Aug 2, 2007

Can you convert me into a thrift store shopper?

Lifehack's A Basic Guide to Thrift Store Shopping got me thinking. I haven't set foot in a thrift store since I was a kid. I know there are good deals to be had - not only from reading about the gems others have found, but also from knowing what I personally donate to Goodwill (things like brand new clothing that just isn't my taste (gifts) and appliances that work great but just don't get used). So I've compiled a list of reasons why I don't shop at thrift stores to see if I can be persuaded to try it as an adult.
  • I can get equally good deals by shopping sales at retail stores. With a discount off an already marked down price and a store coupon, I can easily pay a mere 30% of the full retail price.
  • It takes too much time to find what I want. You never know what you're going to find at a thrift store, which can be a good thing, but I don't have a lot of time just for browsing. And I certainly don't have the time to keep going back to the store to see if they've gotten what I'm looking for.
  • There isn't much parking available at the stores near us.
  • I don't like combing through a hundred items or more to find one that I like enough to buy. My memories are faded, but I seem to recall stuffed rounders of clothing.
If you're a veteran thrift store shopper, given my concerns, do you think I would find thrift shopping worthwhile?


Angela S said...

I've gone each way before. Tried the thrift stores and only found garbage at clearance prices. So I was dedicated to coupon/sales/shopping in advance. You know - buying a season or year before its needed. For me, purchasing classic styles works b/c they'll still be great pieces in a year or two. Being a garage sale queen and living in an area where I can excel with this talent, I'm able to really find great stuff at garage sales. And I've found more success with garage sales than thrift stores BUT both are unreliable as you've pointed out. In most people's cases, I'd say keep doing it like you're doing it. But for me, now that I'm buying huge lots at $.15 to .25 each its getting harder to pay $3-4 each though that is more than reasonable. (I sell the stuff I don't need or want on ebay if you're wondering how I get people to sell good stuff at that price) Thrift stores are too iffy. Keep it real and new.

ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

Thanks, Angela! That helps a lot!

Anonymous said...

I love thrift store shopping. For me it's a fun way to spend an hour away from home. I like being surprised by what I find (and I try not to go in with expectations or a shopping list) If I didn't enjoy the browsing aspect, I don't think I'd do it. I also live right across the street from a great thrift store, so it's convenient. That said, I've saved hundreds on kids' clothing and toys. If you don't enjoy it; if it's not convenient, I'd skip it.

ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

Thanks, Angie! I think - in a couple of years when I have a little more time for myself! - I will do what you said and just go looking for fun, and if I find something, great, if not, no big deal. :)