Shopping at thrift stores is a great way to save money. How much can you save shopping at thrift stores? A LOT! Especially if you buy a lot of higher end names this way. One thing I have a terrible time finding is pants, I’m really picky about the fit and I’m kind of an odd shape. I am thrilled that since January, I have managed to add 5 pairs of pants/jeans via thrift stores to my wardrobe. I’m always excited when I find something that I am looking for at a thrift store, it makes it that much more of a score. Here is a breakdown on just those 5 pairs of pants for a comparison:
Lands End Sport Knit Cords (like new condition, sized incorrectly, which is why I think they ended up at Goodwill)
Regular price--$44.00 My price $2.99
Denim & Company Narrow Leg Cords (brand new)
Regular Price $38.50 + 6.22 S&H from QVC My price $2.99
Roamans Twill Khaki’s (like new condition, sized weird!)
Regular Price $47.99 My price $2.99
Just My Size Jean Leggings (like new condition, sized weird too!)
Regular Price $16.00 My price $1.00
White Stag Knit Pants (brand new)
Regular price $13.97 My price $2.99
Had I paid full price for these pants, my out of pocket would have been $166.68. Instead I paid $12.96 for all 5—less than the price for one pair of the cheapest pants on this list. My savings--$153.72!!! That’s $153.72 that I can use for other things instead.
I also noted that three pairs of these pants were sized weird. The Lands’ End Sport Knit Cords were my usual size, but were supposedly petites—NOT! I usually wear regular or tall pants, but they fit perfectly. The Roamans Khaki’s and the JMS Jeans were tagged for a size much larger than what I would normally wear, but fit fine. This is why it pays to either try on clothing at thrift stores or at least have a tape measure with you for places that don’t have fitting rooms. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a great deal on a clothing item because the size it was marked was not the size the garment actually was. People are lazy and don’t want to take the time/effort to return stuff, so it frequently ends up at the thrift store. Someone’s laziness can be your gain!
Other examples of great savings I’ve scored from thrift stores just this year: (all in new or like new condition)
Vera Bradley Hipster Bag Regular Price $34.99 (on sale), my price $4.00
Quacker Factory jacket and capri pants Regular Price Approx $50 (I had to guestimate since this item is discontinued) my price $5.00 (these were another mis-sized item)
Basic Editions Polo Shirt Regular Price $12.99, my price $4.00
Denim & Co Shirt Regular Price $17, my price $3.00
Brooks Brothers Sweater Regular Price $128.00, my price $3.00
The other advantage to shopping at thrift stores is finding higher end clothing that I probably wouldn’t buy otherwise. I’m hoping that these items last longer, but if not, I’m not out much money. I would never spend $128 on a sweater EVER, but for $3 I can take a chance on it. The other side to this is flipping these items if they don’t work out and more than likely making your money back. I bought a sweater last year for $2 at Goodwill, didn’t care for it after all, sold it on Ebay for $17. I’ve also flipped quite a few things via consignment. My all-time favorite flip is a Brooks Brothers skirt that I bought for $14.99 on clearance at a Brooks Brothers outlet, wore it for 2 years, then sold it on Ebay for $20. I basically got paid $5 to wear the skirt ;) The lesson here is that people will buy used clothing in good shape if it is a high end brand name, and pay a little more for it.
I hope that this information is useful and if nothing else will convince a few more people to try thrift store shopping for at least part of your wardrobe. It’s economical, many times the money made from it goes to a worthy cause, and it is recycling in the finest form. Reduce, reuse, recycle!!