- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
What is a Thrift Store?
According to Merriam-Webster.com, a thrift shop is a a shop that sells secondhand articles and especially clothes and is often run for charitable purposes.
The first and only thrift store I've been to is Goodwill. Goodwill is scattered throughout the United States and over the years, Goodwill leaders have traveled the world spreading the vision of helping people in need to reach their fullest potential through the power of work. There are currently 165 Goodwill organizations in the U.S. and Canada with 13 Goodwill affiliated organizations in other countries around the world.
Why would I want to shop at a thrift store?
- Save Money- I often shop our local Goodwill. Here, most shirts for men, women and children are $3. Pants are also $3. If you are looking at an expensive brand it may be an extra dollar or two. Purses are $3 and wallets are generally $1. If you go into Goodwill planning to spend $20, you can home with 6-7 items. If you go to a department store you are likely to only get one item for $20, possibly 2.
- Support your community- After my husband experienced a lay-off last year, I thought about how I could support unemployment. According to Goodwill's website, Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. My purchase helps supports the programs that are in place to reach success!
- Help the environment- By keeping these items out of the landfill and giving them a second life, you are helping the environment!
Are you a thrift store shopper?
Tips for Thrift Store Shopping
- Give yourself plenty of time to shop- I can very easily go into the store and spend two hours to feel like it was only twenty minutes. Obviously there is not an easy way to sort the clothes as their inventory changes daily with new donations. You will have to search the racks to find that "just right" item.
- If you don't love it, don't buy it- I usually end up with 5-7 items in my arms after searching the racks. I then look at each piece and think about how often I will actually wear it. Does the item pair well with my current wardrobe? At the end of the trip, I walk out with only 1-2 pieces.
- Best time to shop- Goodwill gets most of it's donations over the weekend so the best times to shop are Sunday-Tuesday. After Christmas is a great time to shop, when people are getting rid of items that were replaced by gifts. The beginning of spring and fall are also great times because most people are cleaning out their closets/house as they switch seasons.
Think Outside the Box
- Resell items- Several people raid the racks looking for items they can resell on eBay or Amazon. You have to shop more frequently, I think, to keep on top of these "treasures." I once spotted the last two books in the Hunger Games series. I snatched them up for a $1 a piece and later sold them for $5 a piece.
- Gifts- When my brother got a new job, I was able to pick him up 5 ties for $10 versus going to a department store and getting 1 tie for $10.
- Decorate your home- Although, roughly 75% of our store at least, is filled with clothes, you can find items for your home. Our local Goodwill often has paintings, mirrors, knick-knacks, shelves and sofas.
According to Goodwill's website the results for 2012 are:
- People served through employment and training programs: 6.7 million
- Mission services provided: 134 million
- People who earned a job with Goodwill’s help : 216,000
- Estimated total earnings of people who earned a job with Goodwill’s help: $3.62 billion
- Total revenue generated by Goodwill organizations: $4.89 billion
- Total revenue spent directly on programs: 82 percent
- Total number of donors (includes repeat donations): 83 million
- Total number of retail stores: Over 2,700 and an online auction site,www.shopgoodwill.com
I truly LOVE thrift store shopping and I am a person that doesn't like to shop in general. I have not bought any "new" clothes in the past year. All of my clothing purchases were made from our local Goodwill! As they say, "One man's trash is another man's treasure!"