Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thrift Shops

I just read this story online regarding a rise in sales at Goodwill and thrift stores around the country and I have to chuckle to myself because the phenomenon is nothing new to me.

I have been a regular at these types of stores since I was a poor college student living on grants and student loans. Every dollar counted. I relished at finding awesome sales and cheap deals. And now that I have a decent job and salary to accompany it, I can certainly afford to buy an occasional item in a retail store. But I have been programmed to look first at the cheaper thrift stores. And if you find a high quality thrift or consignment store in your area, you have won the jackpot. I have found both and I frequent them a lot.

Case in point is a kids consignment store near my house that I have been going to for 15 years. They are so extremely picky about what they accept so I know that when I buy something there it will be odor-free, dirt-free, and spot-free. I have actually purchased stuff there with the original price tag on. But the other day I was there looking for discounted school uniforms when I stumbled upon Halloween costumes. I found a perfect $6 Thomas the Tank Engine costume for my little man. I snagged it and brought it home and he loves it. The exact same costume is going for $22 at the Party City down the street. I don't know who was more excited - me or him. Oh and while I was there I bought a couple of cute pajama sets for him at $4 each versus $10 at Target. Clean, spot free, and dirt free.

I don't stop at kids stores. I frequent the adult consignment stores for myself. I have found really amazing designer shoes and purses and jewelry and sunglasses along with clothes too. The key is to find a shop that has the quality and kind of merchandise that you like.

I know a lot of people have a problem with wearing previously worn clothes but when I buy my second hand clothes I wash them thoroughly and in some instances I will send them off to dryclean if the clothes are for me. If shoes or purses look a bit dirty I will go to my local shoe repair store to clean them up for like $5-$10.

There are certain things I don't buy used like underwear or bathing suits. But everything else is fair game.

One of the other reasons I love these shops so much is because all of the items are sorted by sizes and then by colors and since I have very limited time to shop I can go directly to the spot I want and look as opposed to department stores which have racks of clothes scattered over a large area and some sizes are not there which is a huge waste of my time.

So before you shake your head and say "this isn't for me" try it out and you might be glad you did. You might be surprised at what you will find.

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