Nov 16 2009

A downside of thrift store shopping

I’ve hit some thrift stores pretty hard lately as I’m reworking my wardrobe. I’ve found some incredible deals! Thrift store prices are usually really cheap ($2-4 for a top, $4 for a skirt, $6-7 for ‘brand name’ jeans, etc.).

To really save money, go when certain items are on sale. For example, one of my frequented thrift shops offers 50 percent off “upscale” brands on Thursdays. I spotted a lined blazer from JCrew for $5, so it would have been $2.50 on the sale day. Too bad it didn’t fit me!

Some thrift stores have junk for clothes, but if you go to the right ones, you’ll see that many offer quality items for extremely cheap.

It’s so cheap, and such a good deal that I’ve discovered one of the downsides (if you could even call it that) of thrifting:

Paying retail is so much harder to do once you’re accustomed to thrift store prices!

Some things you just can’t thrift. For example: socks, underthings, shoes for people with weird foot sizes, etc. I maintain that if you can find an item in a retail store, you can probably find it in a thrift store if you look long enough and hard enough. But darn it, I just haven’t been able to find some dress pants or khaki pants that fit right.

So, I’ll probably have to go retail for it.

It won’t be easy. I’ll likely have to go to multiple stores and look for sales and coupons.

But you know what? When many of your clothes come second-hand, you have more money left over to pay retail prices on other things.

8 Responses to “A downside of thrift store shopping”

  1. I had no idea the advantages of thrift stores/Goodwills until Shawn moved to Indianapolis and we started going. I’ve found the stores have much better stuff in bigger cities. Now, I’m absolutely in love! I’m with you on the pants, thing, though, I’ve found so many tops it’s crazy, but jeans and other types of pants are really difficult. I find myself getting frustrated very quickly. But you’re right, it’s much easier to justify buying things at retail prices when you’re saving money by second-handing in other areas.
    Shawn and I went to the Carmel Goodwill a few days ago, and wow! I saw just about every brand name you can think of, and we ended up with several brand name (and very gently used) shirts and sweaters for him. It amazes me what people decide they no longer want!

  2. “Paying retail is so much harder to do once you’re accustomed to thrift store prices!”

    Oh, too true… I just moved out of a town with FIVE large thrift shops (Frenchy’s). I haven’t paid retail for clothes in years, so when I recently had to shell out $80 for a winter coat it about knocked me over (it was half price, though!!). The town I’m in now has two small charity-run thrift shops, and I’ll sure be frequenting them, but it’s just not the same…
    .-= Karen´s last blog .. =-.

  3. That’s awesome! You have way more patience than me. You should check out Ann Taylor Loft for your dress pants. They have really nice ones in all different styles and types. Plus they have awesome sales! A few weeks ago they had a 40% off clearance items sale and I got a skirt for $1.75! It’s a summer skirt, but still! I also got a super nice, lined, black skirt for less than $5. And I signed up for their mailing list so maybe next time I’ll have a coupon to go with it!
    Oh another thing, I picked up several beautiful necklaces for around $3 for gifts for my sisters. They retailed at like $28 I think.
    Another great place is Banana Republic. They’re stuff doesn’t go quite as cheap (I think the lowest for pants there I’ve paid is $20) but the quality is awesome.
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Running love =-.

  4. Grrrr…In the last paragraph “they’re” should be “their”. That always bugs me.
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Running love =-.

  5. I totally have that problem–a complete incapability to buy things at retail or even in a regular store at all unless it’s dirt cheap! I almost pass out at those “super-savings” $40 sweaters on Macy’s commercials.

    I also have problems finding bottoms, though, because I am plus-sized. But persistence does usually pay off there!
    .-= Vanderbilt Wife´s last blog ..Chock Full of Healthy Muffins =-.

  6. I love thrift stores! My dh is constantly telling me to go to a “regular” store because we “don’t have to shop at thrift stores”
    I know I don’t have to, I can afford to go to the mall stores, but why would I want to? Nope! No malls for me.
    I work in a professional atmosphere so I have to dress the part. I get all my clothing at thrift stores (except for underclothes & shoes) I get so many complements at work about my wardrobe. If all those women knew where I shopped…

  7. Oh, man, that is so what happens around here! My husband especially will refuse to spend over $6 on jeans, even if it would mean they’d fit. :)
    .-= Lauren @ Hobo Mama´s last blog ..Trailer for Formula Fed America and a call to lactivism =-.

  8. For me the problem with thrift stores is having the patience going through all of the inventory. I think you have to have some relaxed free time to check out those places and have it in the back of your head that you might not buy anything.

    I so agree that paying retail is hard! Even in a store like Macy’s or the Gap, I find I don’t want to pay full price knowing full well that there will be some clearance sale or coupon offered eventually.

    As for underthings and such that you wouldn’t want used: you can try stores like TJ Maxx or Marshalls or even wholesale stores like BJ’s. I buy Calvin Klein jeans for like $25 at BJ’s.
    .-= FFB´s last blog ..ING Direct Gets In On Black Friday Cyber Monday Action =-.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

Keep in Touch!
Like me on Facebook Follow Me on Twitter RSS Feed

Subscribe to my email updates:

Web Statistics