Great Finds at Local Thrift Stores
Thrift Store Shopping Saves Money & Supports Nonprofits!
By Judie Holcomb-Pack
Shopping at thrift stores is like going on a safari, but instead of hunting wild game, you’re hunting the elusive best bargain. Often it’s the thrill of the hunt that many people enjoy most about thrift store shopping. For others, it’s the savings they receive when they find the perfect item at a fraction of the cost at a major retail store.
But there’s another great reason to shop thrift stores: The profits from sales help support local nonprofits.
Many people think the Habitat ReStore just carries building supplies, but it’s much more. Along with lumber, plumbing, and other donated construction supplies, they also have a great selection of used furniture, pictures, home decor, kitchen items, office supplies, and an extensive book section. I was fortunate to find seven pieces of my Pfaltzgraff everyday china for only $1 each (Replacements Ltd. price $7.99 each). Profits from the ReStore help to support the construction of Habitat homes. (Tucker Bartholomew at Habitat asked me to mention that they have great volunteer opportunities at the ReStore. For information, contact him at email@example.com.)
James Hedgecock messaged me on Facebook that he “outfitted our new hangar from Habitat Restore on Coliseum. Desk, chairs, shelves, and file cabinet. Spent less than $100 total. Now I drop by there just to look around. Great store!”
At the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission, you can find everything from electronics, housewares, furniture, appliances and more. My best find here was a small chest that fit perfectly in my foyer, a steal at $10 during their half-price Customer Appreciation sale. Profits from their thrift store help to support their men’s rehabilitation and homeless shelter, medical and dental clinics, community food pantry and clothing closet.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store also offers a wide array of items, including clothing, furniture, household items and more. I found the cutest tea pot and two elegant tea cups with matching saucers, all for less than $6. The Salvation Army uses the profits from their store to provide services to residents of Forsyth, Davie, Yadkin and Stokes counties. They offer emergency assistance to victims of disasters, vouchers for their homeless residents to receive goods to help them get back on their feet, as well as supporting programs at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs and the Center of Hope family shelter.
Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina serves more than 35,000 people in northwest North Carolina, with 90 percent of revenues through their retail stores going toward sustainability of their job training and other programs. Along with their extensive selection of clothing, they also carry electronic equipment, home appliances, furniture, housewares, and more. Jamie Eicorhn, Goodwill’s Marketing Director, told me that “Every purchase you make helps someone get a job.” My best find there was the first Star Wars two-record album released in 1977 for just a buck!
A Facebook post about thrift shopping brought an avalanche of replies: Savvy shopper Denise Brookie buys all her books from Goodwill. She said, “Why pay $25 when you can get it for $2?” Her great find: a book of poetry by Jimmy Stewart for $2. When she opened the book, she found that it was autographed! Allison Shore snagged her treasured classic green LL Bean Wellies, and Nikki Miller-Ka found a pair of Hunter boots for $1.50, which normally retails for over $80. Bernadette Wilson Conley found a Vera Wang ball gown at Goodwill for $12. (She later donated it back.) Sara Butner found a Kelly green Charter Club trench coat from her favorite Goodwill on Waughtown Street. Betty Thompson Morton was excited to recently find two winter jackets at the Walkertown Goodwill for $5.49 each. Laura Bond found a brand new pair of Ann Taylor Loft jeans for $3.50.
Tammy Caudill reported that she found a “little black dress” originally from White House Black Market with the price tag of $279 still on it. Got it for $15. Donna Emmary stumbled upon a vintage lamp for $10 and quickly checked out, feeling like she was “committing a crime” for paying such a low price for such a valuable lamp. And another savvy shopper, Rhonda Bumgardner Carter, bought an unworn black dress with the Neiman Marcus tags still on it for $14!
While you’re saving money by shopping at our local thrift stores, don’t forget that they need your unneeded items to sell. It’s a great time to clean out closets and garages and donate items to these charities. Donations are tax-deductible and most stores will pick up your large donations that are in good condition, such as furniture and appliances.
As my friend Denise says, “Thrift shopping is like searching for buried treasure. You just never know what you will discover.”
Thrift Store Locations
Did you know Goodwill offers a GoodMoves Program? If you are moving or downsizing, Goodwill will supply a donation container for up to three weeks, so as you go begin packing for your move, you can put the items you wish to donate in the container. Then they will come and pick it up, all free of charge! For more information, please contact Dana Conte at 336-201-0794.