Sunday, January 27, 2013

Savy Second-Hand Shopping: Thrift Haul

In the coming weeks, I will be working on a creative writing piece all about the "art of thrifting" for one of my classes. Recently, I pitched my topic to the class and I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how positive their reactions were! Their questions about the types of things I find and how much I typically pay for them sparked my idea to begin doing monthly "thrift haul" posts on my blog. As I put together the pieces of my "how to" on thrifting, I will post them; until then, here is today's adventure!

I've been hearing a commercial on the local radio stations about a place called Plato's Closet where you can "shop the closets of the DMV's most fashionable women." Obviously, with my thrift obsession, this ad completely enticed me. I did a little research and realized that the store actually will pay you cash for your name brand clothes. They look for things that have been sold within the past two years, in nearly new condition and "trendy." This weekend, I rummaged through my closet and pulled together two large shopping bags of clothes. The nearest Plato's to my house is in Fredericksburg, VA; so off I went this morning! 

They ended up taking 5 pairs of A&F jeans ($7.00 each), a Michael Kors rain jacket ($8.75 (mind you, I literally paid $1.00 for this at a yard sale like a year ago and it never fit me!)), a few sun dresses ($4.00 each), a few summer shirts ($2.00 each) and a belt ($2.00). They only ended up taking about half of what I had because they considered the rest "too formal." I was not aware that they don't take dress clothes so that's what I ended up bringing back home. In total, for about one shopping bag of clothes, I got $59.75 in cash! This place is really great because they are so selective about what they buy. Also, I thought $7.00 per pair of jeans was pretty generous considering they were all relatively well worn and I originally bought them at the outlets for roughly $18-25 each. Personally, I thought the clothes in the store were a little pricey but they seemed to have decent sales. I did find one silk blouse for $3.00 on clearance, so I snagged that but it was the only thing I bought from here. Overall, it was an easy way to recycle my old clothes and make a little cash! I would definitely recommend taking a load every now and then. Note, I would not consider Plato's a thrift store because their prices are much higher; this is definitely a consignment shop!

With a little extra cash in my pocket, I decided to check out the other thrift stores in the area. Can you believe there are almost 10 Goodwill stores in Fredericksburg?! I thought that was wild! We ended up going to only three of them, one of which was a Goodwill OUTLET! 

This place was HUGE! It used to be a high end furniture store that I went about 10 years ago.
The blue side the "store" and the green is the "outlet"

This is not for the faint of heart; only a true lover of thrifting would be daring enough to scavenger through this place. Imagine a huge room with troughs of clothes and shoes. If you wanted to find anything at this store, you were gonna have to do some serious digging. We did our fair share of diggin' but came out pretty much empty handed (my Mom found some fabric and sewing stuff which totaled a whopping $0.43). What was completely baffling about the "outlet" was that you pay for your items by the pound! Textiles were $1.37 per pound; I was slightly disappointed that I didn't find anything here because it was such a ridiculous deal. 

Here is what I found today between the three Goodwill stores: 

  1. 2 pairs of True Religion Jeans (definitely my BEST thrift find yet! These retail from $99.00-$300.00 in department stores... I paid $5.99 per pair!) (value $100-200)
  2. 1 pair of American Eagle straight leg, dark wash jeans ($5.99) (value $30)
  3. 1 pair of Banana Republic urban straight leg, medium stonewashed jeans ($3.00-on sale) (value $70)
  4. 1 pair of Anne Taylor Loft stretch city fit dress pants ($5.99) (value $40)
  5. 1 Brook's Brothers button down dress shirt ($4.49) (value $80)
  6. 1 Kenar silk blouse ($4.49) (value $30)
  7. 1 Anne Taylor Loft sweater ($4.49) (value $20)
  8. 1 Exhilaration sheer tunic ($4.49) (value $15)
Total Paid: approximately $45.00. 
Total Value: over $300

Note: I am estimating the value based on the condition of what I buy in comparison to what it was probably bought for originally. These are just rough guesses but they definitely go to show that thrifting can be a huge money saver!

Here are my recent shoe finds:

  1. Fioni black dress sandals- new ($6.98)
  2. Anne Taylor Loft black, T-Strap wedges ($3.00)
  3. Mossmino gladiator heels ($5.00)
  4. Joey black, slingback platforms ($5.00)
Total: approximately $20.00

So, there you have it! The first of many thrift hauls. Stay tuned for a "best practices" and "how-to" on the art of thrifting! Thanks for reading! 

And just for laughs, here is what some have called my "theme song" :-) 

No comments:

Post a Comment