The Art and Fun of Thrift Shopping
Some people would be horrified even to think of buying anything that isn’t brand spanking new. While they might look down their snooty noses at us, we are happy to be out there in pursuit of secondhand treasures.
I learned the art of thrift shopping from my mother, who taught me that if you save money on things that will be outgrown or worn out, you’ll have extra dollars to spend on something like a piece of jewelry or art.
I’m usually not an avid shopper. My happy place is almost never found in malls or wandering the aisles of large department stores. Contrary to my department store aversion issues, I cheerfully lose track of time in second-hand shops. From waterskis to bicycles, from books to clothing and furniture – there is simply almost always something I can’t live without in a thrift shop.
There are lots of reasons to shop at thrift stores. Some folks are too poor to buy new, but “rich” enough to buy gently used. Determined hobbyists are hoping to find overlooked antiques and collectibles and savvy shoppers make a business out of finding stuff to buy cheap and sell for profit. Then too, there are college kids and families on a budget and people who just like to find cool things at bargain prices. Thrift store shopping can even serve as a way of meeting new people or alleviating boredom in a safe place besides the local grocery store.
Some Pros of Thrift Store Shopping:
- Your example will help teach your children the value of thriftiness.
- It’s a good way to buy inexpensive clothing in that “temporary” size until you lose weight.
- You get to try out different clothing styles just for the fun of it and donate some of them back after getting either thumbs up or thumbs down from friends and family. You might even find out that you look fabulous in that emerald green color that your boyfriend hated.
- Donating makes you feel good, is tax deductable, helps you clean up the clutter at your house, possibly helps charity and makes new owners happy.
- There are no hovering employees aiming for a commission.
Tips for Thrift Store Shopping:
- Be nice. That little Peace Beanie Baby (yes, it really might be worth $30,000) is not a life or death purchase. Don’t grab something that someone else is reaching for, maybe they need it more than you do. And, especially be nice to thrift shop employees. Most of them are volunteers or work for low wages. Besides, it pays to build relationships. When I was a single mom and needed work clothes, I frequented a shop on Hilton Head where the owner knew what I liked and put items aside just for me. And, while we’re going over Thrift Shop manners – please don’t haggle over prices. If you are really convinced that someone made a mistake when they priced something, politely ask if it’s possible to have the item re-evaluated.
- Some shops are for profit and others are charity-based. Find out where the money goes and support the ones you care about the most and which you believe will be the most responsible with your money.
- Learn the “specials.” For example, some shops have deals on certain days of the week or different colored tags for various discounts.
- Keep an updated list of things you need or want so you will avoid buying bargains that you truly could “should” live without. Some shops maintain a wish-book and will call if what you want comes in.
- Buying for other people is a do-at-your-own-risk option. If all of your 2nd hand gifts come tumbling out of the coat closet next time you visit – well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- Be patient. Maybe someone will read this article and be inspired to donate something you’ve been looking for. Maybe even tomorrow.
- Donate often, but keep in mind that some shops accept donated items only on certain days and ask that you do not leave items on the doorstep. For larger items, most shops will try to find a way to pick up. Ask!
- Thrift shops are a great place to find costumes and they are often grouped together, making it easier for you to find what you need.
- Don’t feel obligated to buy. It’s fine to browse. Maybe next time you’ll find your treasure.
Here’s a list of shops in our area:
- Annie’s Attic – 142 Arrow Road, Hilton Head Island (843.686.6970)
- Annie’s Attic – 1204-A Fording Island Road, Bluffton SC (843.757.6972) from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10:00 AM to 5:oo PM
- Bargain Box – 546 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head SC (843.342.2469) from Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 1:00 to 4:00 PM and Saturday 9:15 AM to 12:15 PM
- Bargains & Treasures – 1 Kitties Landing Way Bluffton SC (843.815.7924) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Bargains & Treasures – 88 Arrow Road, Hilton Head SC (843.785.7929) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Calhoun Station – 77 Pritchard Street, Bluffton SC (843.757.5191) from Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
- Church Mouse Boutique Thrift Shop – 78 Arrow Road, Hilton Head SC (843.785.2322) from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
- Classic Consignments – 122 Arrow Road, Hilton Head SC (843.842.4041) from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Consign & Design on Paris Avenue – 1406 Paris Avenue, Port Royal SC (843.524.7256) from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM
- Consignment Gallery & Estate Sales of Beaufort – 1013 Charles Street, Beaufort SC (843.812.8899) from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Crazy Beach Boutique – 4375 Bluffton Parkway, Bluffton SC (843.815.4719) from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Front Porch – 206 Sea Island Parkway, Beaufort SC (843.521.3090) from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- God’s Goods – 15 Centre Drive, Bluffton SC (843.757.2024) from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Goodwill – 509 Island West Park, Bluffton SC from Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and Sundays 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Goodwill – 137 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort SC (843.470.1734) from Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and Sundays on 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Goodwill – 95 Matthews Drive Port Royal Plaza, Hilton Head SC (843.681.2280) from Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and Sundays on 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Had to Have It Consignment Shop – 399 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort SC (843.524.0422)
- Hidden Treasures Vintage & Thrift – 4376 Bluffton Parkway, Bluffton SC (843.384.2953)
- Hilton Head Consignment – 1504B Fording Island Road, Bluffton SC (843.815.3300)
- Hilton Head Habitat ReStore for Humanity – 18 Plantation Park Drive, Bluffton SC (843.757.9995) from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Hospice Community Thrift – 3 Mathews Court, Hilton Head SC (843.689.5455) from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Litter Box Thrift Store – 46 Old Wild Horse Road 5 – 6, Hilton Head SC (843.842.6369) from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- My Sisters Closet – 1020 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head SC (843.785.4988) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Nearly New – 1808 Boundary St. #1, Beaufort SC (843.524.3771) from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
- Off Island Thrift – -4375 Bluffton Parkway, Bluffton SC (843.815.7283) 10:00 AM to 5:30 AM
- Off Island Thrift Furniture Showcase – 4377 Bluffton Parkway, Bluffton SC (843.815.7747) from 10:00 AM to 5:30 AM
- Osprey Village Thrift Store – 2797 Okatie Highway, Ridgeland SC (843.645.4505)
- Palmetto Animal Thrift – Sheridan Center(at Sheridan Park near Tuesday morning), Bluffton SC (843.837.6369) from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
- RePorpoised – 612 Robert Smalls Parkway #A, Beaufort SC (843.379.3300) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Sacks Designer Consignment Shop – 1012 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head SC (843.842.4222) from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Smart Girls Consignment Shop – 208 Carteret Street, Beaufort SC (843.522.0100) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- St. Francis Thrift Shop – 6 Southwood Park Drive Dr. #A, Hilton Head SC (843.689.6563) from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
- Stock Exchange – 1401 Main St. Hilton Head SC (843.689.6777)
- Three Sisters Resale – The Village Exchange, 32 Palmetto Bay Road, Ste. 10A Hilton Head (843.341.3455) from 11:00 to 6:00 PM
- Vintage Market – 28 Kitties Landing Road, Bluffton SC (843.757.9010) from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Where’d You Get That – 9 Marshellen Drive, Beaufort SC (843.379.4900) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM