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Thrift Store Thoughts

by Chris McClellan


July 2006

Iíve always enjoyed finding a great bargain on items that are needed or especially just wanted items. I love going to yard sales but you really need to be there right when it starts to get the ďgreat stuffĒ. Also going to yard sales is a very seasonal kind of shopping. No one has a yard sale when thereís snow on the ground or during a rain storm or if the weather is too hot, etc.

Now the thrift stores are open all the time. Theyíre open in the winter, during very hot weather, when itís raining, etc. You can visit the thrift store and spend all the time you want inside out of the weather.

I started going to thrift stores again when we moved to Tampa Florida back in 2000. Before that Iíd visited a few in the locations that we were living in but they were no big deal. The thrift stores in Tampa got me hooked on thrifting. There are so many thrift stores and there are so many great bargains and fantastic items to find. I could shop all day and still not be able to visit every thrift store in the area.

At first, when I visited the thrift stores I was mainly looking for items that I could resale on ebay and make money doing it. I bought dishes, shot glasses and other collectable items that I found that would sell for at least double my original investment. Some items that I found went for such outrageous prices; I was always amazed that collectors would pay such prices for items that they wanted.

When my husband and I decided to sell our house and start full-time living and traveling in a RV my days of storing items to sell on ebay were over. At one time I had stored in our house over 70 boxes of items that Iíd bought to sell on ebay. Now Iím limited as to what I can buy and store in the RV because of space. I do still buy small items that someday Iíll sell on ebay; but mainly now I shop for items that we or our family can use.

In our travels I shop at the local thrift stores looking for books for me to read and enjoy. The book prices are such a bargain compared to brand new or even books at the used book stores. After Iíve read the books I may give them to family members when we visit them, or I save them for trading at the various parks that we go to. I also trade the books at used book stores that give me a good price for my books.

I also love to shop for clothing for the various members of my family. I keep a list of sizes with me and love trying to find items that they will enjoy. My mother loves earrings and Iíve found several pairs for her that she just raves about and she gets many compliments on them too. The prices are so great that I just canít pass up getting her some earrings to wear.

T-shirts are another great bargain that I love to find. A lot of people buy t-shirts from the places that they visit. Soon though they donate it to the thrift store and I have found some great t-shirts for only a couple of dollars compared to the $14+ when bought originally.

Iíve bought my husband and myself many items of clothing for such a low price. We wear mainly t-shirts and shorts because we follow the good weather around the country. Iíve paid as little as 25 cents for a pair of shorts that were practically brand new; what a great deal! Now I have more of my money available to do more shopping. Iíve bought brand new clothing with the original tags still on them for less than $5. Some items that Iíve found are from big name designers. Itís such a thrill to go to the thrift store and find such great bargains.





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