Thrift Store Fun: 5 Reasons to Shop at a Thrift Store

You never know what treasures you'll find.

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

For people who favor shopping malls and department stores, a thrift store may be a little scary. After all, the clothing items are used and there's no telling who wore them or what they were doing when they did so. The fact is the clothes in thrift stores are all inspected to make sure they're in good enough shape to go on the rack, so you don't need to worry about threadbare or tattered items. Thrift stores also offer a bounty of second hand furniture, toys and games, old records and appliances. As if that wasn't exciting enough, we've got five more reasons to try out your local thrift store.

 

5: Money Savings

Still Want Higher End?

Consignment stores are similar to thrift stores, except that the original owner of the item still technically owns it until it's sold. Also, consignment merchandise is usually a cut above what you'll find at the thrift store.

If you're looking for a good reason to shop at a thrift store, look no further than your pocket book. Everyone knows you can find great deals on clothing, toys, games, small appliances and furniture. Many thrift stores even offer further reduced savings on certain days of the week. So that vintage suit that's in amazing shape and priced at $8 might only cost your $4 on a Wednesday. Even without further discounts, a thrift store is a great place to outfit that first apartment or dorm room on the cheap.

 

    4: Rare Finds

    These could be worth a lot of money!

    iStockphoto/Thinkstock

    If you're a shopper that gets a little thrill from scoring that rare find, then you're missing out if you don't check out the wares at your local thrift store. That's the only place you're going to find that gently-used fondue set from 1976. Or that 1950s tailor-made suit that fits you like a glove. Are you a record collector? A thrift store could be where you could find that original Beatles LP that the owner didn't even realize they were donating. Just remember the old maxim: One man's trash is another man's treasure.

     

    3: Costumes

    Playing Dress Up

    If you have a little closet space or a spare trunk, save whatever items you get from the thrift store each year and you've got the beginnings of a good costume collection to mix and match with.

    Have you ever been stuck on October 30th with an impending Halloween party looming and no ideas for a costume? Are you struggling to find the perfect top for the tacky sweater party during the holidays? This is where a thrift store can really save the day. All you need to do is venture inside and take a look around. Period clothing is plentiful at thrift shops, so you should be able to locate anything from a nice 70s leisure suit to the makings of a pirate costume. And let's be honest; thrift stores can be a gold mine for some tacky clothes to win you the top prize. You'll also save a bundle by avoiding the costume shop for an expensive one-night rental.

     

    2: Vintage Clothing

    All the digging and sorting will be worth it.

    iStockphoto/Thinkstock

    Vintage clothing stores in big cities make a lot of money by selling items that you might be able to find at your local thrift store. Trendy vintage boutiques in shopping districts will charge you a lot of dough for what could cost you just a few dollars elsewhere. In fact, the owners of these higher priced shops often troll the thrift stores themselves for those vintage finds, then mark them up for unwitting shoppers. If you're into vintage threads, then stop by the thrift store before you head to the hipster shop down the street.

     

      1: Charity

      In the Big Leagues

      In 2009, the National Retail Federation recognized thrift stores and resale shops as a legitimate retail category. Almost 20 percent of people they surveyed planned to do their back to school shopping at thrift stores.

      As if the rare finds, great deals and excellent costume ideas aren't enough, most thrift stores are tied to some kind of charity, so shopping there helps to support people in need. The Salvation Army's stores fully fund their adult rehabilitation program, including a work rehab program that operates in conjunction with the thrift shops. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has stores all over the country and helps directly benefit those in need. There's likely an individual shop in your town as well that works with its own special charity, whether it's benefitting the homeless or helping to shelter those with AIDS. Spending money at thrift stores is a great way to help give back a little, whether through donations or shopping there.

        Page