Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Why Thrift Shops Beat Out Walmart

January 2, 2010

Let’s say you get a brilliant idea. You think of the perfect gift for your mother-in-law, or you invision a small shelf that would complete the laundry room. Now the way to act on that idea is to purchase the item. But where do you look first? I’d like to make a case for checking out your local thrift store before the discount stores.

 The first reason to shop at the thrift store is the price.  I know. That same claim is made about discount stores. But the real advantage to a thrift shop item is value. Let’s face it, the stuff you buy at the discount store is cheap. By cheap, I mean of poor quality, smells like polyurethane, and is primarily plastic. Yuk. The things you can buy at the thrift shop tend to be quailty items that have proven their worth and are ready for a new life.

A second reason to devote much of your shopping to thrifts stores is convenience. For example, I live in a rural area and my commerce choices are limited. I would have to drive 15 miles to the nearest Walmart.  But I don’t have to (or want to), because within a ten mile radius of my house, there are at least ten thrift or second-hand shops to serve my needs.

The final and best reason to choose to shop at thrift shops is the experience. Thrift shops are just plain fun. Discount stores are so predictable, boring and the lighting tends to give me a headache. At thrift shops, on the other hand, there is always something new and colorful and interesting on the racks and shelves. And chances are you will find that one item that will fulfill your brilliant idea.

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Gifts from the Thrift Shop are Nothing to be Ashamed Of.

December 24, 2009

I started buying gifts for my three children from thrift shops out of necessity. We were broke.  So rather than burden their hopefull minds with excuses and apologies for “not getting much this year,” I got smart. I just shopped where I love to shop all year – at the thrift stores. This meant that the children never had to go without a variety of fun gifts under the Christmas tree.  

When the children were very little, it was all about toys with color and noise. These were easy to find in thrift stores, especially the stores that catered to children. Even if the toys weren’t in perfrct condition, a little soap and elbow grease made them sparkle, just like those tiny eyes.

As they grew, I could still find appropriate gifts that were special to them. I remember finding a beautiful tea set – in the box – that my daughter was thrilled with. There was the talking book that helped my son to learn how to read. The weaving kit that I bought my other daughter started her on her crafting way. I could even find educational computer games that matched our just-behind-the-times computer.

By now the children are on to me. And the things they have on their lists are too current to find at thrift shops. So I limit my thrift gifts to the truly unusual, not-to-be-found-elsewhere items. The great thing is that on Christmas morning those gifts still bring a sparkle to their eyes.