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What Should a Beginning Thrifter Know?

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    #16


    @dapperedcpa, yes, I go to those, but also sometimes to smaller places. One of my favorites is a Synagogue thrift store that doesn't get much traffic.

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      #17


      In terms of sheer amount of stuff, most of my stuff comes from Goowill. However, my BEST stuff has come from a local, independent place that supports a charity for battered women and the Saint Vincent di Paul Society. The Saint Vincent di Paul thrift store is actually quite large and they jack up the prices, but not as bad as some places. And really, are you going to complain that your MSRP $700 blazer cost you $12 instead of $8?

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        #18


        Go where rich people donate clothes. I've had some great luck at Goodwill/Salvation Army in affluent neighborhoods of NYC.


        Yesterday I found an unstructured J Crew cotton blazer that still had the retail tag and the vent sewn closed, and since it was Wednesday, it was half off of $15 = $7.50.

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          #19


          @Alan - There is a St. Vincent de Paul in Grosse Pointe Park, MI right down the street from where my wife lived when we were dating. I haven't been there in years but I should check it out since the Grosse Pointes are affluent suburbs.

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            #20


            Unfortunately, there are no thrift stores that I could find relatively close to the richest areas aruond here. They have plenty of re-sale shops, but if I was considering that, I'd just go to ebay.


            Since St. Vincent de Paul has ties to the Catholic church, they'll receive stuff from all the local parishes, regardless of socio-economic stratum. So you'll find junk and gems. (Mostly junk, but who knows.)

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              #21


              Hmm. I'm hearing a lot of "don't buy if it was made in this place" and "only buy this brand if it was made before 1999" type stuff. That's fine if that's your game, but to be honest that type of stuff is secondary to fit, need, and what I can only describe as coolness for me. Those rules seems more important if you're trying to flip items.


              I would say 1) make sure it fits and 2) make sure it isn't garbage (or too worn out). Would I like to have a luxury label shirt? Sure. But that doesn't mean I'm gonna pass up a Polo shirt that fits perfectly in a pattern/color I love just because it was made in Indonesia. Not saying that anyone was saying otherwise, but this is just to give another perspective.

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                #22


                That's just shorthand for how to find great quality (and honestly, if you're buying 2nd hand you should be looking for great quality). Sometimes things are cool enough or fit a need and you get them anyway, but set your standards high from the beginning and don't overflow your closet with middle of the road stuff.

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                  #23


                  I do not live in a very rich city and the only Salvation Army is located in probably the poorest area of the town. Do you think it is still worthwhile to go take a look from time to time ?

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                    #24


                    @Jessy: The only thing it costs to look is some free time and a bit of gas money. So in that regard, there's little harm. It's possible to go several times and not find anything so don't give up on the first shot, but if you've been several times and there's still nothing... Well then you can decide for yourself.


                    FWIW, even cheap sportcoats are $100 of the rack and they sell for less than 10% of that price in thrift stores. Be careful with Salvation Army, though. I don't know about yuors, but mine locally is all over the map with pricing. They jack up prices on any name they recognize, whether it's quality or not. So things like Polo shirts and Kenneth Cole jackets might be double price even though they're not particularly special. Just something to consider.

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                      #25


                      I get that. All I'm saying is don't pass up on something you like because it isn't a designer. I have a few Express items and even a Merona shirt I got at a thrift for super cheap that I wear on a regular basis. I could have passed these up because they are just regular clothes, but I wouldn't have been any better off. In fact, I would have missed out. Just something to keep in mind is all.

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                        #26


                        Not sure I'll be able to find a sport coat while thrifting since I'm particularly hard to fit, but I might go take a look this weekend. With some luck, I could at least find an oxford shirt in the kids section or something.

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                          #27


                          I'm a weird size, so for a while I would just get excited if something fit me, regardless of whether it was any good or not. I'm growing out of that, but I still get tempted by items that in hindsight are kind of crappy.

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                            #28


                            A lot of the same principles apply for shopping outlet & discount stores that have a lot of inventory turnover.

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