Monday, August 23, 2010

The Gift of Thrift

L.A. Sellin' & Tellin'
Photography by rainwriter jones

The thrift store (or charity shop) was once condemned as a place where only poor folks would tread: now they're all the rage in even the wealthier communities. My first experience with bargain shopping was back when I was a mere lass (well, not so young, 12-ish) when the very first Value Village opened within walking distance of my house. It smelled kind of musty with the toss-offs of clothing, furniture, and knick-knacks from God knows who: but it smelled like paradise to a cheap-o like me! Mind you, I'll spend top dollar for something that "calls my name," but for everyday clothes? The cheaper the better! I remember I purchased a lovely sky blue cashmere sweater for $.25! I wish I still had it, but it is long-gone (probably someone else's thrift store find). And seeing as though this was a reduction from the $.50 price 'cause it was half off that day?? LUXURY!!

Yesterday I had to spend a little more than I wanted heading to Goodwill instead. My favorite items are sweaters, purses, men's jeans and sweaters (none of that prissy ladies sweaters), vintage clothing, and teacups. I scored two of the latter for $.69. Of course they match as they are the love ritual cups for our morning joe. :-)

Here I offer some tips for the casual thrift shopper:

1. If you find something interesting but it hasn't "called your name," place it in your shopping cart any way. If it calls to you before you're ready to head to the cash register, buy it. You'll be pissed if you changed your mind, went back for it, and found it riding in someone else's cart.

2. Be frugal. If it costs more than what you think it should, ask if you can get a price reduction. They don't want to deal? Put it back!

3. Keep your mind open as to what you are looking for. Things "call to you" (at least they do for me). It may be a pair of jeans or an antique desk.

4. Bring a vehicle big enough to haul larger items. You don't want to head back home to get the truck to find your item gone.

5. Don't let the pushy thriftshopper budge you from your scouring area. Stand your ground, and cast a glaring eye if necessary.

6. Some of the questionable items that you placed back on the shelf may call your name later. Come back 'round to see if it's still there. If it isn't, it wasn't meant to be yours.

7. Be sure to look for any imperfections BEFORE you purchase. If you can live it 'em, buy it and/or repair it at your leisure.

8. Don't buy it 'cause it's cheap. Buy it 'cause it suits a purpose! You don't want to be deemed as a hoarder! (LMBAO)

9. Go out shopping without adornments: come home with the necklace of your dreams. He'll just figure this is a piece he hasn't seen.

10. Make sure your spouse doesn't see you bring it in. E...A...S...E into the house whilst your significant other is out and about. Like with the adornments, they won't notice that new sofa if you've got a slip cover on it! (LMBAO)

Ummmm....saw a distressed shelving unit yesterday. Heading out to see if it's still there!

rainwriter jones