Unlike my 7 Good Reasons to Start Thrift Shopping, these next four reasons are just OK. They’re serviceable, just not strong enough to make the “Good Reasons” list, for one reason or another.
- Dress-up box
This reason really only resonates if you have little kids, or maybe if you’re trying to start an off-off-Broadway one-woman show, or possibly if you’re in charge of costumes for the local high school musical. Thrift stores are a great place to get fun dresses, ties, suit jackets, and other miscellany so that your kids’ little imaginations can run wild. Hats just creep me out if they can’t be washed – so use your judgment before popping a shabby used cloche on your kiddo’s head.
Some people recoil in horror at the mere suggestion of buying gifts second-hand, but there a lot of instances where this makes total sense.
- Your kid is invited to 1,231 birthday parties: This could be hard because of judge-y parents (or at least our own paranoid perceptions that other parents are judging us), but sometimes you can find toys still in their original packaging, or books in excellent condition. Second-hand gifts will help immensely when the class has an every-kid-gets-invited-to-every-party policy!
- You and your family/sig other/friend decided to make each other gifts: Get thee to Pinterest for some thrift store inspiration; thousands of people have better thrift store hacks and DIYs than I could ever come up with.
- You and your family/sig other/friend decide to do “thrift store challenge” gifts: Take $5 and see who can find the craziest thing, the most valuable thing, the biggest thing, etc.
- Your child under 2 has no idea what birthdays and holidays mean yet we somehow feel compelled to buy lots of gifts: Buy one or two new things and get other toys and games at Goodwill (just give everything a thorough washing/bleach wiping).
If you have a good idea of what brands, pieces, and styles will sell, and if you have LOTS of patience and free time, you can get good deals at a thrift store and then resell items on e-Bay or local yard sale sites. Just be careful you don’t start hoarding stuff without ever actually moving product, and unless you all-out commit to this, don’t expect this to make you more than a little spending dough every now and then.
- Antiquing without the High Prices
I love old stuff but I’ve always been intimidated by actual antique stores: I don’t want to feel pressured to buy, I don’t know what I’m looking at or if I’m getting a good deal, and I honestly don’t have it in my budget to be collecting antique aprons and copper pots. Going to Goodwill is a little outlet for me to find things that look old and cool to satisfy my collector’s appetite. Most of these things are probably not worth anything, that’s not really the point. If you shop looking for gold, you’ll probably come up empty-handed more often than not.
I’ve now given a total of 11 reasons I think thrifting needs to be part of everyone’s life – what did I miss?