City Thrift review

City Thrift is one of the newer thrift stores in Overland Park. One location on Antioch and College Blvd. opened its doors well after I was hooked on bargain hunting. Being 10 minutes away, I was eager to explore its racks and shelves when I first heard about it. It’s spacious design and diverse selection impressed me immediately, just like Savers. They sell clothing, furniture, housewares, shoes, accessories and movies/books/music. Every category houses it’s own section, making the store easy to navigate.

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One aspect that makes City Thrift stand out is it’s entirely non-profit. One hundred percent of funding goes toward City Union Mission, the store’s owner. The goal of City Union Mission is helping less fortunate people in impoverished countries by recycling and shipping all unsold store items to those countries.

“So not only does City Thrift help their customers spend less money on basic necessities, but they do their part to look out for our international brothers and sisters who may be struggling.” 

Similar to Savers, City Thrift sponsors a variety of sales. Examples include 50% OFF clothing and accessories and $1 media day (books and movies are only a dollar). Unlike Savers, none of the sales is member-exclusive. It’s first-come, first-serve. Doors usually open at 7 a.m., so if you want the best selection – be there EARLY. On more than one occasion I’ve walked out of a 50% OFF sale with a bag of clothes for less than $30.

Two complaints I harbor toward City Thrift are the limited number of dressing rooms and narrow aisles. There are only three dressing rooms in City Thrift. When the store is dead, this doesn’t pose an issue. However, when the store is abuzz and everyone needs to try on their clothes – the waiting period can be grueling. Despite the spacious store design, the aisles are extremely narrow. It’s impossible to maneuver your cart past a fellow customer in the same aisle. It’s best to give up and go the other way unless you want to engage in an awkward shuffle with a stranger.

But the pros outweigh the cons, which is why I haven’t stopped shopping at City Thrift. I’m not going to surrender potential thrifting finds just because I sometimes have to wait for a dressing room and pick a different aisle if someone occupies the one I want. It’s worth the trouble when you see their extensive selection.

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Big score on Labor Day

You all know how much I love 50% off sales at thrift stores. Clothing and accessories that are already inexpensive are marked down even more. It’s incredible what you end up spending. Last time I was at City Thrift I signed up for their scheduled text alerts. Now every time there’s an upcoming sale there, my phone beeps. They hosted a Labor Day 50% off everything sale on September 1st and 2nd.

After I got off work on Friday, Sept. 1st, I went there to see what I could find. The parking lot was packed when I got there around 2 p.m. The store’s exterior was decorated with balloons and banners to draw in customers. When I walked in I saw people everywhere! This worried me because the aisles in City Thrift are very narrow, which makes it difficult for more than one person to occupy an aisle simultaneously. However, I was already there and I wasn’t leaving empty-handed. I strategized when to visit each section based on how other customers shifted.

“As great as thrift store 50% off sales are, there’s one downside: competing with dozens of other customers. However, if you’re patient and strategic, you can still strike gold.”

Despite the crowds, I never had to wait in line for the dressing rooms (and there are only three stalls in total). As I moved from aisle to aisle, I filled my cart an assortment of items: blouses, skirts, dresses, capris, and shoes. After two visits to the dressing room, I finalized my options. Before I visited the register, I calculated my total cost plus a 50% off discount. After over an hour of searching and finding new treasures, I was eager to leave. Crowded thrift stores always get on my nerves, especially in a store where getting past people in narrow aisles is difficult and annoying.

I finally walked out of there a little before 4 p.m. feeling amazing. I snagged four shirts, one pair of khaki capris, two skirts, one pair of shoes, a DVD, one sweater, a dress and a belt. This purchase cost me only $30 after tax. A very worthwhile visit.

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Searching, searching … found

Have you ever needed something, and after searching multiple stores, you’re left empty-handed? You know exactly what you’re looking for. The picture in your head captures every detail, from color to size, but everywhere you look you can’t find the real thing. It’s agonizing, isn’t it? All you want to do is summon all the magic in the universe and snap your fingers and have it appear in your eager hands.

My item of desire was a large, professional black bag. While job-hunting I was trying to find one to bring to interviews. Of course, I wasn’t going to immediately cave and spend 50+ dollars. I could’ve walked into a department store and found what I wanted in a heartbeat, but a true thrifty fashionista doesn’t give up. I’d already looked through the purse racks at several thrift stores with no success. I was forced me to attend my interviews bag-less.

Once I landed a job, I had two weeks before my start date. I’d lost hope in finding my dream bag. Then a week before I started, I wanted to buy new khakis. I chose a thrift store I hadn’t visited in a while, City Thrift on Antioch and College Blvd. After adding a couple pairs to my cart, I decided to visit the purse rack.

In less than a minute, I stumbled upon not ONE, but TWO bags. I couldn’t believe it. The first bag was black, medium-sized with a strap that fits over my shoulder. It featured a spacious interior that would fit my wallet, keys, phone and lunch box. The inscription read “COVERGIRL” – a fantastic brand! The second bag wasn’t black, but it was one of my favorite colors – purple. The straps were attached with silver hoops. I couldn’t let this bag go to someone else. By getting both I’d have a color-coordinating opportunity.

For a thrift store, these bags were a tad pricey. Each one was around $9, but when you compare that to a department store, I lucked out! I left the store with two pairs of khakis and two bags – for only $37. When it came down to the wire, a thrift store had my back. I walked in on my first day with my dream bag slung over my shoulder. Thanks, City Thrift!

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