the worm, same goes for thrift store shopping. See for yourself, go to any thrift store. at 10 am when they open up and you'll see the crowds. Also, If you can swing it, one day a week is great.
2. Take advantage of the sale days and the coupons:
Even though it's thrifty cheap stuff, if you are going often, it can add up in dollars quick. Savers offers 20-30% off if you bring in a bag of stuff to donate when you first walk in. Also Savers will do a 50% off day once in a while.
3. Swing in for unplanned visits
Spontaneous thrifting has lead to some of my favorite finds. If you happen to be in the area, and you have some time to spare, stop in. You just never know what might be there.
4. Go with something in mind:
If you love a certain color, look for items in that color. If you see something with a great shape but you hate the color of it, that is where spray paint comes in. :)
Sometimes you need direction when it comes to thrifting, and other times you need to have an open mind.
5. When in doubt, do:
If you really like something you see, but have doubt, buy it anyway. You'll be happy you did. Most likely it will be gone the next day if you don't. That is just how thrifting goes.