Author Topic: Thrift Store Shopping  (Read 40070 times)

MBot

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #200 on: April 16, 2017, 08:54:56 PM »
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5798612.html

Here's one article to get you started. Do some googling about thrift store excess. Let go of the guilt.

I bought almost all my clothes from thrift stores while I was in grad school, and spent some time talking to the employees.  Every single one said they received far more donations than they could ever sell (even the tiny local ones!), and routinely dumped massive amounts of clothing to other dealers (rags, etc.).  If they physically can't move all their inventory, any purchase is better than no purchase.  And I've never noticed "lack of supply" as an issue in my local thrift stores.  I never feel guilty, and usually feel really good, about thrift store shopping!

Yeah they get way more than they can handle. I donate around the backside of my thrift store, and they have literally piles upon piles of stuff on their loading docks.
My wife had done some volunteer work at thrift in a poor rural area of Florida. She would literally show up before 8 AM, leave at 5 PM, bust her ass all day, along with at least one other person, and barely make a dent in the incoming supply of clothing. It was nothing to have a single donation of 6-7 stuffed 30 gallon garbage bags full of top quality clothes, some never used, with tags on. The store was an extremely successful non-profit, pumping almost a million dollars back into the local community every year. The clothing had three grades. Top grade headed straight to the racks in the store. Grade two went to local non-profits that helped the extremely poor and homeless, to be distributed for free. Grade three was picked up buy an NGO that shipped it to places like Haiti to be distributed for free.

 When it comes to "hurting the poor", everywhere that we volunteer is quite the opposite. Not only do the poor, rich and the rest of us, end up shopping at the same place, for great bargains, but thrift non-profits can pump shocking amounts of cash back into the community. A $6 tee shirt from Walmart might return a few cents into the local economy. A donated clothing article,  that sells for $4 at a thrift non-profit can put most of that cash right back into the community. I would rather see my money end up going to my local Habitat for Humanity project, or homeless outreach, that ending up in the hands of the Walton family ,as they stockpile their billions.

While I'd find it difficult to argue that shipping used clothing overseas is always a good idea, I completely agree on what was done with Grade 1 and 2 clothing here. Thrift store shopping and donating may be a stopgap solution to our wild overabundance and fast fashion cycles, but why not do as much as we can in the meantime?

Arktinkerer

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #201 on: April 17, 2017, 12:03:32 PM »
Just took care of son's prom tux!  Several thrift stores for the various parts.  Did give in on the shirt--got it at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon though.  Total for prom outfit <$25.

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #202 on: April 17, 2017, 09:23:38 PM »
I have been trying to find a new dress for a wedding, and finally found one at a consignment store. It wasn't cheap, but pretty good quality and a beautiful coral colour. It was $35.

I read these and think how lucky I am......we've got 25-cents day at one store (too crazy that day so I usually go on 50-cents day), and then 3 other shops where they put on great sales (dollar day...etc).

I know -- I feel kinda ridiculous posting it here. However, I have been trying to find a wedding dress since the New Year and it is lovely.

KJ

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #203 on: April 18, 2017, 06:36:08 PM »
Here in Australia these shops are called Op shops.  A lot of people I know shop at them and not only if you don't have much money, but to recycle, reuse, re-purpose.

One girl I know buys jewellery at Op shops and makes them into other jewellery.

I recently spent $6 on six items from the $1 rack, which is a rarity, and I have a book addiction and so I buy a lot of books there too.  One of our local shops has the majority of their clothes for $2, it is the only one in our area to do so.

Our son is now 19 and volunteered in an Op shop for a couple of years when he was at school and after for a bit too and knows he gets more bang for his buck there when he needs something.  He doesn't have a lot of money and is careful what he spends it on, he is happy to spend more money on things he really wants and is important to him but he always researches his prices and often buys second hand.

I do know some people who despite not having a lot of money, will not shop in Op shops and laugh at those of us who do.  However, they have said "oh but you are rich", NOT, they don't understand that we don't spend on always going to the movies, eating out, buying clothes new, buying expensive groceries. 

We don't do those things so we can have the money to do things that are important to us, like travel and live out of town on our little acreage, and enrol in courses for further education.


Drole

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #204 on: April 19, 2017, 10:55:45 AM »


Our son is now 19 and volunteered in an Op shop for a couple of years when he was at school and after for a bit too and knows he gets more bang for his buck there when he needs something.  He doesn't have a lot of money and is careful what he spends it on, he is happy to spend more money on things he really wants and is important to him but he always researches his prices and often buys second hand.


This is such a good idea...need to remember this idea for my kids.  Not just the shop there side of things, but volunteer and really get the message delivered..  :-)

jengod

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #205 on: April 19, 2017, 06:48:09 PM »


Our son is now 19 and volunteered in an Op shop for a couple of years when he was at school and after for a bit too and knows he gets more bang for his buck there when he needs something.  He doesn't have a lot of money and is careful what he spends it on, he is happy to spend more money on things he really wants and is important to him but he always researches his prices and often buys second hand.


This is such a good idea...need to remember this idea for my kids.  Not just the shop there side of things, but volunteer and really get the message delivered..  :-)

Yes this is a very good idea. There is a weird little charity junk shop near our house that loves students who need "volunteer hours." I will work on getting my kids in there so they can see a little of the arbitrage that is consumer products business.

There is a powerful passage in Millionaire Next Door that posits auctioneers are wealthier than average because they truly understand the relative worthlessness of nearly all consumer products.
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

KBecks

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #206 on: April 23, 2017, 03:36:42 PM »
Inspired by FrugalParagon, I made my way to my favorite goodwill to look for black pants.  However, I never made it to the pants rack.  Instead, I found 7 summery tops, a pair of shorts, infinity scarf and a Nike pair of boys pants for $32 with my 25% birthday month discount.  Woo! Average $3.20 / item.  Nice!   Now I have to go through my things and unload or throw away some of my grungier / less flattering stuff.   

I still need a nice pair of pants.

Selah

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #207 on: April 25, 2017, 10:13:06 AM »
I've been thrift store shopping since I was in elementary school. My parents divorced when I was very young, and my mother moved me across the country. Therefore, I'd fly out to see my father every summer. He would always load me down with books and gifts to take back, so we'd go to a thrift store and buy a $3 suitcase to load up. When I got back home, we'd just donate the suitcase again.

I rarely, if ever, buy new "nice" clothes anymore. I can't afford what I like, unless I find some real gem at the thrift store...and I always do. I have donated many thrift store purchases, hence doubling the benefit for the store. When I was out of work and very depressed, I took free computer classes at my local Goodwill. The staff there were friendly, positive, practical, and supportive, and helped me find a new job and get back on my feet.

I've also decorated my home and equipped my kitchen with a LOT of thrift store bargains: small appliances, table linens, serving bowls, chargers, crystal candlesticks and flower vases, and wonderful art for my walls. I think I've purchased one thing at a department store (a particular high-end bra) in the last five years!

Dicey

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #208 on: April 29, 2017, 10:48:39 AM »
Just took care of son's prom tux!  Several thrift stores for the various parts.  Did give in on the shirt--got it at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon though.  Total for prom outfit <$25.
HL sells clothing? Specifically formalwear? WTH?

We only have one in our area and it's easy to avoid, primarily because I despise their politics. "Oh, we love our employees, we treat them just like our own family" to the public, followed by  "If you don't give us what we want, we'll just shut our doors" to the Gubmint. Hypocrite assholes.
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Rural

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #209 on: April 29, 2017, 05:18:20 PM »
 Today I bought one pair of larger pants and many* long tunic-style shirts to cover a multitude of sins for under $15.  Thrift store summer wardrobe  win, diet fail. :-)


*  not quite sure how many at the moment, but at least five, maybe as many as seven.

MMMaybe

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #210 on: April 30, 2017, 04:57:25 AM »
I haven't actually been shopping at any thrift stores recently. But I've been doing well on eBay and have bought 2 new but heavily discounted pairs of the Gap Long and Lean jeans (discontinued in the UK). 

I have been picking up quite a few pairs of lightly used or new linen trousers as well for our upcoming move back to Asia. (its hard to buy a good selection of Western sized clothes there so I tend to buy in bulk). Most excitingly, I found 2 pairs of a discontinued style I used to have, which always looked great and didn't crease :)

I am thinking of going into a charity shop in a wealthy part of London next week to see if I can score any great deals. Am inspired by you all!

pbkmaine

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #211 on: April 30, 2017, 06:58:26 AM »
I just found a lovely Chico's patchwork lightweight velvet jacket in tones of green, blue and black at Goodwill. Perfect for a cool evening.

PMG

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #212 on: April 30, 2017, 07:41:36 AM »
I recently bought a (new!) bikini at goodwill.  My partner commented that the color didn't suit me nearly as well as the ones I had tried on in the regular shops.  When I told him this one cost $5 versus the $50+ of the other ones he quickly decided he loved the color... and sang a song about it...

nouveauRiche

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #213 on: May 01, 2017, 06:24:15 AM »
"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie <insert color here> Bikini"?

PMG

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #214 on: May 01, 2017, 08:11:00 AM »
more like "red is my favorite cooooolorrrrr"

Warlord1986

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #215 on: May 01, 2017, 08:51:09 AM »
The guy I'm seeing gave me a lamp so I have light in my apartment. Then we went to the thrift store and I bought a lampshade for $3.89. I intend to make it pretty. Maybe give it an ocean theme? IDK, but it was less than $4 so who cares if I mess it up? I get to be artistic!

meghan88

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #216 on: May 01, 2017, 09:03:45 AM »
Our thrift stores here are just awful.  I went to the Salvation Army on Saturday and found a cheapo plastic 5 lb dumbbell.  Thought it was .99 cents but when I got to the cash, turns out they wanted 6.99.  I can get new, better weights at Fitness Depot for $1/lb.  The clothing selection was sad and overpriced, and the furniture, dishes and other things were all overpriced and tacky (the worst kind of tacky).

radicaledward

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #217 on: May 01, 2017, 10:58:33 AM »
Our thrift stores here are just awful.  I went to the Salvation Army on Saturday and found a cheapo plastic 5 lb dumbbell.  Thought it was .99 cents but when I got to the cash, turns out they wanted 6.99.  I can get new, better weights at Fitness Depot for $1/lb.  The clothing selection was sad and overpriced, and the furniture, dishes and other things were all overpriced and tacky (the worst kind of tacky).
Same here, but more due to being picked over by the local apostolics who are there every, single, day. As opposed to a lack of good items. Every now and then there is really good stuff, but finding it requires a lot of luck.

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #218 on: May 01, 2017, 03:25:12 PM »
That's how I feel about the VV around here.

I tend to find better stuff at local thrift stores and last week I found:

- one pair of black levis jeans for the hubs
- one nice short sleeved shirt for me

Altogether ten bucks, score!

misshathaway

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #219 on: May 02, 2017, 09:29:15 AM »
Our thrift stores here are just awful.  I went to the Salvation Army on Saturday and found a cheapo plastic 5 lb dumbbell.  Thought it was .99 cents but when I got to the cash, turns out they wanted 6.99.

That is horrible! You could buy the whole Somerville, Massachusetts store for $6.99.
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bigalsmith101

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #220 on: May 02, 2017, 11:13:55 AM »
It's a hit and miss at my thrift store lately. They'll put ANYONE on pricing duty for incoming donations, so it makes things frustrating. Especially when I'll see similar items vary by $10 (from $5-$15), within a two week span. Just yesterday there was a nice zippered vest made by Exofficio, which is a top of the line outdoor clothing manufacturer, it was priced at $15. Right next to it was a very nice Marmot brand down vest. $10... The Marmot vest is more expensive at retail, was nicer, and was priced 33% lower... Get your shit straight people!

As it were, I have become very attached to the trackpad (mouse) on my MacBook laptop. But I recently moved to a wireless keyboard, and realized I was missing all of the functions I used regularly. I hopped on eBay and Amazon, only to find that Apples wireless Trackpad is $100, and the new model is $129. HOLY CRAP! Then I decided to look on Offerup.com and found a guy 10 miles away selling a brand new never opened first generation model for $35. I offered him $30, he accepted, and picked it up 25 minutes later.

I'm using it now, and reveling in the 70% discount I achieved. Success.
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Drole

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #221 on: May 02, 2017, 12:54:18 PM »
I made a detour into one of the nicer thrifts that gets great stuff (maybe consignment), prices pretty high, but puts on really good sales.

Found these matching fancy pants vintage twin comforters. 50% off. So $15 total. But best I can tell, they are that awesome old down. I'll probably open one up to take a peaksee. I've been keeping an eye out for down ones for a couple of years.

pbkmaine

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #222 on: May 02, 2017, 05:51:19 PM »
I made a detour into one of the nicer thrifts that gets great stuff (maybe consignment), prices pretty high, but puts on really good sales.

Found these matching fancy pants vintage twin comforters. 50% off. So $15 total. But best I can tell, they are that awesome old down. I'll probably open one up to take a peaksee. I've been keeping an eye out for down ones for a couple of years.

Down washes beautifully, by the way. I put my down pillows through the washer and dryer and they come out nice and fluffy.

Arktinkerer

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #223 on: May 06, 2017, 11:40:03 PM »
Just took care of son's prom tux!  Several thrift stores for the various parts.  Did give in on the shirt--got it at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon though.  Total for prom outfit <$25.
HL sells clothing? Specifically formalwear? WTH?

We only have one in our area and it's easy to avoid, primarily because I despise their politics. "Oh, we love our employees, we treat them just like our own family" to the public, followed by  "If you don't give us what we want, we'll just shut our doors" to the Gubmint. Hypocrite assholes.

Yes.  They sell them in the back.  Not sure what the craft connection is.  They sell a few other clothing items--mostly intended to be decorated.

Other comment is off really off topic.  They seem very sincere in their religious beliefs.  They don't require employees to embrace their beliefs but will not disregard their religious convictions.  Kind of similar to the Epic FU money stories thread.

GoingToMaine

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #224 on: May 08, 2017, 10:52:39 AM »
My closest thrift shop is a bit hit or miss, but I have found a few fantastic deals there.  I found some brand new synthetic hiking shirts with the tags still on them for like $3 each.  I scope out art supplies and such there too.
I've started blogging about hiking and retiring to Maine at goingtomaine.com.  I'd love some feedback if you could take a moment to check it out.

Dicey

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #225 on: May 09, 2017, 06:36:19 PM »
Just took care of son's prom tux!  Several thrift stores for the various parts.  Did give in on the shirt--got it at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon though.  Total for prom outfit <$25.
HL sells clothing? Specifically formalwear? WTH?

We only have one in our area and it's easy to avoid, primarily because I despise their politics. "Oh, we love our employees, we treat them just like our own family" to the public, followed by  "If you don't give us what we want, we'll just shut our doors" to the Gubmint. Hypocrite assholes.

Yes.  They sell them in the back.  Not sure what the craft connection is.  They sell a few other clothing items--mostly intended to be decorated.

Other comment is off really off topic.  They seem very sincere in their religious beliefs.  They don't require employees to embrace their beliefs but will not disregard their religious convictions.  Kind of similar to the Epic FU money stories thread.
I like to think of them more as loosely related rambles ;-). I see your point, but the people they were threatening to jettison in favor of their beliefs were the very employees they claim to care so much about. One more wonderful thing about being FIRE, and having FU money.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
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anonymouscow

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #226 on: May 11, 2017, 07:16:27 AM »
My mom recently told me i should stop shopping at thrift stores (after I was showing her all the good deals I found). She said I was taking those good deals from people who really needed then and i should be ashamed of myself, since I can afford to go to a regular store.

Sigh. I can't help it. I love thrift store shopping. Even if it is stealing?? from the poor.

I know this is a reply to an old post, but this seems like an all too common misconception.

The profit from thrift store sales goes back into the community. You are helping the poor, not hurting them, every time you shop at the thrift store.


Thrift stores around here are getting more expensive. There is still one where I can average a dollar a piece of clothing, I think the last time I went I got 12 shirts for 12 dollars. I can't bring myself to spend 4 dollars on a shirt so I've stopped going to many of them. For non clothing items I skip everything up front, it is always over priced, and go to the back. Some places also have flat rate, some varies, some a mix. The place that has 4 dollar shirts also had all jackets something like all priced at 6.95, so you could still find a deal if it was a nice coat.

nouveauRiche

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #227 on: May 12, 2017, 10:56:28 AM »
Not only does thrift store shopping help poor people, it also cuts down on waste:

"Most Americans are thoroughly convinced there is another person in their direct vicinity who truly needs and wants our unwanted clothes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Charities long ago passed the point of being able to sell all of our wearable unwanted clothes."

"The Quincy Street Salvation Army builds a completed wall made of 18 tons, or 36 bales, of unwanted clothing every three days. And this is just a small portion of the cast-offs of one single Salvation Army location in one city in the United States."

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/fashion/2012/06/the_salvation_army_and_goodwill_inside_the_places_your_clothes_go_when_you_donate_them_.html


geekette

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #228 on: May 12, 2017, 11:08:10 AM »
I volunteer at a thrift store (for a cat adoption charity).  We get bags and bags of clothes, only some of which we put out for sale (we have a rather small space).  The rest go to another thrift store (for people) where my mother volunteers. They have a LOT of room, but still, much of the donated clothes get baled and shipped overseas.

What really sells well in our store is kitchenware, inexpensive jewelry, kids toys/stuffed animals, and shoes (which surprised me).

Rosy

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #229 on: May 12, 2017, 08:42:01 PM »
Our thrift stores here are just awful.  I went to the Salvation Army on Saturday and found a cheapo plastic 5 lb dumbbell.  Thought it was .99 cents but when I got to the cash, turns out they wanted 6.99.  I can get new, better weights at Fitness Depot for $1/lb.  The clothing selection was sad and overpriced, and the furniture, dishes and other things were all overpriced and tacky (the worst kind of tacky).
Same here, but more due to being picked over by the local apostolics who are there every, single, day. As opposed to a lack of good items. Every now and then there is really good stuff, but finding it requires a lot of luck.

Yup, that's what I'm dealing with, the prices are outrageous - don't people know how much a new bed or dressser or couch costs? Used to be you could find a chair for $5 - no more.

I quit going, when I found they no longer had any books ... because all they have now is one narrow wall of books, displayed in such a way that you can't reach half of them if you are 5'1"  - the rest is a hap hazard mix of partially upside down titles. Most of them in poor shape and at least 20 or more years old. Last time I was there, they had a total of ten romance books - 7 of them Amish or religious in some way.
Thank goodness I'm close to two libraries where I can order titles or read on line.

Our Goodwills are overrun by buyers all day long, nice for them and hopefully for the community, but not so great for those of us who shop there, because we are poor and are actually trying to set up house ... as I once was forced to do. Goodwill was the only place close enough to walk to. I didn't know the area, had no car and forget about bus service.

I have found good deals in the past like a 99 cent coffee grinder or nice glasses, but sifting through the kitsch, now that I have what I need is not my idea of fun.
Clothing - forget it, I have neither the patience nor ever any luck finding something that I would actually wear, like when they had several brandnew London Fog raincoats, not one of them in my size. 
I was tempted to buy them anyway for re-sale, but then I chickened out - thinking about the hassle of it all.

Half the people that shop there these days are re-sellers hunting for bargains, the other half seems to have endless time to shop there all the time. It's mindboggling - when did it become so hard to find a good Thrift store? We've got plenty in the area, but I've stopped going - unless you make it your hobby and perservere - it simply is no longer my cup of tea.

Hadilly

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #230 on: May 12, 2017, 11:45:05 PM »
Rosy,
That sounds really annoying.  Could you start thrifting in another area?

Last night I was in Goodwill buying some more shorts for my child and poked around the bag section. Found a really pretty red Coach bag, quasi bucket, for $23. It will be fun for summer.

Goldielocks

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #231 on: May 13, 2017, 12:18:40 AM »
I volunteer at a thrift store (for a cat adoption charity).  We get bags and bags of clothes, only some of which we put out for sale (we have a rather small space).  The rest go to another thrift store (for people) where my mother volunteers. They have a LOT of room, but still, much of the donated clothes get baled and shipped overseas.

What really sells well in our store is kitchenware, inexpensive jewelry, kids toys/stuffed animals, and shoes (which surprised me).

I am having such a hard time with shoes.   Yes, I can get a pair sometimes for under $10 if I am lucky from one store, but those are super-casual cheap shoes for running around doing errands / washing the car, etc.

The other store with a nicer selection with lots of quality brand names, is just as difficult -- so many shoes look great, and feel great, but then there is a hidden defect and they only last 2 weeks.. usually a split side seam.  One pair just completely delaminated the top finish, and another pair (I paid $24 for three days ago) is obviously about do to the same (Bass shoes with a metalic finish).  At least I noticed today, and will return them tomorrow.

Shoes when new are very expensive here!

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #232 on: May 13, 2017, 08:51:08 AM »
Where I am (outer London) I find it very hit and miss - have got 7 great dresses in the last few weeks for something like £30, but I've also had loads of wasted trips, somewhere things didn't fit and sometimes not even found anything I want to try on.

I'm loving the Cancer Research Shop lately, their pricing structure is £1/£2/£3 - for everything, had a great Spring coat for £3, and lots of decent dresses. Other places seem much more expensive in comparison, one wanted £12.50 for a dress, and some price Primark stuff (a really cheap brand) at not much more than you'd pay for them new.

Dicey

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #233 on: May 13, 2017, 12:35:09 PM »
Our thrift stores here are just awful.  I went to the Salvation Army on Saturday and found a cheapo plastic 5 lb dumbbell.  Thought it was .99 cents but when I got to the cash, turns out they wanted 6.99.  I can get new, better weights at Fitness Depot for $1/lb.  The clothing selection was sad and overpriced, and the furniture, dishes and other things were all overpriced and tacky (the worst kind of tacky).
Same here, but more due to being picked over by the local apostolics who are there every, single, day. As opposed to a lack of good items. Every now and then there is really good stuff, but finding it requires a lot of luck.

Yup, that's what I'm dealing with, the prices are outrageous - don't people know how much a new bed or dressser or couch costs? Used to be you could find a chair for $5 - no more.

I quit going, when I found they no longer had any books ... because all they have now is one narrow wall of books, displayed in such a way that you can't reach half of them if you are 5'1"  - the rest is a hap hazard mix of partially upside down titles. Most of them in poor shape and at least 20 or more years old. Last time I was there, they had a total of ten romance books - 7 of them Amish or religious in some way.
Thank goodness I'm close to two libraries where I can order titles or read on line.

Our Goodwills are overrun by buyers all day long, nice for them and hopefully for the community, but not so great for those of us who shop there, because we are poor and are actually trying to set up house ... as I once was forced to do. Goodwill was the only place close enough to walk to. I didn't know the area, had no car and forget about bus service.

I have found good deals in the past like a 99 cent coffee grinder or nice glasses, but sifting through the kitsch, now that I have what I need is not my idea of fun.
Clothing - forget it, I have neither the patience nor ever any luck finding something that I would actually wear, like when they had several brandnew London Fog raincoats, not one of them in my size. 
I was tempted to buy them anyway for re-sale, but then I chickened out - thinking about the hassle of it all.

Half the people that shop there these days are re-sellers hunting for bargains, the other half seems to have endless time to shop there all the time. It's mindboggling - when did it become so hard to find a good Thrift store? We've got plenty in the area, but I've stopped going - unless you make it your hobby and perservere - it simply is no longer my cup of tea.
I can't quite put my finger in what bothers me most about this post, but a lot does.  For starters, what do you expect the store to do for you? You seem very critical of everything they and their customers do. Perhaps it might be possible to adjust your expectations rather than expect them to change. If their prices are too high, perhaps you could check to see when their sales and discount days are and only shop then. Introduce yourself to the manager and be nice to everyone who works there. Treat them nicely and you might be surprised at the information that flows your way.

Another way to adjust your expectations is to simply reset them. Let's say that 10% of the female population is your height. Wouldn't it make sense that only 10% of their inventory would fit you? Since too long can be cured easily (unlike if you're tall and something's too short), surely there's at least another 10-20% that would work with simple alterations. If you go in expecting that no more than about 25% of what they have could potentially work for you, you're more likely to be pleased at the available options. Same with the books. Once you've befriended the staff, you could let them know that it's really hard to shop the upper level books and politely ask if there's some way to solve the problem, so you can buy more of their wonderful books.

Speaking of books, they can only sell what is donated to them. Slamming them for not having the types of titles that you want kinda sounds like you have a rather strong sense of entitlement. Ah, there's the word I was seeking! Rather than looking at the good this store does in your community, you only seem to care about how they are failing you personally.

That's about as gently as I can phrase this. If that sounds harsh, I apologize. I sincerely hope I have provided food for thought.
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Drole

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #234 on: May 13, 2017, 02:35:38 PM »
Someone posted about their son working in a thrift. I thought it a splendid idea and talked to a friend who runs a shop. We volunteered today for about 4 hours. Sorted through 3 bins of toys, put like items together and bagged them for sale. She then got to help price them (got to use the pricing gun) and put them out for sale. I think it was a pretty fantastic experience for a 7 year old. She then picked out one bag for her and one for her brother and we got the volunteer discount. :).   So thanks to whomever gave me the idea.

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #235 on: May 13, 2017, 03:06:13 PM »
Our thrift stores here are just awful.  I went to the Salvation Army on Saturday and found a cheapo plastic 5 lb dumbbell.  Thought it was .99 cents but when I got to the cash, turns out they wanted 6.99.  I can get new, better weights at Fitness Depot for $1/lb.  The clothing selection was sad and overpriced, and the furniture, dishes and other things were all overpriced and tacky (the worst kind of tacky).
Same here, but more due to being picked over by the local apostolics who are there every, single, day. As opposed to a lack of good items. Every now and then there is really good stuff, but finding it requires a lot of luck.

Yup, that's what I'm dealing with, the prices are outrageous - don't people know how much a new bed or dressser or couch costs? Used to be you could find a chair for $5 - no more.

I quit going, when I found they no longer had any books ... because all they have now is one narrow wall of books, displayed in such a way that you can't reach half of them if you are 5'1"  - the rest is a hap hazard mix of partially upside down titles. Most of them in poor shape and at least 20 or more years old. Last time I was there, they had a total of ten romance books - 7 of them Amish or religious in some way.
Thank goodness I'm close to two libraries where I can order titles or read on line.

Our Goodwills are overrun by buyers all day long, nice for them and hopefully for the community, but not so great for those of us who shop there, because we are poor and are actually trying to set up house ... as I once was forced to do. Goodwill was the only place close enough to walk to. I didn't know the area, had no car and forget about bus service.

I have found good deals in the past like a 99 cent coffee grinder or nice glasses, but sifting through the kitsch, now that I have what I need is not my idea of fun.
Clothing - forget it, I have neither the patience nor ever any luck finding something that I would actually wear, like when they had several brandnew London Fog raincoats, not one of them in my size. 
I was tempted to buy them anyway for re-sale, but then I chickened out - thinking about the hassle of it all.

Half the people that shop there these days are re-sellers hunting for bargains, the other half seems to have endless time to shop there all the time. It's mindboggling - when did it become so hard to find a good Thrift store? We've got plenty in the area, but I've stopped going - unless you make it your hobby and perservere - it simply is no longer my cup of tea.
I can't quite put my finger in what bothers me most about this post, but a lot does.  For starters, what do you expect the store to do for you? You seem very critical of everything they and their customers do. Perhaps it might be possible to adjust your expectations rather than expect them to change. If their prices are too high, perhaps you could check to see when their sales and discount days are and only shop then. Introduce yourself to the manager and be nice to everyone who works there. Treat them nicely and you might be surprised at the information that flows your way.

Another way to adjust your expectations is to simply reset them. Let's say that 10% of the female population is your height. Wouldn't it make sense that only 10% of their inventory would fit you? Since too long can be cured easily (unlike if you're tall and something's too short), surely there's at least another 10-20% that would work with simple alterations. If you go in expecting that no more than about 25% of what they have could potentially work for you, you're more likely to be pleased at the available options. Same with the books. Once you've befriended the staff, you could let them know that it's really hard to shop the upper level books and politely ask if there's some way to solve the problem, so you can buy more of their wonderful books.

Speaking of books, they can only sell what is donated to them. Slamming them for not having the types of titles that you want kinda sounds like you have a rather strong sense of entitlement. Ah, there's the word I was seeking! Rather than looking at the good this store does in your community, you only seem to care about how they are failing you personally.

That's about as gently as I can phrase this. If that sounds harsh, I apologize. I sincerely hope I have provided food for thought.

I came back to this thread to post about a negative experience I just had.  I used a coupon and was able to find a "steal" of a long sleeve light merino wool t-shirt for about $6.   I can tell what others don't like about it -- fits too tight (it is meant to fit like long underwear, but was in the t-shirt section), and the neck opening is tight to get on.   I almost did not purchase, then thought what great replacement it was for my ski gear, how I had almost bought one before christmas at retail, and bought it.   Until i got home, of course, and discovered 6 small holes (in the front / belt area and the sleeve).   Could not see them under the lights, and I guess that is my biggest peeve, is damaged goods that often have a pretty high price tag on them, for used,  that you buy then can't return due to store policies or distance.  This shirt at non-coupon price was $12, after all, for what the pricing person likely just assumed to be a t-shirt.

Then of course I read the posting above, and it made me feel 100% different.   I do think that buyers combing the stores offer a service to us because they post them online with filters that make it easier for me to find.  Yes, the $35 purse I bought is now re-posted at $45 plus $15 shipping, but I can find it online versus lots of effort at the thrift store.  I have likely been assumed to be such a buyer because I bought ALL the kitchen tray organizers one time from the store.   Except I was buying them to give to 7 different refugee families that had newly arrived here.   

My biggest challenge is buying too many clothes, many of which are good, but not that "one essential piece", but because the price is so low, I justify it if I can wear an item even three or four times.   Regular priced clothing, I figured out that I needed to wear each piece at least 30 times to get my money's worth.

There is no "$1 / $2/ $3" here, unless you go to the run down ones that sell by the pound.  But i am ok with being able to quickly sort through the $5-$9 t-shirts, and go on the 50% off sale when possible.

nouveauRiche

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #236 on: May 13, 2017, 04:48:00 PM »
.... Until i got home, of course, and discovered 6 small holes (in the front / belt area and the sleeve).   Could not see them under the lights, and I guess that is my biggest peeve, is damaged goods that often have a pretty high price tag on them, for used,  that you buy then can't return due to store policies or distance. 

I would blame this on the people donating to the stores, not on the people who work there. 

Well-meaning people want to get rid of their stuff & get a tax deduction so they dump things at the thrift store in any condition.  I'm embarrassed to admit I have done that in the past.  Then I talked to someone who volunteered as a sorter at a Goodwill-type store.  When she described the condition of the clothes they were sorting, I felt like a tool.  Needless to say, I don't donate stuff in bad condition anymore...

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #237 on: May 13, 2017, 04:53:56 PM »
I still donate stuff in poor condition to places that I know recycle fibers. I often try to bag it and label it as such.

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #238 on: May 13, 2017, 06:50:45 PM »
The wife is doing a few days a week of volunteering in a Mennonite thrift store in a very conservative area full of Amish and Mennonites. She has some pretty funny stories to tell while dealing with books. Apparently, there are two grades of Harlequin romance books. Who knew, right? One series is geared toward the general public and more of an anything goes type of steamy erotic story line. These CANNOT end up on the showroom floor, too racy. There is another series of tamer, more religious ones that are suitable for the clientele. The old Mennonite ladies who sort them can spot a racy one from a mile away. They are quickly disposed of, LOL.  There is also a whole genre of Amish romance novels that are tame enough to resell, and FLY off the shelves. It's common, in the book section of the store, to find Amish ladies giggling, while loading up on stacks of the Amish love stories.

I suggested that my lovely wife should be generous and think about donating her paperback "Fifty Shades" collection. That might twist a few bonnets.

nouveauRiche

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #239 on: May 13, 2017, 07:01:02 PM »
I still donate stuff in poor condition to places that I know recycle fibers. I often try to bag it and label it as such.

Good idea.  Thx.

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #240 on: May 14, 2017, 04:11:27 PM »
50% off yesterday at Sally Ann so I got:

3 blouses
3 t-shirts
1 purse

All for $17
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Goldielocks

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #241 on: May 14, 2017, 11:45:08 PM »
.... Until i got home, of course, and discovered 6 small holes (in the front / belt area and the sleeve).   Could not see them under the lights, and I guess that is my biggest peeve, is damaged goods that often have a pretty high price tag on them, for used,  that you buy then can't return due to store policies or distance. 

I would blame this on the people donating to the stores, not on the people who work there. 

Well-meaning people want to get rid of their stuff & get a tax deduction so they dump things at the thrift store in any condition.  I'm embarrassed to admit I have done that in the past.  Then I talked to someone who volunteered as a sorter at a Goodwill-type store.  When she described the condition of the clothes they were sorting, I felt like a tool.  Needless to say, I don't donate stuff in bad condition anymore...

I know except here, the bad condition stuff gets sorted for rags and fiber processing, and they still get some money per lb for it.... so better to dontate the holes than throw them away.

KBecks

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #242 on: May 15, 2017, 06:03:03 AM »
I've read about fiber processing but need to find if our Goodwills do it.   Do most Goodwill locations?

I love this thread and feel blessed that we have a great Goodwill and several other secondhand and thrift stores around.  On Saturday I continued to buy my growing boys pants in the next size up. We should have enough now for summer, and the cost compared to new is wonderful.  I found several items in great condition, and I am trying to be careful to buy things only that they will really like. 

I also love when I wear things from Goodwill.  I sometimes have whole outfits that are thrifted except for the undies, socks and shoes.   I guess I really love buying secondhand, avoiding the malls, etc. etc.   Oh yes, and buying for under 40% of the brand new prices!  Sometimes much less.

I am currently wearing a beautiful printed tank top that has a tiny hole.  The hole is tiny.  No one is staring at where this hole is, and I might wear a jacket or sweater over the tank, too.   No worries.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 06:05:18 AM by KBecks »

Dicey

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #243 on: May 15, 2017, 06:04:47 AM »
.... Until i got home, of course, and discovered 6 small holes (in the front / belt area and the sleeve).   Could not see them under the lights, and I guess that is my biggest peeve, is damaged goods that often have a pretty high price tag on them, for used,  that you buy then can't return due to store policies or distance. 

I would blame this on the people donating to the stores, not on the people who work there. 

Well-meaning people want to get rid of their stuff & get a tax deduction so they dump things at the thrift store in any condition.  I'm embarrassed to admit I have done that in the past.  Then I talked to someone who volunteered as a sorter at a Goodwill-type store.  When she described the condition of the clothes they were sorting, I felt like a tool.  Needless to say, I don't donate stuff in bad condition anymore...

I know except here, the bad condition stuff gets sorted for rags and fiber processing, and they still get some money per lb for it.... so better to donate the holes than throw them away.
Stopped laughing long enough to FTFY. Hee. Still laughing.
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Goldielocks

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #244 on: May 15, 2017, 09:47:06 AM »
Dicey..  How about this..

...better to donate the holes than nothing.....



(now I am giggling).   Grammar aside, you made me ask philosophically, "What is the difference between a "hole", and "air"..., and "nothing"?   A hole is the absence of something, bounded by that thing.   So a hole can not exist unto itself, but must be bounded /defined to exist, therefore the thing that bounds it must also be part of the concept of a hole....?   Otherwise it would just be "air" and have no meaning separate from "Air"... ..  ad nauseum.



Dicey

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #245 on: May 15, 2017, 10:01:16 AM »
Goldie baby, donate the holes made me think of donut holes and who doesn't like some yummy donut holes with a nice side of alliteration?
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Lis

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #246 on: May 15, 2017, 12:51:53 PM »
When I was a graduating senior, my mom took me to Macy's to help me pick out my first interviewing suit. The total cost for a matching blazer/pants set and new shirt was ~$40, which isn't horrible for new at Macy's, but it was $40 to a poor college kid. Fast forward a few months when I get a job and now need business appropriate clothes... hit up Goodwill and spend $40 on a ton of business appropriate outfits - basically a whole new wardrobe.

I need "new" business shirts soon, and maybe a "new" dress or two. I think it's time to hit my Goodwill soon!

Goldielocks

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #247 on: May 15, 2017, 08:56:22 PM »
Goldie baby, donate the holes made me think of donut holes and who doesn't like some yummy donut holes with a nice side of alliteration?

Hear hear!

Donut holes are much better than nothing!

Drole

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #248 on: May 17, 2017, 07:59:51 PM »
Found some items on my list today.

Carryon bag for daughter. It's not perfect bc it weighs a lot as it is a rolling duffle with backpack conversion option. $4

Bike helmet for son: $1

And then I spent another $11 on random other things.

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Re: Thrift Store Shopping
« Reply #249 on: May 17, 2017, 08:59:13 PM »
I volunteer at a tiny thrift shop, and my mother volunteers at a large one.  Right now we have no room to put out winter clothes (and no one's interested in buying them either).  We've been sending all sweaters, long sleeved shirts, coats, jeans, etc., to the large thrift store. 

While they're certainly larger, they can't store much either, so most of it goes to someone who buys bags of clothes for $.05/lb (and ships them off to Africa, from what my mother hears).  If you have nice stuff you want to go out into the local community, see if you can hold on to it until fall.