by Joyce McKnight
Have you ever wondered what all the hoopla is about concerning thrift shopping? In three words, it makes cents. A case in point is when my child was little and I was in the market for another coat, I thought about checking out a thrift store to browse. To my surprise, I came upon a very dirty cute little coat for $1. You heard me right $1. This coat if new would probably retail for about $200. I know my labels. A lot of high-end merchandise passes through thrift stores.
You had to have vision to see this diamond in the rough. After careful inspection and I do mean careful, because most sales are final, I saw that the coat was in excellent condition having next to no wear. I also noted that it had a good label and would probably take a good washing well. So I decided to take a chance and purchase the coat. After only one wash the coat came out great. I always use a colorfast detergent to preserve the color.
Let me say that it’s been my experience that thrift stores do not sell dirty items from wear. However, this coat appeared to have gotten dirty after falling from the rack and walked on. A lot of thrift stores will mark these items down for a quick sale versus throwing them in the trash. Thrift stores appear to hate waste almost as much as I do. I guess they figure some amount is better than nothing. And I agree 100%.
I am not above purchasing "dirty floor walked on" items. I am, however, above trying on any dirty items and will eyeball whether the garment will fit or not. I figure that if it doesn’t fit, the material could be added to my quilt pile if nothing else. Or perhaps some other child in need of a coat could benefit after it’s been washed. So far as I’m concerned this was a good buy. If you make three good buys per year, you could realize $300 or more in savings. Now that, in my opinion, is worth some hoopla.
Joyce McKnight is a Home Economist. You'll find more of her thoughts on her blog at FrugalToolBox.blogspot.com