I live in a city with a population of approximately 76,000. We have seven resale stores where I shop plus at least five more resale stores where I refuse to shop. Creepy, overcrowded, disorganized or unclean stores get moved to my refusal list. Furthermore, I do not know why most of the resales shops here close at 3 p.m., but it annoys me. Only 2 of the 7 where I shop are open until 4 p.m., which seems a more reasonable hour to close, but it is still an hour earlier than most businesses.
I have bought a diversity of items from resale stores. The dress I wore to my third son’s wedding came from a Good Will store. Two weeks ago I paid .50 for an excellent John Grisham book to take on a vacation and then throw away rather than bring it back home. Last Christmas I bought 80 individual Christmas cards at a penny a piece. Other purchases have included planting pots, dishes, linens, fabric, wrapping paper, greeting cards, craft supplies, books, costumes, playtime dress-up clothes, adult and children’s clothing, coats, boots, candles, seasonal decorations, sports equipment, furniture, puzzles and toys, jewelry and even gifts for others. Furniture is great to get second hand especially if you have children, are a young couple just starting out, move a lot, or just like unique pieces. Refurbishing furniture is also very trendy right now.
I asked my smart and savvy #3 daughter-in-law, Jackie, (mother of 5) to share some of her thoughts on resale shopping. The following are her 10 ideas:
- No one will ever know where you purchased your clothing from or how much you spent for it unless you are walking around with the tag on it. 🙂
- Thrift stores use to have more of a negative connotation years ago than they do today. Today it’s trendy to shop at one!
- Kids grow so fast that resale shopping can save a lot of money. If you are saving money on clothing, you could be spending it on other things; vacation, sports, groceries.
- Babies don’t care if they are wearing Baby Gap, Gymboree or Children’s Place clothing. A lot of older kids don’t care what brands they wear either.
- Here’s a fun experiment for your teen who only wants to shop at the mall. Give them $25 and tell them to go buy clothing at the mall. Give them another $25 and take them to a thrift store (even better go on a sale day) and let them see how much more they can buy!
- One of the best things to buy at thrift stores is books!! A board book for a child runs about $10 new. At a thrift store most books are under a dollar.
- Special occasion clothing and shoes are often worn once or twice by a child (or an adult). Buying these things second hand is often an excellent money saver.
- Check to see if your thrift store offers coupons or discount days for even more savings.
- Some thrift stores are better than others. If you go to one and are unimpressed, try another. Ask around for recommendations.
- Some people shop at thrift stores to make money. You can often find new, like new, antique or one of a kind items at a very high discount. These items can then be sold for two or three times what you paid on E-bay or a Facebook selling site. Before you head this route though, do your research to find out what will sell. If you purchase things and are not able to use or sell them, you are wasting money.
I like that many resale stores are fund raisers for charities in my community. Some of my favorite stores are supports for the local hospital, a Lutheran school, Catholic Charities and the crisis pregnancy center. Shopping at these stores definitely benefits my community. All of them accept donations, which is a great place to donate your stuff if you are purging or decluttering and do not want to have your own garage sale.
I prefer resale stores over garage sales for the following reasons: 1. Weather is not a factor. 2. The season is not a factor. 3. Bigger selection of merchandise and better variety all in one location.
Resale stores help stretch a budget. Buying slightly used at a deep discount off new items helps us be content with not having the latest and greatest. Contentment is hard to find and keep in our culture.
Disclaimer #1. Just because an item is offered at a low, low price does not mean we actually need it. This situation does provide an excellent teaching moment for your child to learn the difference between wants and needs.
Disclaimer #2. If you purchase too many items, your home will soon look like one of those messy and creepy stores I mentioned in the first paragraph. Shop wisely.
What’s the best thrift store deal you have found?