The Random Writings of Rachel: Why I Don't Shop at Thrift Stores

Why I Don't Shop at Thrift Stores




I may or may not have made this clear before, but I generally do not shop at thrift stores for clothes. I don't know where all the people who do find awesome clothes at thrift stores live, but it is not in my town, because in my town, people do not generally give away awesome clothes in my size.
Also, our thrift store is remarkably expensive.

On my day off, I decided to visit the thrift store. Even though I know it's basically hopeless. But this time, I found a skirt. It was brand new, still had tags on. It fit me, and it was different from anything else in my closet, so I decided I'd give it a try. Even better, it had an orange sticker that said "Clearance: $1.00" on it. 

The pricing system at this store is confusing, but I clearly recalled seeing a sign in the front of the store that said "All items marked with orange clearance tags at $1.00." So, I thought I knew how much the skirt cost.

Imagine my surprise at the register when the elderly volunteer check-out lady said "That'll be $2.39 today."

I asked her what was meant by the $1.00 clearance sticker on the skirt.

She said, "Oh, that's not our clearance sticker. Ours looks different. That must be the original sticker from the store."

Seriously.

Did you see what I saw? The whole story of this skirt is clear. The skirt came to the thrift store brand new, tags still attached. Someone had bought it on clearance for $1, and later decided that it didn't look right. So they donated it. And then the thrift store decided to double the original purchase price.

I didn't say anything. That thrift store is staffed by a number of elderly volunteers, and I'm rather frightened of them. I meekly bought the skirt, but I thought to myself: "This is why I don't thrift."

What I've always suspected has been proven. I and thrift stores do not get along. With coupons and sales, I recently bought a pair of Levi's capris for my mom and a pair of wedge sneakers for me from Kohl's and paid $2 total. I just seem to do better in the clearance department than I do at thrift stores.

Do you have much success at thrift stores, or don't you?
 
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36 comments:

  1. I hate thrift stores and I have no luck shopping at them. I'm the same as you, I go to them and find nothing cute in my size...ever. Plus, I do have some issues with one of the major thrift stores and until they change their policy I'm boycotting them...so yeah. I'm really not into thrift stores. I do better with Old Navy or Target clearance. And Kohl's? Their clearance is awesome! :)

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  2. What thrift store was it? We only have Goodwill here...and honestly, it smells so awful in there...I have trouble sorting through things. They do get a lot of Target castoffs, brand-new, with tags. Mostly, I don't see the point. I prefer sorting through the clearance racks at the actual stores. I got 4 different clothing pieces (at four different high-endish stores) over the weekend all for less than $10 each.

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  3. I always find awesome things in thrift stores. However, I am the regular size--the average American women. I am even the average height and have the average shoe size. Even more then that, I can sew, and alter things--(really easy, I know you could too!) so that helps. I have noticed that prices are increasing. Its 5$ for a dress or skirt now--and in the store, I can usually find what I want on sale for 7-10$, so I have noticed myself shopping less in thrift stores. I don't know why they keep raising their prices.

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  4. I shop at thrift stores all the time, and honestly, most of my wardrobe is second-hand. I do see what you mean about them being expensive, though. I was really off visiting family in a different state, and went to some of their thrift stores. The prices were a lot more than here in New England! Even here, I've got a list of stores I go to that are the 'cheap' ones. I avoid the 'pricey' ones! For me, thrifting isn't just about price. It's also about finding pieces that I actually like and actually fit me, which happens more often at thrift stores.

    ~Gillian
    youngyankeelady.blogspot.com

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  5. I've been lucky a few times...there is a consignment store near us that Kevin basically ALWAYS gets lucky at...seriously I like never have to buy him new clothes...it's crazy.

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  6. I've never found ANYTHING in a thrift store worth really having. Plus I don't have the patience to sift through the junk, ya know?


    P.S. I'm giving away 5 sponsor spots this week on my blog and I'd love for you to come and enter!

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  7. our local goodwill gets all of target's clearance items. you can still see the original tags, and half the time the price at goodwill is more expensive than the target clearance tag.

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  8. I live in Utah where everyone is obsessed with thrifting. Needless to say there isn't anything there when I go. I think if I was out of the thrifting zone I could have much better luck. Or maybe i I just had hours and hours of time to look through every single item.

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  9. That sounds exactly like something our thrift stores here would do. I don't mind shopping at them, but I have to be in the mood. They're all really tiny, and in a town like this, they're ALWAYS completely packed out. With people willing to fight over anything that isn't incredibly stained or smelly. It's a madhouse most of the time. But we have one thrift store that is just like that, SO expensive. I pretty much never go there because I inevitably find something I want (oh, look at that cute mug!) and then realize I could buy the same thing brand new for only a few dollars more. It's ridiculous.

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  10. I don't have much luck thrift shopping around here either. I agree that you can get deals that are just as good on a clearance rack.

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  11. HOW did you find items for less than $1 in Kohls?! that's the real question here. I've never found anything that cheap on clearance! and aw, that stinks you have a bad time in thrift stores- i personally love them. But it does take a lot of time and patience when scouring them- treasures aren't always found. And now that you mention it, the old people working them are always strangely intimidating. Maybe that's a criteria? o.O

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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  12. I love going thrift shopping, but I usually end up with books instead of clothes.

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  13. Thrifting can work sometimes!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  14. I don't thrift mainly because of one of the same reasons you don't, I can never find anything that "wows" me (but of course I don't have the problem of things not fitting.) I go to thrift shops and hope I'll find that stunning outfit that I see people on blogs wear (high end, fancy, $1000000 price tag still attached) but I never find anything remotely like that. Not to mention our thrift stores are expensive too (at least what I consider expensive for a thrift store.) I do much better on clearance too! Maybe if I lived in a "hipper" area I would have better thrift places, haha!

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  15. I LOVE thrift stores! I shop there mostly, and have almost stopped at shopping at regular stores altogether. Every time I go, I spend at least $100 (shirts are $3, pants are $3, jackets are $5, and dresses are $5). Oops.

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  16. Usually, for me, thrift stores are more of nicknacks and novelty pieces. Clothing? I'm a tough size to fit.
    I have found that Goodwill charges SO much more than local places like Ross or Marshall's--I have WAY more luck there finding, well, everything.
    The only thrift store I've had minor success with is Plato's Closet--it's a chain thrift store that sells lightly used namebrand clothing for teens and early twenties. You know, the crowd that can get away with a tight "Car Wash" beach shirt and mini skirts . . . or something . . . I found a couple of items there that, shockingly, fit for a great price. That only happened once, though. On my subsequent visits, I came away with nothing at all. Boo.

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  17. Thank you! I am so glad I am not alone. I don't know if it is just my build or my size or what, but I never find anything at thrift store. I always see bloggers who talk about all of their awesome $4 outfits from goodwill and I am over here like "I paid $5 for a brand new pair of jeans that were originally $60". I always felt bad about it, but then i realized that I am still saving a ton of money, PLUS everything I get is not used.

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  18. i can't believe that! you'd get it cheaper at the store!! i never have any luck at thrift stores and feel like i can find better deals for brand new things at target and old navy :)

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  19. Wow that story is sad and ridiculous! I don't shop in thrift stores either, mainly bc I never ever ever find anything. I hear about so many awesome treasures, but I just don't have the patience, I guess.
    -carylee
    morepom.blogspot.com

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  20. I will only shop at thrift stores haha! All other stores drive me crazy.

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  21. I shop at thrift stores and I love it. I usually only shop when they have the monthly 50% off sale on all clothing and find great pieces all under $4. I also go straight to the clearance and sale section in other stores. There are pros and cons to both. You just have to do what works for you. :-)

    Mo

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  22. I'm with you on this! At the thrift shop I used to go to they also marked the prices up quite a bit considering everything is donated. And then here in Cologne I went looking for a thrift shop and couldn't find any on my list except one with a snobby lady and only Jimmy Choo, Prada, Chanel etc on their racks... totally put me off...

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  23. Oh that is annoying! I would have definitely said something just because of the principal of the thing!


    www.trendinginfashion.blogspot.com

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  24. I don't really thrift but yikes, that's awkward... haha... I can understand how that would put you off from going again!

    --Erika
    http://www.chimerikal.com

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  25. I don't shop at thrift stores a few reasons actually three.... BED BUGS, SCABIES and LICE. It only takes one piece of article to infect the rest, get on your skin, and bringing home to your bed and bed linens.

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  26. Boo for them for marking up the skirt! That is ridiculous! I occasionally shop at thrift stores, but I'm not one of those people with amazing luck. But I keep giving it a shot - I convince myself that someday I'll come across something amazing that will make it all worth it!

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  27. I love thrift stores. I guess because my city has lots of good ones to shop at. When I shop at 'regular' stores, I usually just head to the clearance racks. But that is a cute skirt- well, just a cute outfit in general!

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  28. I love thrift stores! I find a lot of stuff for my kiddos at ours, and occasionally I find something for myself! I have rules though..I only buy name-brand stuff, and it must be under $3. It takes a lot of time, but totally worth it, to me!

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  29. Vintage shops are my jam! I have a favorite that I frequent and their prices are fair. Maybe you just have to find the right shop for you! :)

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  30. Once upon a time, I once loved thrift stores... until I moved to Charlotte and then suddenly thrifty became extremely pricy. Seriously, I could get a better deal shopping in the mall. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but you get my drift...

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  31. Darling outfit!

    Thank you for linking up with Style Sessions!

    Lauren xx
    www.stylelixir.com

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  32. Honestly, I hate thrift stores. I've never found anything worthwhile in one, AND it never seems to be as cheap as people make it out to be. Plus I can't get past wearing something someone else already wore. It creeps me out.

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  33. i have the same trouble, thirfting round here is awful! i get more luck in the sales to be honest. Love this eclectic fun look, i totally have to try dress over jeans look, ive seen it a few times lately and i love it!Thanks for joining passion for fashion last week, hope you'll join us again today! :)xx

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  34. I think you're right- it depends on what thrift stores are in your location. I live in the San Fernando valley area which is a great consumer and thrower-awayer of fashion. There are different tiers of thrift and recycle stores from trendy designer to large cheap warehouses. That and the fact fashion has changed at a slower rate in the past few years has made thrifting a super attractive option.

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  35. I made an effort to go clothes shopping at Goodwill once because Macklemore told me to, and found lots of really cute tops. But usually, I have bad luck. I even have bad luck at places like Marshall's — my brain needs multiple sizes of the same item lined up neatly or else I panic.

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