Before I had kids, I was the thrift store/yard sale queen. I could clothe Barry and myself very inexpensively. I could also decorate our home for cents on the dollar. I loved thrifting. LOVED IT. But then…I had kids.
I love my children – So. Much. But the idea of packing them all up into the car to run to the thrift store and pick out/try on clothing is enough to make me want to join a nudist colony.
I have a friend who goes to Target several times a week – picks up lots of things to try on – takes them back home to do so – and returns most of it when she doesn’t like it…because she has kids. And taking multiple kids into a dressing room is a recipe for disaster. STOP LICKING THE DOOR!
I had some bad experiences with buying clothing online…mostly shoes. I would order the size that should have fit, but it would end up being too small or too big…and then I would have to PAY to return it. Ain’t nobody got money for that. So, it put a bad taste in my mouth and I just didn’t feel like buying clothes online. Thrifting is cheaper, right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I heard about online thrifting from my friend Angela over at The Grocery Shrink. Knowing that Angela is as
cheap frugal as I am, I thought I had better give it another look. Then I started seeing all sorts of people post about online thrifting…like Mandi at Life Your Way and Caroline at The Modest Mom.
I thought I would hate it. I went into it thinking, “This is gonna stink. I hate it already.”
But I didn’t. I’m getting super good at being wrong.
So, I want to take the next couple weeks to look at some different places I’ve tried and let you know what I think. You should note, I was not paid for this review. If I got any money off, I’ll disclose that in the actual post. But I feel like my reviews hold more clout when I actually PAY for something instead of getting it for free…because I’m not trying to wax eloquent and boost another person’s ego. Ahem.
First, I want to talk about actual brick-and-mortar thrift stores. Prices for these are going to vary GREATLY…but I want to give you guys a general idea of cost. We live in rural Southwest Virginia. Below is a photo Barry took at one of our favorite thrift stores…they’ve recently raised their prices (not reflected) and done away with sale days during the week. This was a huge bummer to us.
Our local Goodwill (women’s clothing):
- Pants $4.67
- Tops $4.67
- Dresses $7.27
Let’s talk yard sales for just a second: yard sales are always hit or miss. Some years are AWESOME and some years you can drive around and hear the crickets chirping. Some years are awesome! And some years you think, “Do you really want to sell that with the price you’ve put on it, pal?”
So, while I would like to compare these stores (online and in person) with yard sales, that’s not a good way to go about this comparison because of the hit-or-miss aspect and because I hate yard sales were nothing is priced. PET PEEVE ALERT. I just had to inject that, even though it’s not really relevant. Moving on.
Goodwill prices vary A LOT. I’ve been in some Goodwills that were more than a retail store. Not cool, dude. And actually, we have quit shopping at Goodwill for personal reasons, but it’s still a good one for comparison because it’s a nationwide chain.
In-Person Thrifting Pros:
- Good prices
- Supports local economy
- Cool hats to try on for laughs
In Person Thrifting Cons:
- Prices vary
- Gas and time to get there
- Not always high quality items
- Some stores have a no-return policy
So, that’s my take on thrift stores. I will also be covering other online shopping options such as:
- Thred Up –> Post for that review is HERE
- Twice –> Post for that review is HERE
- Thrifting for children –> Post for that review is HERE
- Stitch Fix –> Post for that review is HERE
…then at the end I will have an overall review post and give pros and cons for shopping online versus shopping at a real store.