Yay, it's August 1 which means it's my birthday & anniversary month. A new month means new goals. Today I I decided I'd start posting thrifting tips every Thursday.
It's the Thursday after my segment on Great Day SA and I decided to share with you why I said not every thrift store is created equal. Let's start with what I call the more "high-end" ones. I consider them "high-end" because they tend to buy new or gently used clothing that is currently in season or on trend. This helps save you time if you are trying to find pieces to achieve a certain look. Someone already took the first step to make sure the item was in good enough condition to be sold in the store.
The main store I mentioned on my segment was Uptown Cheapskate. Of the three "high-end" stores, this one really picks high-end brands such as Gucci, LV, Prada, etc. That's not to say there aren't any Forever21 items in there. They just have a huge variety for men and women. I do want to mention that they are a franchise so each one is run differently. Shop around and make a note of your favorite location. For the most part, they are really organized and merchandised as if you were shopping in a department store. Keep in mind, with higher brands means higher price tags BUT you are still saving a lot of money compared to the cost of buying the same item brand new.
The best thing about shopping there is that once you're done wearing some of your items, you can try to sell them back for cash in hand or 25% more in-store credit. Don't think that you will get a lot of money back though.
Plato's Closest is probably the most well known franchise of the three "high-end" thrift stores I mention. It caters to teens and people in their 20's. It is similar to Uptown Cheapskate but the brands are not as high-end and their price points are lower. They buy and sell clothing but keep in mind they have so many people trying to sell their clothes to them that they usually don't accept the clothes you bring in.
Clothes Mentor is like Uptown Cheapskate but only caters to women. Depending on the franchise owner, he or she may purchase high-end brand such as Gucci and LV but that's usually not the norm. Most of their clothes are more catered to women's career. You can sell your new or gently used clothing there as well.
The step below the "high-end" stores is what I call your "everyday" thrift store. The store I mentioned in my segment was Thrift City. Thrift stores like Thrift City have everything you need for your family and your home. They range from home goods, toys, clothing, vintage, etc. It will depend on what's being donated.
The bigger more popular "everyday" thrift stores you're probably familiar with are Goodwill & Salvation Army. If you've been into one of these, you know that everything is organized by category and size. Unlike the "high-end" stores, you really have to go through each item on the racks or shelves to see what they have available. Clothing can range from brand new to vintage to down right dirty. Pay attention to what you're looking at before you buy it. "Everyday" thrift stores need to make money and they have to do it by pricing what is donated and getting them on the floor as quickly as possible.
I would consider this level of thrifting time consuming but not as stressful as the bottom tier thrifting that I'm about to mention.
Ahhhh the Goodwill Outlet AKA "The Bins." This is the third type of thrift store and it will be the cheapest way to get thrifted items since everything is by the pound or a flat rate price. Let me warn you that this is not for the faint of heart. I would consider this the modern day treasure hunting or the mentality of people who went to the west during the Gold Rush. Those fight or flight instincts come in and then bam! Some people may never want to go back.
So why even go? I love the Goodwill bins. The thing is that you have to spend a lot of time digging through the random bins. Nothing is organized. You may have to find the other pair of shoe in another bin. Things that didn't sell in the Goodwill stores end up mixed with items that didn't make the cut. Remember, Goodwill is a business and needs to keep revenue coming in. They will try to make as much money as possible including selling whatever random stuff is donated for cheap.
Take advantage of the randomness. You have to shop with an open-mind and go bin by bin and see what you want to take home. Don't think you're going to come in expecting a department store and you end up with piles of what most people would consider to be junk. They say one person's trash is another person's treasure. Take your time, don't follow the crowd, and make sure you watch your valuables. I'll create a more in-depth blog about my Goodwill bin strategy soon.
Until next week! Happy thrifting!