Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Goodwill Store in Hyannis

The Goodwill Store in Hyannis is the mecca for thrift store enthusiasts. They house more goods than any other Cape shop that I have visited. The store is divided into sections for men, women, and children.

The women's section comprises about three quarters of the store and is separated by type of clothing: suit jackets, dresses, tee shirts, jeans, dress pants, sweaters, etc. Each subdivision is organized by color, thereby facilitating the process of finding a particular article.

With most other thrift stores, it's generally hit or miss as you never know what will be hanging on the racks. With the Goodwill, conversely, you can go there expressly looking for a certain item. Case in point, when I was a banquet server in college I used to go there to get cheap black pants. Again when I went camping last weekend, I visited the store for tank tops and cargo pants. In this way, the Goodwill is the mall of thrift stores of sorts.

The prices at Goodwill are comparable to those of other thrift stores, save for the fact that they don't price items on a case by case basis. If it's a pair of pants, the price will be $5.95, no matter the brand or the condition. The best part about their prices is their weekly 50% off sales which occur on Sundays and Mondays. Every piece of clothing in the store has a different colored tag on it and each week the store rotates which color will be 50% off. They also run occasional sales on Saturdays such as 'every item in the store is $3.' Another bonus: in addition to cash, you can use your debit or credit card at the Goodwill.

I have bought many things here over the years and I have tried to include a few of them below.

    Camping Outfit: Cargo Capris (Banana Republic, $5) and Plum Tee (Old Navy, $2)

     Work Outfit: Blazer (J Crew, $2.50), pink
     tank top (Talbots, $2) and black pencil skirt
     (Fishermen's House Thrift, $4)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Consigning Women: Part Deux

My criticism of Consigning Women was recently rebuffed and with good measure; I returned today for some shopping and was generally pleased with their prices. One blog reader agreed that "they aren't exactly "thrifty" in what most people think of the word" but I'd like to expound on this concept a little further. It wasn’t accurate for me to compare their prices to those of a thrift store because there’s little association between the two. Consignment shops are more expensive but I feel that as a shopper you are better guaranteed to actually find something there.

Case in point, I am still trying to put together a summer wardrobe and I knew that if I went to Consigning Women I would come across seasonally appropriate clothes. For some reason unknown, most thrift stores in my area do not have many summer clothes; several of them still have winter sweaters on display. Are people more apt to donate cold weather clothing? Is there some conspiracy I have missed?

At any rate, I found a plethora of summer skirts, shorts, Capris, tanks, and tees at Consigning Women. Much to my pleasure, many summer articles had already been marked down so I got two shirts for a steal! The black and white striped tank was marked down to $2.75 and the off-white cowl neck shirt was $6 (shown with Old Navy skirt from VNA Thriftique). And I had a $0.50 coupon from my last visit, so I only spent $8.25.

In addition to all the summer apparel, there were some really cute summer bags including Coach and Dooney & Bourke. They were in the $40 range and looked to be in great condition from a glance. But I currently have too many handbags right now, so I had to tear myself away from them.

Speaking of purses, however, last week I bought a brand new with tags BCBG bag from Orleans Community Exchange and Thrift for only $10. I thought of selling it on eBay but then decided it would be too much of a hassle. I love buying on eBay but selling requires more work than I am interested in exerting.

And for my final thought, I might as well brag about my last purchase from eBay: a brand new DKNY bathing suit for $27.99. I was up in Boston last weekend and the same suit is still for sale at Macy’s; its MSRP is $96! Of course the odds of an online bathing suit actually fitting are nil to nothing but the gods were on my side: it fit! If all else fails, at least I have a suit this summer!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hit or Miss: United Methodist Thrift

A fellow thrifter I met once upon a time in Orleans raved about the United Methodist Thrift Shop on Church Street in East Harwich. She claimed that a wealthy donor must live nearby because there were always heaps of nice clothes. Intrigued, I ventured forth one day to see for myself.

The most positive thing I can say about this thrift store is that they have rock bottom prices; I have never seen clothes so inexpensive. There are price sheets hanging on the walls throughout the store so you know exactly how much everything is.

The biggest turn off for me was the fact that it was in a musty basement. I realize that this is the stereotypical thrift store locale, but it makes me a little squeamish. My memory flashes back to playing in my basement as a child and getting covered in cement dust; I still hate that smell.

Perhaps they do have nice clothes sometimes though, because when I pulled in the parking lot it was full; I had to park above the shop near the cemetery. And the people going in the store weren’t just elderly folks, there were put-together middle-aged women shopping as well.

For all my ranting and raving, I did find a brand new-looking Old Navy blazer for $5. It’s featured in my blog post on Consigning Women. They did have an exorbitant amount of clothes stuffed on all the racks so go by and take a look, maybe you’ll find the rich woman’s clothes I missed…