The Fashion Frugalista: Thrift Stores | The Frugalista

The Fashion Frugalista: Thrift Stores

by frugalista on December 8, 2008

Good morning, Frugalistas! This week is Fashion Week at The Frugalista Files! Many of my friends, like Katy at The Non-Consumer Advocate,  are big thrift store shoppers. Thrift store shopping is not my strength, although it’s increasing in popularity because of the economy. I get a little overwhelmed in the stores and if I get something used, I get it from a friend. I like a case history with my clothes. However, I visited The Salvation Army in Fort Lauderdale recently on media day to check out the thrift store scene.

Here are some of the finds that The Salvation Army showcased for us:
*a red Betsy Johnson cocktail dress for $59.99, originally $330
*A Gucci credit card holder, brand new, for $50, originally $150
*A platinum engagement ring for $550, originally $1,800.

Here are some insider secrets on how to get the "good goods" at thrift stores, courtesy of Corbin Dial, a production supervisor at The Salvation Army:

*Make friends with the sales associates at the stores. Tell them what you are looking for and they will let you know if it enters the store. For instance, if you need a a size 10 little black dress, let the friendly associates know and if they like you, they will alert you when the store has it available
*Don’t shop there when you need something, which leads to frustration. Browse regularly to get the good buys.
*Don’t just shop there for clothes. You can get fine art work, golf clubs and china at thrift stores. Keep your mind open to the possibilities!

One of the best things about shopping at The Salvation Army is that your purchases support the social service programs of the organization. When you shop there, you know that your money is going to help people live better lives. Also, donations to the Salvation Army are tax deductible. I love a write-off! 😉

Do you shop at thrift stores? Do you have some tricks of the trade you can share with us on how to get the good stuff? What was your best find at a thrift store? Do thrift stores make you uncomfortable?

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