Raise your hand if you are frugal.
Keep your hand raised if you love a good deal.
Keep your hand raised if you are very conscious about where you spend your money.
Keep your hand raised if you have dabbled in shopping second-hand.
I see, er, I guess I feel, that most of you still have your little hands up in the air. That's a good thing. That means you are reading the right blog. It means you are a frugal, possibly eco-conscious shopper.
I took a tour of Treasures Quality Resale Shoppe the other day with store manager Julie Lane and was really inspired by the mission of Treasures and Bridgehaven. I am eager to share a little bit of that with you today.
I was also inspired about the many reasons to shop at thrift or consignment stores, but am going to start with just five reasons to love second-hand shopping:
1. Purchases support a charitable organization.
We all know that we 'vote with our dollar', meaning that where we spend our money is reflective of our choices, preferences, and values as a person and society at large. This is true, especially for resale, thrift, and consignment stores that support charitable causes and organizations.
At Treasures Quality Resale Shoppe, every dollar spent supports Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center, a charitable Christian organization that serves women (and men) for pregnancy support services before, during, and after pregnancy. According to their website, Treasures has been open for over 20 years and provides over $100,000 annually to Bridgehaven.
2. Second-hand shopping reduces your environmental impact.
It's clear that purchasing something that is gently used has a financial benefit. Purchasing a used item also means a reduction in the impact on our environment. For example, the amount of fossil fuels needed to make a single pair of jeans is outrageous! Sourcing and shipping the fabric, thread, hardware, and sewing equipment, then manufacturing the jeans in a huge facility (ahem, with sweat shop labor, ahem), then shipping those jeans to the store takes an enormous amount of non-renewable fossil fuels. When you shop second-hand, our planet earth is only paying for those jeans once. Mother Earth thanks you.
The three dressing rooms at Treasures were also spacious, clean, and private. I tried on several items and found the fitting rooms very comfortable.
The housewares, kitchen items, and home decor are also staged nicely by volunteers. This means items move quickly and less money or resources are needed to market these items otherwise.
3. "Sticker Shock" and "Buyers Remorse" aren't really an issue.
I do not like shopping for clothing, especially jeans and bras. When I find something I like, it's usually way out of my budget (my budget is pretty tight, if we're being honest) and I get Sticker Shock. Then, if I do happen to find an item or two that I like, I have a really hard time swiping my debit card at the checkout. Almost immediately I suffer from Buyers Remorse.
At Treasures I purchased an Eddie Bauer top, a teal athletic long-sleeved top, a khaki Croft and Barrow skirt and a Nike skirt all for $10. I know! Pick your jaw up off the floor. When I was shopping I noticed that most shorts, pants, and skirts were priced less than $4 and tops ranged from $8 to $2. I did not look at mens clothing or children's items. The housewares and home decor were also very reasonably priced, from $1 to $20.
4. It's easy to find unique items, including clothing and housewares.
According to store manager Julie Lane, women's clothing is the number one seller at Treasures. However, children's items, housewares, and maternity clothing also sell really well. The afternoon I was shopping at Treasures, there were antiques, vintage furniture items, linens, and a huge amount of board games, puzzles, and books. All items in the store - everything - is a donation from the public, and the store is almost entirely staffed by volunteers.
5. Selection changes daily, and the store isn't at the mercy of current 'trends'.
Remember gauchos? I know you do. Now raise your hand if you owned a pair.
Put your darn hand down. You should be ashamed. Who told women that gauchos were fashionable?
When shopping second-hand you can find unique items, but you aren't limited to what's in style or fashionable. There will absolutely be some very trendy items up for grabs, but there will also be classic pieces to choose from as well. This includes housewares, too.
Treasures Quality Resale Shoppe has a local gal who creates beautiful window displays regularly. These displays showcase seasonal items, as well as current fashions.
These displays, as well as the Elite Boutique section of the store (pictured above), adds to the boutique feel of the shop. (Elite Boutique is a part of the store with name brand or high end clothing, shoes, and housewares.)
Here are a couple reminders for those of us who donate to thrift or consignment stores:
2. Check with each resale shop to see what items they do and do not accept. For example, Treasures does not accept bed pillows or mattresses, since they cannot be laundered. They do accept quality, gently used bedding, however.
3. Find your favorite resale or thrift store online. If they are on social media or have an email list, you can get insider information on upcoming sales to stretch your dollar even further. Visit Treasures Facebook page and Instagram page and the Bridgehaven Facebook page. I would recommend signing up for Treasures email list. Every Wednesday evening they send an email with a preview of their upcoming sale. There is also an August Blow-Out sale coming up with more details to come to their email subscribers!
4. If you are new to thrift shopping, ask a store associate or volunteer to help you! Julie is known for being energetic, kind, and attuned to what her customers want. She is more than happy to personalize your shopping experience and help you find the clothing or items at Treasures that meet your needs.
If you'd like to support Bridgehaven this fall, look into their "In Her Shoes" 5k fun-run and walk. You can find more details here. There are three ways Julie recommends you support Treasures: Come shop, donate your quality items, and volunteer.
Do you shop at second-hand stores? Leave a comment and share your tips and stories of great deals with me!