August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day. We all know that I think it should be a national holiday. I love my thrift shopping – both shopping and writing about it. Why do people love thrift shopping? Why do I love thrift shopping? The thrill of the hunt is looking for that great find. The chance to create your style and make a fashion statement. The ability to save money by not shopping in expensive department stores. Secondhand and vintage clothes are better quality than today’s fast fashion. Even thrift stores have sales. Help your community by supporting local thrift shops that use their proceeds to help people in their communities. It gives you a chance to keep updating your wardrobe at reasonable prices. If you dislike a purchase, you can donate it right back.
Most importantly, by thrift shopping, you are saving the planet and keeping clothes out of landfills. These are just some of the reasons why we all love thrift shopping. I have been thrift shopping for over forty years, and it brings me great joy and is my passion. There is no better way to enjoy a few hours than by going to a thrift shop and just looking through all the racks hoping to find those unique pieces that I will buy and love for years to come.
August 17th is National Thrift Shopping Day. Most thrift stores celebrate with significant discounts.
Why shop at thrift stores? According to the U.S. EPA, a whopping 85% of all discarded textiles – 13 million – end up in landfills every year. Plus textiles and decomposing clothing release methane, not to mention the dyes and chemicals in the fabrics that can saturate the soil. Let’s recycle folks, donate to local thrift shops, your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, Humane Society, local hospital or church thrift shops– there are so many GREAT charities that NEED your donations. The money that these charities raise through their thrift shops help countless others gain a better quality of life and protect out little four legged friends. I think that is one of the best reasons to donate along with reducing our carbon footprint. Plus think of all the people that are able to clothe themselves and their families at a deeply discounted price. I think it is a win-win.
I just happen to LOVE thrift shopping for so many reasons. I love helping the environment and I like trying new styles at a fraction of the cost – if I don’t like it, I just wash the clothes and donate them right back. The key to thrift shopping is patience. If you have some time and go through the racks, you would be surprised at what you can find. You can’t go to a thrift shop think I need a little black dress and expect to find one in one visit BUT if you go to the RIGHT thrift shops, you may just find one. For example, I always say if you want something formal or fancy, try City Opera and Vintage Thrift East in the 23rd St area of NYC. With these two stores, there is a good chance especially with a freshly stocked store – you can put together a great outfit. If you are in the Connecticut area, Stamford Goodwill is one of my favorites as well, their dress section is fabulous. Don’t be afraid to ask when they put out the “new” stock – it sometimes is Wednesday/Thursday in preparation for the weekend. I am also learning to create my own styles. I once found a beautiful black ankle length sequined duster and I paired it with straight legged pants and a clingy top and I received oodles of compliments and it was something that I might not have necessarily worn in prior years. It ended up being a favorite outfit for special occasions.
Life is complicated and chaotic at times and I find when I go thrift shopping I get such enjoyment out of finding that very special addition to my wardrobe at quite the price. I find it calming and relaxing and a great way to emerge myself in something that brings me great joy. I have also met some pretty incredible people along the way.
I look forward to telling you about my thrift shop visits – I have visited quite a few over the summer and I can’t wait to share my findings with you.
My dream blog has become a reality. It has been an amazing year (plus). Thanks to some great publicity from the very popular blog, Struck By Wanderlust (https://struckbywanderlustblog.wordpress.com), my blog has been read in over 26 countries including Australia, Israel, and Greece to name a few. Outside of the U.S., the UK folks seem to be reading my blog the most :). My blogs have been viewed well over 4,000 times and the numbers keep growing. The most popular blog was on the Humane Society of New Rochelle. They posted my blog on their Facebook page and it went through the roof. The most popular day to read my blog is Tuesday and the most popular hour is 9 p.m. (Thank you WordPress for all the great stats.) Please note I am posting on Tuesday but not at 9 p.m. 🙂
Thrift Shopping has been steadily increasing over the past few years for many reasons. People who want to have a unique/individual style start thrifting to create these styles. Vintage clothing is hugely popular right now and trending. People are very cost conscious as well especially when it comes to clothing and they find thrifting a good alternative. Most importantly, by reselling and recycling clothing, you are helping the planet.
Goodwill has been evolving and introduced “boutique shopping” and opened their newest boutique in Union Square last year. Reselling websites like Real Real, Tradesy and Thred Up are thriving. Consignment shops are more popular than ever especially in the high end handbag and accessory category. The luxury handbag category is an exceptionally competitive market. In 2014 alone, revenues for the thrift store industry were close to $9 billion
I know a couple of people that buy used items at thrift stores and resell on eBay. They buy top brand name shirts, blouses and jeans at shops like St. Bart’s for a few bucks and then resell on eBay for anywhere from $10.00 to $20.00 depending on the quality, brand, etc. and what they paid.
I take great joy in finding new thrift shops, visiting my “regulars” and buying new outfits or something for the house. So whatever you desire, whether to shop for yourself or shop to make money, I hope that you enjoy my blogs; they are truly a labor of love.
According to the website nationalcalendarday – August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day. We all know that I think it should be a national holiday. 🙂 I love my thrift shopping – both shopping and writing about it. While just this morning I scored a Ralph Lauren denim skirt brand new (with tags on it) for $2.49 in Goodwill :). It really can be fun shopping for bargains like these. I take great enjoyment out of the “hunt” and I have met some remarkable people along the way. Please remember when you shop Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat For Humanity, Angel Street, Cauz For Pauz, Housing Works, Humane Society of New Rochelle and countless others, you are supporting PHENOMENAL causes and helping change countless lives. So on National Thrift Shop Day, please go out and shop, you will be supporting someone in need!! 🙂
On National Thrift Shop Day, watch for specials at the Thrift Shops in your area and have a Happy National Thrift Shop Day! Use #NationalThriftShopDay to post on social media. 🙂
Did you know that you can buy and sell your “stuff” on Facebook? Facebook has dedicated groups if you are looking to buy, sell or are “in search of” (ISO). Most groups are geographically based such as Yorktown Mom’s, Bronx Yard Sale, Westchester and Putnam, etc. The groups can contain dozens, hundreds or even thousands of members. Some groups are public which means that anyone on Facebook can join and see who is in the group, the group description and what members post. You can also be invited to join by a member of the group. A closed group is where anyone can ask to join or be added or invited by a member and the only difference from above is that only members from the group can see postings from the group. There are also “secret” groups. Anyone can join a secret group but they have to be added or invited by a member and only current and former members can see who is in the group and what members are posting.
There is an admin(s) who runs the page and approves if you can join the group. Only an admin can change the privacy settings for the group.
How do I join a group? Go to the group you want to be part of and then click Join Group in the top-right corner. Or if you see a group on a friend’s page, you can click on the group.
The great thing about Facebook groups is that for the most part, prices are negotiable. I must warn you that one of the drawbacks is that, occasionally someone is trying to get over or not being honest about their merchandise. That is where the admins come in, the great ones do not tolerate any nonsense or bs and they call out people for their “games”. Most pages also have a set of rules that they expect you to adhere to if you are joining their group. Admins are not paid so they have less tolerance for drama and I don’t blame them. Most admins will post general “rules” for joining their group. One in most groups is that you are contacted in the order that the buyer received the post or message. Things along those lines — one thing that does disturb me is that sometimes people post rather nasty comments when a sale or purchase does not go the way they intended or if they disagree with a price – folks – no need to be rude or nasty – just keep it moving – life is too short. Will what is upsetting you matter in a month or two, I doubt it.
Some of the Facebook groups local to the Bronx area that I belong to are:
Westchester Tag sales
Bronx Yard Sale
Stamford’s Treasures & Tag Sale
Westchester Yard Sale
Bedford Yard Sales
Northern Westchester, Putnam & Dutchess Yard Sale
Above are some of the items that I have posted on Facebook for sale. I have sold many items on Facebook with no issues whatsoever!
One of the issues I have noticed is regarding designer handbags. I have seen a knockoffs attempted to be sold as authentic. Also, please remember it is illegal to sell knockoffs on the internet so buyers and sellers beware. Authenticity can be confirmed with a receipt in most instances. One major helpful tip I can give you is beware of anyone who has just created a personal Facebook page to sell merchandise – that is one major RED FLAG and one that should be taken seriously.
There is also a group that helps people in need in the Bronx & Westchester that you could join ☺:
Helping Friends In Need Bronx/Westchester — it is always great to help those in need.
I have many more options to tell you about buying and selling in the coming weeks!!
Hello and welcome back! Thank you for the positive comments, I sincerely appreciate it.
I will start today with some tidbits and then on to my two of my favorite thrift stores (although small) in the Bronx. The best part is that they are on scenic City Island. More on that later.
I also enjoy running and whenever I am at a run/race in Central Park, I always try to follow the “unwritten” rules of the run. Practical sense things like don’t run with your elbows out, if you take cup of water from a volunteer – be careful where you discard it so another runner does not slip on it or get doused. I will share with you what I feel are the “unwritten” rules/guidelines of thrift shopping. And of course, these are just my opinions but they have always led to better shopping experiences for me.
If you take something off a rack, please put it back if you are not interested in it. Most thrift stores that I have been in really do appreciate things like that. Please have patience on the checkout line, it is not the grocery store and they do not have numerous cashiers to keep things moving. I have gotten some very good advice about thrift stores off the beaten path from chit chatting on the checkout line. Be kind and courteous to everyone around you (we should be doing that anyway) because what I consider enjoyment (and also financially sound) may be an absolute necessity for someone who is in dire need of getting clothes for their kids or for someone who may need a suit/dress for a job interview. You just never know. And of course, please use your “indoor” voice if you must use your cell phone. 🙂
Don’t forget to check the racks outside the dressing rooms too. They sometimes hold gems that were not on the rack when you were looking.
One thing that I would like to mention in the smaller thrift shops that are independently operated, there may be room for bargaining at times but not always. My suggestion is that you should always be polite if you ask for a couple of dollars off on an item but please don’t try and get an item that may be worth $10 (thrift store price) for $2. It is a pet peeve I have been told on numerous occasions from staff. After a while, you will know where and when prices are negotiable.
Don’t be afraid to ask when the “fill a bag” sale is (at the smaller thrift shops). These types of sales are awesome. The Humane Society of New Rochelle (more on this shop in a later blog) had one offsite last year and I was able to fill a bag with Lands End pants, three brand new Eddie Bauer shirts and a couple of other great items for $5. You can never go wrong with one of these sales, at least in my opinion. That was my all time best fill a bag day.
The same rule goes for thrift shopping as for typical shopping. You have to ask yourself, are you going to wear it/use it? I have purchased a couple of items that were unbelievable buys but never ended up using them. No harm, no foul but why waste money, especially nowadays.
And now….drumroll… two of my favorite thrift shops in the Bronx:
St. Mary’s Star of the Sea (go through the side to the rear, door has sign on it)
590 City Island Ave.
Bronx, NY 10464
Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am until 3 pm
This is a smaller thrift shop but I love it for the prices and especially for the staff. They are amazing, kind and helpful. The prices are incredibly reasonable, the selection most days is good and the housewares section is very small but I found two great extra-large glasses that I can use for desserts for $2 each. They have a decent men’s selection too. There is always a steady crowd and when inventory is at max, good selections. You can even grab a cup of coffee and donate to the coffee fund jar which is neat. What they do have is a great fill a bag sale occasionally – and they do let you fill the bag — I will always post when I know the dates.
Budget Corner at Trinity United Methodist City Island
(side entrance, you will see the signs)
116 City Island Ave.
Bronx, New York 10464
1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month and some Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm
(I would call first just in case for Saturdays and when you go there you can grab a Saturday schedule. I will also post one when I get it.)
This is another small thrift shop that is good because there seems to be a lot of turnover with the clothes and they seem to have new inventory almost every trip. There is a lot of foot traffic in this store. The housewares section is okay at best. They have a decent men’s section with casual clothes. The women’s section is a bit more extensive (dresses, skirts, blouses) and they have some kids clothes. There are a lot of shirts and jeans on the shelves so don’t pass them up. They occasionally have the fill a bag sale but very far and few between. Just a PSA for my peeps — this is one of those places were negotiating prices might be a bit tough. 🙂