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Just before a recent visit to a friend in Missouri, I dashed into the local Goodwill for a bag I could fit in the overhead compartment. I didn't have much time so I just grabbed something I could afford. It was 3.99 and the right size, with a strap that would fit over my shoulder.
Not until I went, came back, checked it under a bus and got it home that I realized it was a Giorgio Armani. The bag I just spent under $4.00 for was worth $275.00.
Yes, I am going to try and sell it for at least $100.00 but, even if I can't, it will be another example of the wonderful deals we find when we look and even when we don't!
Get to know brands for the best thrift shop bargains! A $7 purse is nice, but a $7 Anne Klein purse is an even better value (as the original cost would be much higher, perhaps as much as $50). The brands will probably be better made, so that the item will wear better too. I just snagged a pair of Sperry Topsiders at a Goodwill for $1.99 (retail $60!)
Many purses and shoes are almost new and leather, whereas cheaper brands will be some sort of plastic. There is even the possibility of selling off those designer items again when you are tired of them and getting a decent price. My buddy says that designer things just FLY away on eBay. I read on Yahoo that shoes are one thing you should never buy used - tell that to everyone on Etsy buying classic vintage shoes!
By pam munro from L.A., CA
I got a Michael Kors bag for $2 at the thrift store today. It is in great shape, but is a color I wouldn't pick for myself. My daughter has claimed it, and my alternate plan was to sell it on eBay. Bags like this are selling for $40-$50.
All handbags are stored on a high shelf in this store. The "good stuff" is mixed in with items worth very little. When I bought the bag, they told me it just came in.
Just got a beautiful pair of like new red silk Stuart Weitzman designer ballerina-style flat shoes at a thrift shop for $1.99. When I researched it on the internet, they were worth at least $250!
Don't think of thrift shops for just utilitarian items. It's amazing, but you can often get higher-end consumer/fashion items, like fancy place mats...
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About 12 years ago, I had to find a way to buy my husband's shirts. He was forever burning holes in them smoking. I decided to try a thrift store. I was embarrassed to go in but I did. WELL, I was so surprised at the people shopping there; well off and well heeled. I decided to look around after I got his shirts. I was shocked! I found a LL. Bean denim skirt for $4.00 with the tag still on and never been worn.
I was, from that point on, a thrift store shopper. I have turned all my friends on to them. I have purchased designer clothes at a fraction of the cost. Most still have tags. Even if they don't, you can tell they have never or only been worn once. You have to haunt the stores but it is well worth it. On a recent trip I bought approx. $300.00 worth of clothes for $20.00.
By Mary Ann from Weslaco, Texas
I have been going to thrift shops for years after a friend told me about them. She always is dressed nice. I don't go to regular stores anymore. Like you said, I can get designer clothes for a fraction of the price. I live in Ohio and on Sundays at Goodwill if you're over 50 you get 50% off., so I'm paying $2.50 for an article of designer apparel. Last week I got my husband a Nautica golf shirt for 2.50. He used to make fun of me for going there until I started bringing him home practically new clothes for almost nothing. My teenage son will not wear anything from there though (06/18/2009)
I am getting addicted to thrift stores too. Like you, I often find brand new things with the tags attached. You can't beat the prices, except at yard sales and I have never found any clothes at a yard sale that suited me. (06/18/2009)
Last week I bought a Ralph Lauren Polo tshirt for $1 - and actually most of my clothes have designer or at least well-known brand labels - I love Chico's, but can't afford it - but as my husband says, I don't have to afford it, because I keep on finding their jackets in thrift shops! (and the last one at a yard sale as part of a $10 bag!)And my jewelry - mostly 2nd hand - is of a better quality than that sold there at Chico's! (06/18/2009)
By pam munro
I congratulate all of you on your bargains but, at the same time, I get a bit upset as I am on a pension and the thrift shop is the only place where I can actually buy clothes anyway. If all those people who can afford to buy elsewhere buy at the thrift shop then there is nothing decent left for those of us who need it more. (06/18/2009)
Also, be aware of consignment shops. You do have to search to find the ones that don't charge high prices, but some charge hardly more than thrift shops and the quality is usually really good. As with the price, it depends on the shop. (06/18/2009)
I enjoy thrifting. I am a college student who has to buy most of her own things. I hunt for vintage clothes and give them a modern twist. It's well worth it. (10/08/2009)
It seems a bit counter productive to save money at a thrift store and waste it on cigarettes. The money spent on cigarettes would buy him a shirt a month or more. That would upset me, I'm just sayin'. (06/04/2010)
I am a working professional who has to dress nice and I buy most of my work clothes through thrift stores. I can't stand the thoughts of paying $30-35 for a pair of dress pants that may get ruined at work within a week.
If I find something in a retail store I like or that I need quick, I will buy it. At most thrift stores, if something has a stain or some kind of damage, they may discount it if you show them. Then take it home and use your favorite stain cleaner on it. You'd be surprised what I've done with thrift store clothes. I've also bought a nice dress and replaced the buttons on it for a new look, this same dress had pinhole type damage to the sleeve, which I gathered and now, you can't tell.
Watch for the sales at VOA stores, ours is half off the last Wed. of the month. You can actually afford to buy "new" clothes and if they wear out or you get tired of them, you can re-donate them and you're not out hundreds of dollars. Last time I went on a major find, I took a vac. day from work and my friend and I bought the whole back end of her SUV full of clothes and I only had $100 in mine. I still wear them today, in fact, I have on thrift store pants. No one knows my clothes mostly come from thrift stores, either, unless I tell them. I tend to stick to name brands and classic styles. Probably over 50% of my work wardrobe is thrift store bought and I'm the only one that knows that. (06/04/2010)
I am hooked on thrift stores. I buy mostly things for the house and my place is gorgeous. It looks as though I've traveled the world and brought back many treasures. My kitchen is Mexican inspired, my dining room Indonesian, living room Indian (east) and my bedroom Asian. Everybody who visits, loves it. I'm a graphic designer and ready to approach the store's owners and talk about a marketing campaign. I could take pictures of my condo and show what you can do with little money.
I live in an area full of immigrants and lucky for me they donate treasures from their countries because they prefer American design now. I also have beautiful and useful things for my kitchen from the stores such as platters, salad spinners, colanders, glasses, plates, etc. I feel good about the recycling end of it and live in beautiful surroundings for peanuts. The only problem is that once these types of stores get popular they seem to up their prices. But still well worth the weekly trips I make. Mon. and Thurs. is 25% off and holidays 50% off. And when I'm ready for a change I return some of what I've displayed the past year, and start all over again. I love it! (06/04/2010)
I am sorry but I feel that the thrifty stores are for people who can't afford to buy brand new clothes. People who don't make much money. If you can afford to go to the mall or walmart, then when you go to the thrifty store you are taking items from the people who really need the store. (06/04/2010)
By Teresa Tart
I also love thrift stores. I was embarrassed the first time I ever went in one about 7 years ago. But one day I was donating some items of my own and I said to myself that if I am donating Jones of New York, Lord and Taylor and other such name brands, other people must be doing the same. So I went into one and was shocked at how many people were shopping in there. I have been hooked ever since. There is plenty for everyone for those of you who are worried that the "poor" will not have enough. That is why the thrift stores have sales and discounts-because they have too much on hand and need to get rid of it. I have gotten some lovely things for my home and for my closet and most of my neighbors are now hooked also. (06/04/2010)
Save those things for the poor. How can you define poor? I wonder about some of the criticism here. The ones saying save it for the poor. I wonder if they have their financial house in order and why they subscribe to "Thrifty Fun" in the first place. I could well afford to pay retail but it's not good money management.
Don't judge anyone for shopping thrift stores and staying out of debt. Too many willing to pay full price; going into debt and not even giving a second thought to their future; just living one day at a time. Furthermore, if one is that poor he/she need not shop at the thrift store at all. Go to your local freecycle. Meanwhile don't criticize my good common sense and money management. (06/04/2010)
There is enough at the thrift stores for all of us (rich, poor or in between) and there always will be! This is a throw away society. If one is afraid that the rich will "snatch" it all up, rest assured tomorrow you'll find what you need. (06/04/2010)
You just have to make sure you try things on, as many have limited return policies. But, you can't beat the prices! (06/04/2010)
It pays to keep up with designer names to a degree - I noticed a major label on a purse at a thrift shop, found out it was leather, and got it for $1.49.
What's the great thing about shopping for your wardrobe at thrift shops? You can afford great fabrics, like linen and silk and designer names. And you can make mistakes!