Second Hand Shopping

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I'm not much of a shopper. I have friends that spend almost every weekend hopping from one yard sale or flea market to another and have a wonderful time doing it. They pick up useful things, antiques or collectibles, gifts and if nothing more some cheap entertainment.
I don't go to yard sales or flea markets often, mostly because I come home with things I don't really need. Not because they don't have inexpensive and interesting things. My husband and son's love stopping at yard sales. Ric has taken to shopping at the second hand shops. He likes the Salvation Army Shops and we have gotten some very nice things there. One of my son's recently bought his first home and we picked up a lot of nice stuff at a yard sale and up at the SAS. He got an attractive solid wood table in very good condition that seats 10 for $40.
I told Ric to look for an ice bucket for me. I wanted one to use as a container to put my kitchen scraps in for composting. He came home with a really nice one for $3 and a very good hand carved decoy signed and dated also $3 a very nice addition to my collection.
The ice bucket will replace that old plastic ice cream container I've been using for more than a year and will look a whole lot nicer sitting on my kitchen counter.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Very nice!!! I shop at the Goodwill every week. I bought a number of my Christmas gifts there. Ours is affiliated with Target. They get a lot of merchandise that is damaged or overstocks after holidays. New slippers in the box for my mother for $3.99. A beautiful Brooks Brother's red checked oxford for my husband $1.99, a weighted excercise ball, in the box $6.99, new stuffed pony 99 cents, 3 brand new books 99 cents each, and the biggest bargain a cute purse from Saks Fifth Avenue, new with the tags for 99 cents. The gift for myself was a set of sterling candlesticks I found at the Hospital thrift store for $25. The kids clothes are 99 cents, and up to 75% off. I have picked up great stuff in nearly new condition for 25 cents. It is fun & certainly a nice savings.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

There is a guy down the road that has regular yard sales, heavy on the tools. He picks stuff up and cleans and repairs things, hit's the auctions and other things. When he gets enough stuff together he has a sale. My guys love going to them as he always has good tools. Ric picked up a small rototiller. I just love the little thing. Everytime I want a small spot in the yard dug up for a plant or two he gets it out and works some of our compost into the spot. So much easier than digging it in.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

We have a flea market nearby. It mostly sells new, inexpensive stuff, but there is a garage sale booth. They will pick up at your house & sell your stuff. They take 50%, but you have no hassle. I am thinking about having them come get a bunch of stuff just to get it out of the house!

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

I used to go to yard sales when my children were young, and when the grandchildren were young also. We've gotten alot of good and gently used toys, furniture, baby clothes, dishes, etc. there. I haven't been for quite awhile.

We do go to the Goodwills here in Houston. I even found my 9 room doll house there for $23. (It was half price Sunday, or it would have been $46!!!!). It's hit and miss....sometimes you find really nice things other times not.

We also like the SAS. Here in the Houston area we have the Falles Parades stores. They are a closeout store like Big Lots, etc. We have found some really nice things there also. I got a heavy duty jacket for $7.00 a couple of years ago.

We love a bargain!!!!!!!!!!! Any time you can save money......"It's a good thing!!!"

Jeanne

Lakeway, TX(Zone 8a)

I have found that second hand shopping in "retirement" towns is awsome for business and formal wear, and other things.

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

I love thrift store shopping. When I was younger it was because I found better styles of clothes, but more recently it's because that's the only shopping I can afford. A lot of the wooden furniture I have is from the Arc, SAS or Goodwill. I also find really good deals on shoes. Since I'm a ceramics teacher, I ruin shoes really fast and cannot afford to throw away expensive shoes. I found the same pair of shoes I bought about a month ago at Goodwill for $3 at DSW yesterday for $74. That's always rewarding!

I've found that in the last 4 years or so, it seems like the thrift stores have figured out that they have something that people need and have raised their prices. Jeanne I wonder if you have been to Value Village before. I grew up in Houston and that was my absolute favorite thrift store. Jeans for a buck and shoes or purses for 10c. They have raised their prices a lot, too. It's just as well though, because now I watch my pennies at thrift stores, too.

Imawebgirl, I agree with you there. I also drive to store on the wealthier side of town and can usually find steals.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Just like any type of shopping you do have to be careful, especially right now with the stores giving such discounts. I went to a children's second hand consignment type shop, a couple of years ago to buy a few things for my GS wanted to have some extra clothes to keep at my house for when he stayed over. I got several very nice barely used items, was so pleased until I stopped by Kohls and they had such good sales that I paid less for a few new things.
Several years ago Ric found a beautiful suit for my son to wear to his sister's wedding at the SAS. Perfect fit and looked brand new, it was pin stripe and I commented that it was so nice but I thought it was a little out of date. My daughter said no actually pin stripe was just coming back into style she thought he looked great. There is a rather wealthier area not too far from this SAS.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

I don't usually pay too much attention to 'style' unless it is totally out there.
If I like it, I wear it.
The only person I have to please is me anyway.
Now if I worked in a public position around people all day might be different.
But like you said, what's out today, will come back tomorrow.
I too shop alot of used stores, and yard sales, and even ebay a few times. Have to watch out though, because they aren't' always cheaper.

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Art_n_garden , no I haven't been there. We are in Baytown, about 16 miles SE of Houston. I'll have to look them up and see where they are! Thanks for the info!

Jeanne

Charlotte, VT

I volunteer at my local hospital thrift shop. The best part about buying items from shops like mine is that your money goes to supporting good causes. Last year the money from our shop went towards a robotic surgery unit. You never know if the money you pay at our store today might be put towards something you might need in the future. I have a blast with the other volunteers and we get a 25% discount. Check it out, have some fun and find a few bargains while you help your local community. It is a rewarding experience.

morehead, KY(Zone 6a)

I volunteer at our local christian services. They have a thrift store and also support staff for people in the community that need help with clothing, housing and spousal abuse. It is Catholic based, which I'm not. I get "paid" with vouchers. Your hours turn into credit at the store. With 3 kids it works out great. They also sell home items.

When I could work full time I was a Goodwill center manager for retail and trainer for disabled workers. So I still get to do what I loved. So I really can help them with goods coming in with pricing and help with people falling on hard times with my past experience with doing both. It makes you feel good to help your community.
George

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

I agree, George, and Realvermonter! It is a great contribution to the community as well as our getting great deals. Good job both of you!

Jeanne

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I have recently become a very good second hand shopper. I wish I had known about them when I was furnishing my house.
I also do all the yard sales in my neighborhood on the weekends and find some amazing things. I buy ALL my books at yard sales or resale shops ($ 0.25 to $ 1.00, generally) - and donate the ones I don't want to keep back to one of our charity shops.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Dutchlady- There is a community garage sale sponsored by the county at Veterans park this Saturday. What a great idea. I believe there is a nominal fee to participate. I have been cleaning like crazy & have tons to get rid of. I also finally got in to a local consignment shop to get rid of some clothes. I have made about $40 this week!

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Dang - I *think* I have other plans this Saturday. But if I get my act together I'll drop off a box at your place and you can sell them for me!
(I also think I still need to pick up some stuff from you...)
Good for you for getting to a consignment shop. I should do that...

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I picked this up just the other day for $1.00. I'm getting a nice plant for in it and giving it to my DIL at Easter. I also picked up an extra Terra Cotta saucer and painted it myself to match. Last week when they stopped by it was sitting on top of my hutch and she commented on how cute it was and where did it come from. I calmly stated that I was going to a DG seed swap and needed a gift for the door prize, which was true, it just wasn't that gift. LOL

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

I've gotten so many wonderful things and great deals at thrift stores, I couldn't possibly mention them all.

We have a section of town that has five within blocks of each other, and it makes for a nice afternoon, to stop in all five.

Sometimes I walk away with nothing, and other times I've spend over $100...which takes some doing at a thrift store!, lol...

Once those things are home, and in your house, no one can tell the difference as to where it came from. :0)

You leave feeling great, too, because you feel so "rich", being able to afford anything you see that you'd like(kinda like at the dollar store, lol...), and also because most are charitable.

The news has stated lately that there has been a dramatic increase in thrift shopping.

One goodwill I went to a few weeks ago, looked like a store that was liquidating for going out of business...it wasn't...it just looked like it. It had been shopped so heavily, that entire rows were empty!

I coudn't figure out if less people are donating, or more people are shopping, or both

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I am a thrift store (and garage sale) shopper too. But you're right - you never know what there is; I went to two garage sales this morning and walked away with nothing at both.
We have a Salvation Army furniture store in Naples that rivals Rooms to Go.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I was watching a program the other day maybe 60 Minutes or something like that. They were talking about the areas where there are a lot of foreclosures and how a whole industry has developed cleaning out these homes. What is left behind by these families, they said most everything goes in dumpsters they clean out 5 homes a day. They said they have tried to get the charity organizations to come and get the stuff but they don't have the time, manpower or storage to take these items so everything is trashed. So very sad to see these families loose everything. Many are going to the streets or shelters so they only take what they can carry. Beyond the terrible loss for the families is the waste of it all, beautiful furniture , big-screen TVs, children's toys, personal items even canned food that could be donated to food banks. I just can't help but to think there must be a better way.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I agree; I saw that too.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

The waste in this nation is disgusting. That furniture could have been set on the curb with free signs on it. Most would have been gone in 24 hours or less. Probably to someone who does perpetual flea store or 'yard' sales.

I know about charities not having manpower or transportation to pick up donated items. I work at a thrift store & we have to turn down a lot of furniture. If they can get it to us & it's in sellable condition(even if we have to do some serious cleaning) we will take it. But some of what we get is really trash. Then there are the laws which prohibit selling pillows, mattresses & box springs, etc. Some stores do it anyway but they run the risk of being caught. I don't know what the punishment would be.

We have 2 elderly men who check out electrical & battery run items as well as telephones to be sure they work. We will sell some nicer kids toys if they don't do anything anyway. Or put a sticker on it that says 'needs batteries' if that is all that is wrong with it.

Workers & Volunteers at this store get a really good discount if you work or volunteer 3 hours on that day. But you have to work the day you pick it out & pay for it.

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