Home » Saving your Family Money on Clothing Purchases

You can find a lot of hidden deals on name brand clothing by purchasing at thrift stores or consignment shops. Not to mention some rare finds, like those adult size footy pajamas you have been searching for since you turned 18 or that one piece leopard unitard (EEK!! you know who you are).

I have heard many reasons why you wouldn’t want to shop at a thrift store or consignment shop, from the cleanliness of the store, to quality of the clothes, to even being embarrassed. First off there is no reason at all to be embarrassed about saving yourself or your family money. After all, God has given us the ability to spend our/his money wisely. Let’s put this to practice.

I want to establish the difference between thrift stores and consignment shops. You may be asking; “There really is a difference, don’t both sell second hand clothing?” Why Yes they DO!!! There are big differences between the two. So, why choose one over the other?

Thrift stores and consignment shops are an amazing resource for getting great, high-quality, unique and inexpensive clothes and other household items. Often, the offerings are perfectly good things that somebody else has outgrown or simply grown tired of.

The BIG Difference:

Thrift Stores acquire their items by donations, while Consignments are hand picked items by the store. What this means is at a thrift store expect to find possible stains, wear and even holes in clothes. I had the chance to interview Saydra (I LOVE this Girl) the owner of Polkadots Consignment in Guilderland, NY and she says “I’m very picky about what I take. It’s no fun to go into a store where you have to pick through stained items. I have people come to Polkadots and say “it smells so good in here”.

Really?? People are complementing her on the scent of her shop. The deal is that thrift stores and even some consignment shops don’t pick out or clean the clothes prior to placing them on the shelf for resale. Who wants to shop and be overwhelmed with odors from the previous owner. No Thank You!! It is nice to know that some shop owners are working hard to maintain fresh smelling items. After all, who wants to have a bad shopping experience?

Items at Consignment shops are always individually priced which tends to lead to slightly higher prices. However, since the store is usually owned by an individual not by a group, the owner will have advertised sales.

Here is how consignment shops acquire items for resale. An individual (say yourself) will bring an item in and will have a choice to consign that item or sell it to the shop. To consign means that you will share half the items cost with the shop’s owner, if it sells. If it doesn’t sell you may be asked to pick up your item (because it may have gone out of season). If you choose to sell it to the store, then you will get a lower price for that item. It is up to you if you have the patience or not to wait it out.

Thrift stores have lots of great treasures to be found, but are usually overloaded with items and sometimes not well organized. I have found that most thrift stores will organize their clothing by colors (keeping all the red shirts together), but this can be difficult and time consuming to search for your size. Remember that thrift stores are usually started by a charity or non-profit group (a bonus to giving back to the community). Their prices are usually a set price, but you really have to be careful when searching for your items (again, look for any stains, holes or defects).

Generally Consignment shops are well organized where clothing is grouped by size. You can bet that the quality of the clothes found here are better. Each item is hand picked and looked over for any wear, stains, holes or defects (these items will not be sold). Like Saydra mentioned she is very picky.

Things you will need to know prior to shopping

  • You will need time to sort through items (a little less at consignment shops)
  • Bring a list or a mental note of the things you need, not want. You may end up taking home more than you expect.
  • A little money, BONUS (not a lot)

Keep in mind while shopping in consignment or thrift shops that you are helping others by purchasing GREEN, RECYCLED products! This is a wonderful way to save money and help out the environment. Check out the local consignment and thrift stores in your area, chances are you will find something you can’t live without. Word-of-mouth advertising is wonderful for these types of businesses. It brings in new customers and helps support small businesses and charities! Good luck in YOUR treasure hunt!

Polkadots Consignment Shop: 518-452-1812
Girls size Newborn through Juniors/Teens …. Trendy Women’s Too!

2563 Western Ave
Park Place Plaza
Guilderland, NY


Saving your Family Money on Clothing Purchases — 2 Comments

  1. I shop at the good will on Hoosick street all the time! I’ve gotten great deals. And it’s actually fun to go digging through looking for treasures, like a clothing archeologists. 🙂

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