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I don't know if it is just my area or what, but I feel like the prices are pretty high for what is a used piece of clothing. I know it is good for the earth, but 2-3 dollars for a worn kids t-shirt from Target, which I could get on sale or clearance brand new for about that price? And it seems like they usually don't have what I need (say shorts) in the size I need.

Do you just have to go very regularly, and sometimes you score, but most times not? Are shops in certain areas of town more likely to be more fairly priced or have better selection?

The nearest thrift store to me is 30 minutes away. Help me not waste my time and gas
 

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I only go so much because I have three that I can walk to. The people who price don't always know what things cost in real stores. I guess they just have a standard tshirts cost this and jeans cost that unless they seem extra nice or extra worn, in which case they tweek the price. You definitly get the good stuff by going frequently. Some have a half off day or a color price tag of the day which is half off. Salvation Army tends to be better than other places for making sure there is seasonal clothes at the beginning of the season.
 

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Most of my thrift store shopping has been done here where I live now, so I can't really compare with other places. I will say that our Salvation Army has nicer clothing, but they charge more than I like to pay in most cases. If I recall correctly, jeans are $5, sweaters and blouses are anywhere from $4-5 and most of the toddler and baby clothes I've purchased there are $2-3.

We have another thrift store that's much much cheaper, but it's harder finding clothing in really good condition. If you do, however, it's a great bargain. They also run half-off sales quite often since they have so much stuff. I've gotten cashmere sweaters for $2.
 

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We have one 'line' of stores, MRM, that are priced really well, then Goodwill is priced okay, and our salvation army and St Vincent's are priced super high! I just go to MRM and don't bother with the others except for Goodwill if I have extra time. It was the same way in another state we lived in, their RGM was great and other ones not so much... I'm not willing to pay more than $1 for most things unless it's really great or I really need it. I find great stuff for $1, though!
 

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I feel the same way about most of the thrift shops I've been in. There's one Goodwill about 30 minutes away from me that often has brand new Talbot's and Eddie Bauer clothing. I don't know if they're seconds or overstocks or what. But I used to buy pretty nice shirts for a few bucks, when I worked near there. It's not really worth a special trip though.

I do okay shopping consignment for my son. I'm picky about what he wears, and fortunately the store I mostly shop at is picky about what they accept for consignment. So if I go in looking for nice Gap-quality shorts and t-shirts, I will usually find what I want in the $4-5 range, in reasonably good condition, without wading through racks and racks of junk. I still think that's kind of high for used clothing, but realistically I couldn't walk into Gap and get 3-4 outfits at $4-5 per item, even shopping the clearance rack.
 

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I pay between 2-10 $ for an item of clothing. I won't pay more than that except for the perfect pair of worn jeans.

I find that the companies that are in it for a profit charge more. Goodwill is the best for clothes here.

I also troll different stores for different things. There was a neighbourhood in our town that was gentrifying, and a lot of the grandmas and grandpas who had moved in to the neighbourhood in the 50s were dying or moving to nursing homes. The clothing selection was amazing (I love 50's stuff). (That sounds kind of crude, but I would be totally ok with someone loving my stuff when I'm gone
)
 

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I do find that to get good finds, you have to go frequently. You get a feel for which stores have good prices on which things. Don't rule out consignment shops either, some are horribly overpriced, but I had one that was my favorite which was priced well and always had great stuff.

Personally I found I liked the business ones better - they tended to have a better overall quality and selection. I found most often I frequented the value village and one of the local kids consignment shops. I found our local goodwill never had anything good.

The BEST deals I've found for kids clothes were the mothers club or mother's of multiples sales held usually in the spring.

I have moved since and haven't hit the thrift stores here yet.
 

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Some thrift shops really are awful. But every so often you find a gem of a piece of clothing and it makes it all worth while
:
I have 6 that I go to though only 2 are my favorite as the seem to have better quailty items.

I only buy name brand stuff not cheap clothing from say Wal-Mart.
 

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I go if I am specifically looking for something in particular or if they are having a sale. The prices are pretty crazy, shirts are about $4 each and pants even more.

I won't buy WM clothes either, they suck.
 

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We are really lucky to have a local chain of thrift stores that have super low prices AND great stuff. I just bought an adorable pair of white linen benetton pants for my ds for .20 on Sunday, and a Laura Ashley jumpsuit for dd for $1.50, not to mention a beautiful batik baby dress and a bunch of other stuff!
I think if the prices were that high in my area, I would stick to yard sales. If I really needed something, I would try a children's consignment store or just pay the thrift stores seemingly high prices. I always buy used before I look at new stuff. Plus, I'm compacting, so I don't even go into those other places.
Good luck! Maybe you can find the sweet thrift stores in your area by asking other local mamas?
 

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I go to a couple of local Goodwills, but they aren't really near me, so I only go when I'm on that side of town.

Around here, kids clothes are 50 cents at the Salvation Army, with most adult clothes in the $2 range. I love the SA! LOL. Goodwill runs $1.60 for baby clothes/$2.60 for kids clothes and up to like $4-$5 for adult clothes. I think that is kind of high, so I really look hard.

I don't buy the WM or Target brands used, either. I can get those on clearance for less than $3. I tend to buy the pricier brands (I found several Heartstrings things last week for my son).
 

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I sometimes do a thrift store day, and travel all over looking for bargains. What I've found is this: the Goodwill here sells Target off-casts for more than target was charging, so that's a bust, and they put all the infant things in this huge bin you have lean into to paw through, so I've scratched them off the list. there are a few chain "family thrift" stores that are pretty decent for clothes, but there's always a "tag color" that is half-off. Those are the only ones I even look at. Our salvation army is a crap shoot, sometimes wow and sometimes "what is this crap". I hardly ever find used baby stuff that is anything but gerber and carters and crud, and really no bargain over the new stuff. Some of the second hand stores are actually much nicer, for less cash than the thrifts. I have found that it takes a certain kind of mood on a certain kind of day to go "junking" as I call it. And the dust and smells in there sometimes really turn me off. (oh, and I always take a list of "lookies" so I can stay focused and stop from getting crap to bring home)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lanamommyphd07 View Post
the Goodwill here sells Target off-casts for more than target was charging, so that's a bust,
Ooh I know! I found these cute pants for $12 but the sign said red tags 1/2 off and thought that they were worth it. I found out at the check stand that the brand new stuff never goes on sale
: Later that night I found similar pants at Target on clearance for $7.
 

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You have to look around and know who has what. There's one shop I enjoy going in and usually find something worth my time there. There's others I go to and each has its own particular "style".

I love going into the thrift stores because you really never know what fantastic finds you'll get!
 

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In our area, it's a very local thing. The merchandise reflects the local community who donate to thrift stores which IMO is great because we live in a multicultural area. There are several thrift stores in my area but I stick to one because it has such great deals. You have to do your research and legwork -- there's no quick answer.
 

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I have a couple a like, but have to play the game a bit.

Look for 1/2 off days. Most places do this at the end of the season to make room for new stuff. I know our local consingment shop will run sales regularly. They also do a punch card -- spend $100 and get 30% off your next purchase. I really worked this one once and walked away with armloads of clothes for very little money.

Our Salvation Army has 1/2 off all clothing sales on the last Saturday of the month. And yes, SA has really jacked up their prices in the last few years. I only go there on 1/2 off days.

Seek out the thrift stores around nicer neighborhoods. They tend to have nicer stuff and better managed stores.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rose angel View Post
I don't know if it is just my area or what, but I feel like the prices are pretty high for what is a used piece of clothing. I know it is good for the earth, but 2-3 dollars for a worn kids t-shirt from Target, which I could get on sale or clearance brand new for about that price? And it seems like they usually don't have what I need (say shorts) in the size I need.

Do you just have to go very regularly, and sometimes you score, but most times not? Are shops in certain areas of town more likely to be more fairly priced or have better selection?

The nearest thrift store to me is 30 minutes away. Help me not waste my time and gas
I find that prices vary significantly from thrift to thrift. In my town Goodwill is the highest priced with a local charity thrift being the lowest pricest.

Our Goodwill offers 1/2 off of certain color tags every Sunday and Monday. I typically will only shop there then.

The other thrifts run varying sales (percentage off, BIGO, etc.) and I also watch for those.

We have a loose schedule of shopping one thrift per day and I try to keep at least one season ahead on clothing.

So right now I'm shopping for Fall 2007. I find that if I keep a loose list in my head of items DD and DS will next next year, then I can usually fill out their wardrobes in advance slowly shopping thrifts. I fill in the gaps with yard sale finds and new items (shoes, socks, underwear, pjs).
 

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One of the local thrift stores has 99cent day (everything of a certain color tag is .99). It's always packed with ebayers & antique dealers, but I usually get some awesome deals. This week I got P a pair of Gap jean capris and a Burburry zip cardigan. I always go through their current size and the next size up only (I have to keep what I have to a minimum- even the deals
). I also through stuff for off season (I got a nearly new Land's End winter coat in the next size up for .99)

Stay away from t-shirts and shorts, those you can find super-cheap new. What for name brands that you KNOW cost a fortune new.
 

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I think you have to just know what you're willing to pay for what.
I don't go to our thrift store too often anymore (Goodwill). I think that for the most part they overprice things (they will actually price something from the dollar store for $3!). I have had a few great deals, but they seem to be few and far between now. I do better shopping clearances at Baby Gap and Old Navy. DD is almost set for this summer because I shopped for her at the end of last summer~ got some cute Baby Gap denim shorts for $2.97 and khakis, a skirt, etc. for around $3 each. I got ds some short-sleeve shirts there for $4 a piece.
I like our local consignment shop, too, because they're already pre-screened the clothes to look for stains or holes, but I find their prices to be comparable to what I can buy brand-new if I look for end-of-season clearances in advance.
 

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I've been dressing myself in mostly-thrift for quite a while, and I think the real key is being willing to go often. It's also important, as has already been mentioned, to know how much things go for new so that you have a means of comparison. The stuff they get new from Target and such is nearly always a rip off, for example, but if you look and find a cashmere sweater for $4, then you've scored. I can't speak to children's clothes in specific, of course, but that's what I've found for adult clothes.

I really, really love thrift shopping, but it's essential to remember that it's still money, even if it's less than a retail store, and you still need to access whether or not a given item is worth the cost.
 
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