Saving at Savers

savers_logoI have visited and shopped at many different types of thrift stores, including a couple chains. In Save Cash, Look Smash’s first post, you read about my thoughts on Plato’s Closet, which is a contemporary youth-targeted store with several locations in the Kansas area. While Plato’s Closet does an excellent job serving its target shoppers, it’s atmosphere is far too specific to serve a broader group. After relying on Plato’s Closet for my starting years in high school, I needed a new thrift store, which led me to Savers.

Savers is a thrift store chain with three locations in Kansas. I, however, have only visited two on a 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 store layout which allows them to categorize their items more effectively. Savers also carries nearly everything from clothes to accessories to home decor to electronics to kids’ toys. Savers has lower prices than Plato’s Closet because they are not restricted to name brand items, but there’s still a chance that you may come across an item with the original sales tag!

Savers is hands down my go-to thrift store because I always seem to find exactly what I’m looking for – even if I have to hit both locations to find it. The reason for this is because Savers accepts ALL donations on a daily basis so the inventory is different every time I’m there. This chain also celebrates their holidays with sales on select merchandise. An example would be having 50% off everything around Christmastime or having 40% off dresses, purses and shoes just because. Luckily, I’m subscribed to their emails so I’m updated ahead of them when a sale is approaching. So if you’re like me and you enjoy sales, I’d become a Savers Card Holder so you get in on the exclusive member-only sales.

Overall, Plato’s Closet is a cool store with excellent merchandise, but as a post grad, it’s just not my ideal place to shop anymore. So unless you’re in middle school or high school looking to stay on the A list for name brands, I would suggest looking into the Savers chain. If the lower prices, endless inventory and constant sales aren’t enough to get you committed then I don’t know what will.

Thrift stores aren’t alone

As a bargain shopper I’ve always stuck to surfing the thrift store racks. However, there are three other types of secondhand stores: consignment, classified and pawn. These are all places where you can save money while still getting stellar deals! The main difference between these four shops is 1.) when you surrender ownership of your items, 2.) when you get paid and 3.) whether someone else helps you sell your items.

1. Consignment Shops – Loved more by the buyers than the sellers

These shops sell goods for an owner; the owner will retain ownership until the goods are sold. An example: if you cosigned a stereo for $30, then the shop would take 50 percent and you, as the owner, would receive the remainder of the money. Items are usually in place for 30, 60 to 90-day cycles. If the item fails to sell then it’ll be discounted.

2. Pawn Shops – You get paid, even if the store doesn’t sell your items

Most people wouldn’t believe that pawn shops are considered secondhand, but they do meet the qualifications. As a seller you surrender ownership of your items immediately when you receive payment for their worth. Two well-known chains that use pawn shop standards would be Plato’s Closet and Half Price Books. The payment you receive from the store won’t be affected if the store can’t sell your items; all the risk is on the store itself.

3. Classifieds – People love classifieds because the fees are lower than other shops

This is a way to advertise for your goods by placing an ad in a newspaper or online source. Classified ads are popular because the fees that are required are significantly less than the ones charged by pawn and consignment shops. Craigslist is, hands down, the most popular option because it’s free and gives the sellers more control. E-Bay and Amazon are also examples of classifieds.

4. Thrift Shops – People donate¬†because they know it’s for a good¬†cause

Most of these stores are run by non-profit organizations and are based on the donations they receive. The donator will receive a tax-deductible receipt for the estimated cost of the items they give the shop. Most people enjoy donating their items because they know its for a good cause. The thrift store giants are Goodwill, Savers and the Salvation Army.