7 Tips for Savvy Shopping

By Dawn Hollar Webster

What can $10 buy you in today’s market? Well, a burger and fries for starters. Or, perhaps a nice tee shirt. Or, if you are savvy enough, it can buy you a pair of Ann Taylor pants, a matching Talbots belt, a cashmere scarf and a Banana Republic blouse. 

How you say? Head to any Goodwill, thrift shop, Salvation Army or yard sale and you can find entire outfits for $10 or less. The average shirt and pair of pants at most Goodwill is $8 ($4 each), scarf $1 and belt $1. Wah-Lah, dressed to the nines! No one would ever guess that you spent less than $10 on your outfit.

I have been thrifting for 15 years and have found some real treasures while shopping. Having two daughters who loved clothes (like their momma!) and a very limited budget, I had to find ways to save money on clothing for the entire family. My daughters loved going shopping with me at thrift stores and Goodwill because the prices for children’s clothing was so cheap (sometimes $0.25 each). They were allowed to pick out 10 pieces of clothing for the same price it would have cost for only one piece of clothing at the mall.

Not only do I buy clothing for my family and friends, but I also resell some items I purchase at Goodwill, thrift shops, Salvation Army and yard sales to consignment shops. That is just one way to turn clothing into cash.

Cleaning out your closet can be another good way to make some extra cash. Most of us have articles of clothing in our closets that still have tags! There are a few consignment stores in Winston-Salem that will pay cash for new or slightly used items. You can also sell your “great finds” on eBay if you have access to a computer.  This takes a bit more time and energy, but it is a great way to make money.

Here are a few quick tips for turning  clothing into cash:

Look for classic items
(designs that never go out of style)

Look for name brand items

Look for items that are in new or excellent condition

Stay away from extra small and small sizes
(they do not sell as well)

Buy off-season (winter clothing in the summer; summer clothing in the winter)

Find out what days thrift shops have special deals (like half-price day) and shop on that day

Check your local paper for yard sales (be an early bird; they get the worm and the best buys!)

The key to making money is knowing what to buy that will sell either on eBay or to consignment shops. Check out the latest fashion magazines. Get an idea of what women are wearing this winter/summer. Which jeans or pants are in style? Are tunic shirts/sweaters in style? What colors are “in” this fall/winter? Look for those styles, name brands and colors and you will be well on your way to looking good and making money at the same time. It is a win/win!

Dawn Hollar Webster has been a strategic shopper since 2005, when she turned her love of bargain hunting and reselling into a part-time job. She has been married for 27 years, is the mother of two, and has been a paralegal over 30 years.


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