Thrift stores are not a new idea to save money. However, just a few years back no one could have convinced me to set foot in one! I was happy looking for deals on sale at traditional shops. Just the words “thrift store” conjured up images of dusty, disorganized shelves and racks of clothing arranged with no rhyme nor reason. In my mind, they were an “okay” place to buy Halloween costumes or retro decor, but that was all! I still recall with trepidation politely exclaiming over gifts given to me from a particular thrift store years ago that I had no use for.
About three years ago, a good friend went shopping at the Value Village close to her home. She purchased an armful of beautiful dresses to wear on a trip to Italy. As winter approached, she sported cute boots and a luxurious faux fur jacket, all from the same store. My curiousity aroused, I stopped by a Value Village closer to my home. Near the front of the store were two long, full racks of high quality, new or like-new garments with labels such as “Ann Taylor,” “Banana Republic,” ‘The Limited,” “BCBG” and more. I could barely believe my eyes! Happily, I tried on several items and left with a shopping bag filled. The friendly salesperson informed me new items come out on Friday mornings and they even have a personal shopper available.
Now I am addicted to thrift store shopping! I would not give up this hobby even if I was a billionaire. The thrill of a great find is exhilarating and it seems silly to spend more than what is necessary! Great finds are at Savers, Salvation Army, Goodwill and Unique Thrift Stores. Goodwill also has a few specialty designer stores, Second Debut. Some of my favorite finds include authentic Kate Spade bags, brand new Dollhouse boots, clothing by Tommy Hillfiger, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, White House/Black Market and Ralph Lauren. I am cringing a bit as I write this, because now you may snap up beautiful things before I get a chance!
Make sure to sign up for VIP cards, email alerts, etc. at these stores to save even more and to learn of their latest sales. On Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Savers and Unique had half off! I stocked up on paperback books for $1.00, which I will then donate again after reading. Some traditional stores donate their overstock, so you will also find new items including socks and scarves. Thrift store shopping doesn’t require the effort it did in the past, so give it a whirl!
This past year there has been some negative press about a few of the aforementioned companies. If you have heard any of it, please keep in mind that a percentage of the proceeds do go to charities, jobs are provided, and by purchasing at a thrift store, you are recycling.