At this writing, “Weird Al” Yankovic has the number one album in the country. One of the songs he parodies, in a polka mix, is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop. Proof, in my opinion, that getting a great discount at a second-hand store never gets old. But it’s not all about your grandpa’s style – there are plenty of new, as well as retro, finds at your local thrift store. So in honor of National Thrift Shop Day, August 17th…
Here are three outstanding thrift store finds I stumbled upon:
1. When my daughter was an infant, I read in a mom’s daily e-mail newsletter about a children’s clothing designer selling high-end boutique baby clothing and accessories out of her home. The items were considerably below the hefty boutique store prices where her items sold, but still a little pricey for me. I bought an adorable blue bunny hooded towel and a soft cotton onesie with a cow print, dropping about twenty dollars total.
About a week later, I popped into my local Out of the Closet thrift store and what did I see but all of this woman’s items left over from her sale! Each and every cotton onesie was new and packaged. Undoubtedly, they had sold in the boutiques for upwards of thirty dollars apiece. I had gotten a deal the week before, spending twenty for two items.
But here, they were all priced at one buck apiece! I bought everything. Now I have a gift drawer full of beautiful baby clothes, all new in the packaging, for any time I have to give a baby gift. And because I got such a great deal, I can afford to be generous and give more than one!
2. When my son wasn’t walking at eighteen months, we started him on physical therapy. His legs were turned in a bit and with the help of short-term braces, he made rapid improvements. One of the things the physical therapist worked on with him, after he could walk, was jumping.
When I was at the Salvation Army thrift store, I spotted a therapy-grade trampoline with a bar, in pristine condition. I knew from research that this particular, heavy-duty, high-quality piece of equipment sold for well over three hundred dollars in the therapy catalogs – not including shipping.
The thrift store price? Twenty bucks! My husband called a friend with a truck and we were set. A side note: now a “tweenager,” my son can walk, run and jump with the best of them.
3. Living in Los Angeles, it’s pretty common to come upon promotional items for television shows and movies. At the Goodwill in Hollywood, I found an interesting promo piece of some sort for I Dream of Jeannie. It looked like a large genie bottle and inside was dated 1997 and included all kinds of information on the history of the show and products with the Jeannie character on them. It was pretty cool and different.
For a dollar, it was totally worth the investment (my husband and I collect TV and film merchandise). An exhaustive search online has never turned up anything like it, so it seems pretty rare. At a Hollywood collector’s show, we got Jeannie star Barbara Eden to sign it, which will increase this item’s value. We estimate it is probably worth at least a hundred dollars, but to us it’s uniqueness is invaluable.
The best find I had at a second hand store was at Play It Again Sports. One of my problem areas is my abs. I found a pristine ab wheel for $30. The shop was having a half price sale that weekend so I paid $15 for the ab wheel. I looked up the item online and a new wheel was selling for $60! I also found some challenging exercises to do with this wheel on You Tube.
Bobbi B says
Well done!! These are true thrift store finds! It’s marvelous possible treasures like these that keep the bargain hunter going. Thanks for sharing.
Valley Girl says
It was some years ago, but on the topic of vendor unloading new product at thrift stores, I found several pairs of designer jeans at the Salvation Army on Sepulveda Blvd. in Van Nuys, CA. They were all new with tags, and by the looks of it, a women’s boutique in Tarzana had unloaded them. The boutique prices were listed as over $100, but the Salvation Army price was around $15. And, bc it was the last Friday of the month, items were half off, so I got each pair of jeans for $7. I was a very happy camper…
Evie K. says
We have quite a few thrift stores by me. Salvation Army, Goodwill and a few that are free standing or associated with churches. I went to one last year that is a bit more high end. I am always looking for Chico’s pants. I went in and found 2 pairs, one still with tags on it. I also found some very high end jeans from Nordstroms, also with the tags still on. This place also has a daily thing where something is always half price. That day, anything that started with the letter “P” was 50% off. I was able to get 5 pairs for $2.50 each. I was thrilled!!
I got 2 pairs of ugs $20.00 for both in great shape happy happy
I love hearing about all these great finds!!!
I have two daughters in their twenties. In high school and college they needed formals. They dressed modestly and it was difficult to find suitable dresses as well as affordable. I always checked the thrift stores and kept them in a steady stream of formals as many women only wear them once or a few times maximum. One beautiful dress, I found at Goodwill on $1.49 colored tag sale day, size 10 BINGO! My daughter loved it.
Also at the end of every school year at their college, kids would bring their unwanted items to a large truck that the college provided. We would go through these items(felt like we were dumpster diving) and pick out many usable items including formals that I can send to a local organization to help out girls that can not afford formals for school functions. We found some great thing and the school donated the rest of the item to a charity, keeping these items out of the landfill.
My daughters know how to find the deals and have no problem with outfitting themselves at thrift stores. Start them early and make it fun.