I’ve shopped at different types of thrift stores, including a couple chains. In my first post, you read about my thoughts on Plato’s Closet, a youth-oriented store with several locations in Kansas. While Plato’s Closet does an excellent job serving its target, it’s atmosphere is too specific. After relying on Plato’s Closet for high school, I needed a new thrift store, and that led me to Savers.
Savers has three locations in Kansas. I visit two on a semi-regular basis. The first time I visited Savers, I was blown away by the spacious design and amount of merchandise. Unlike Plato’s Closet, Savers has a bigger layout that allows them effectively categorize items. Savers also carries everything from clothes to home decor to electronics to toys. Savers has lower prices than Plato’s Closet because they’re not restricted to name-brand items.
Savers is my go-to thrift store because I always find exactly what I’m looking for – even if I have to hit both locations. The reason is because Savers accepts donations on a daily basis, so the inventory is always changing. They celebrate holidays with huge sales that are tough to miss: 50% off everything around Christmas or 40% off dresses, purses and shoes just because. I’m subscribed to their emails, so I’m always in the loop.
If you’re like me and enjoy sales, I’d become a Savers card holder. Then you’ll have access to exclusive member-only sales.
Plato’s Closet has excellent merchandise, but I’m too old to shop there now. If you’re post-high school, I’d suggest Savers. If lower prices, endless inventory and constant sales aren’t enough for you, I don’t know what is.
Thrift stores aren’t the only option for bargain hunters. There are also consignment, classified and pawn. These are places where you can save money and still get stellar deals. Differences between these four options are:
- When you get paid
- When you surrender item ownership
- Whether someone else helps you sell your items
Consignment Shops – Loved more by buyers than sellers.
These shops sell an owner’s goods, and the owner will retain ownership until they’re sold. If you cosigned a stereo for $30, the shop would take 50% and you’d receive the remainder of the money. Items are in place for 30, 60 or 90-day cycles. If the item fails to sell, it will be discounted. The Elephant Tree and Boomerang are two examples in the Kansas City area.
Pawn Shops – You get paid, even if the store doesn’t sell your stuff.
The pawn shop will determine the worth of your items and pay you that amount. At this point the items are no longer yours. Plato’s Closet and Half Price Books are both pawn-shop examples. You keep your money even if the store can’t sell your items – they’re the one taking the risk.
Classifieds – People love classifieds because fees are lower than other shops.
This is a way to advertise your items by listing them in an newspaper or online ad. Classified ads are popular because required fees are less than fees charged by pawn and consignment shops. Craigslist is the most popular option because it’s free and gives more control to sellers. E-Bay and Amazon are also examples.
Thrift Shops – People donate because they know it’s for a good cause.
Most thrift stores are run by non-profits and survive on community donations. Donators receive a tax-deductible receipt for the estimated cost of items they drop off at the store. Most people enjoy donating their items because they know its for a good cause. Non-profit thrift store giants are Goodwill, Savers and Salvation Army.