There was a time when I would have never thought about going into a Thrift store. Not that I would judge someone that purchases from the stores, but I didn’t think I would need to visit one. Well life has a way of changing your thoughts. When you experience financial challenges, you think about things differently and you are more aware of your spending habits. I have 3 kids and they are in the growing years, ages 16, 11, and 8. They need clothes and things and having to buy for all 3 continuously can upset your budget. So I decided to try out the thrift stores.
I learned that there are different types of thrift stores.
Consignment Shops – the store sells your items for you, in return you received a percentage of the selling price after the item(s) have sold (i.e. Cynthia’s Consignments, The Haute Spot)
Resale Shops – the store buys your items upfront and pays either cash or store credit (i.e. Plato’s Closet, Once Upon A Child)
Thrift Shops – the store sells donated items (i.e. The GoodWill, Salvation Army, Savers)
I have visited and shop with mostly the Resale and Thrift shops. I do want to try the consignment shops at some point but the idea of waiting on a return does not appease me at this time.
Although you need patience to search for great buys, I have enjoyed shopping at the thrift stores. It saves me money when I can find a great quality item at 75-85% below the retail price of the item. It also allows me to sell items at the resale shops that I can use to add to my savings or purchase a couple more necessary items I didn’t budget for initially. Even more, any items I am unable to sell I can donate to the shelters, good will and so on. It’s a win-win situation all around. I can save on purchases, gain extra funds, and someone else can benefit from donated items.
Thrifting has become so popular that there are people forming groups and hosting thrifting events all over or taking bus tours. I recently joined a group on Facebook called Sassy Thrifters. The group was created for thrifters to get together, share thrift finds, and post items for sale. So far I like the vibe that is presented.
While I’ve mainly thrifted clothes, I am interested in checking out furniture in the future. Perhaps I can purchase something cheap and then put my own style to it with a do-it-yourself project. Now again I have saved money and then made it to something that I love.
Whether you are shopping for clothes, furniture or other household items, there are few things to consider when visiting the thrift shops.
- Have patience to search through hundreds of items
- Look for quality items that can last you
- Watch out slightly stained or damaged items. If it is something you can clean or repair, BUY it.
- Check when the thrift store has special sales events. Some usually have 50% off on certain days of the week.
- Talk with other thrifters for locations and their best thrifting tips.
Tonisha Brown is a wife and mother, and the founder of Living in Abundance where she believes in bridging families together through fitness and finance.