10 Reasons to Check Out Used Clothing Stores

I LOVE shopping at thrift stores.  I’ve written about thrift store shopping before here at Out of Debt Again and it seems thrift stores are gaining a bit of popularity with the younger crowd – thanks to Macklemore’s Thift Store – (link goes to the video but please be aware that there is profanity in this song) and I wanted to share my favorite 10 reasons that you should check out used clothing stores.

  1. Sizes.  Because the clothing is all donated, it’s clothing that people actually wear.  Meaning there will be a proportionate amount of for example, 0’s to 10’s as there are actual size 0 and 10 consumers, not the manufacture’s best guess.
  2. Cost.  Typically, but NOT always, clothes are a great bargain at used clothing stores.  In part because the clothing is typically donated, stores sometimes are a little run down, and since other overhead costs are less than a regular department store, the prices just do not have to be as high for the company to turn a profit.  Not to mention, lots of used clothing stores are non-profits or not-for-profits that get tax breaks and charity and/or government funding.
  3. Speed.  I find most used clothing stores to be vastly overstaffed while light on customer competition, meaning short waiting line times.  I can’t remember ever standing in line
  4. Attitude.  The upbeat used clothing store owner or part-time worker tends to be pretty helpful.  I doubt these employees make more than their retail clothing store counterparts do, but somehow thrift store employees just seem to know the product better and be more useful. Come to think of it I’ve always been happy with the response when I ask them if they have something, or where it might be. In regular department stores the answer is sometimes, “We don’t carry that” when I know they must, I just can’t find the aisle!
  5. Sales. Goodwill and other second-hand stores will often have all inventory of a certain color tag 30-75% off.  The sale is very easy to understand and apply – just check the tag color – unlike really complicated coupons with tons of exceptions that certain retailers seem to rely on.  The store I used to visit the most also had a senior citizen and student day, so see if your thrift store has any similar discounts.
  6. Community.  I have never volunteered at a used clothing shop, but it feels great contributing to a community bank of clothing with my money going to support its continued use.  All the clothes come from the “community,” and I contribute to its service, while getting awesome clothing.
  7. Sustainability.  No matter where you stand on recycling or re-using, you have to acknowledge that if you can avoid creating wastes in both producing and disposing of clothing, it’s a good thing.
  8. Comfort.  Some pieces are more comfortable after being worn in and washed a few times.
  9. Quality.  The first time I experienced getting better quality clothing at a thrift store than in a department store was when my boys were young.  They were Power Ranger fans and they begged and begged to have Power Ranger swim trunks.  We went swimming every day during the summer.  Normally I would shop at my favorite Savers during the winter (sometimes it works out better to buy off season) and in fact did have several high quality pairs for each of them. I caved and bought the trunks from Kmart.  Within weeks both pairs had ripped out in the seams and had runs in the nylon undershorts.  While I went on to buy my boys their favorites again, I knew my dollars were much better spent at the thrift store.
  10. Fun.  I would never have tried on some of my favorite clothing if not for my local thrift store.  My favorite blouse was $3.99 at Goodwill and is made of silk blend.  When I purchased the blouse, the original sales tags were still on it, and I know it’s a really expensive designer.  Not only did I get a bargain, but I discovered a fun new look.

Notably, I wouldn’t (and don’t) buy every piece of my clothing from a thrift store.  And I strongly advise anyone who makes a purchase from second-hand store to wash it thoroughly.  But, I have always gotten a steal and wanted to share.

Do you wear second-hand clothing?  What was your latest Goodwill steal?

Here are my other posts on shopping at thrift stores:

How to Shop Thrift Stores

I Love When  A Frugal Outfit Comes Together Perfectly

20 New Outfits Under $20

 

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