The recession has hit us across the world very hard. Businesses are going bankrupt, shops are closing down (especially ma & pap retail stores) which poses the question: is there a solution?
Where else can you find that special outfit you’ve been lusting over? Now you can get it even cheaper at thrift shops and they have made it exceptionally easier online.
Sharon Todd from Gone-tomorrow, a thrift/consignment store, claims that the merchandise is not typically what you would find in a thrift store – and not always used. But who says vintage can’t look fierce?
“We have a lot of antiques and new – never been used items such as in our clothing, books, jewellery and other categories. We also carry handmade merchandise for our consignors,” says Todd.
Brigiette Martinez from My Nifty Thrifty uses sites like eBay and blogging advertisements to sell vintage clothing from the 1950’s to the 1970’s.
[pullquote_right] Brigiette Martinez from My Nifty Thrifty: “I’ve been shopping in thrift stores since I was 9 years old!”[/pullquote_right]
“It was easier in the 80’s to find things from the 50’s to 70’s, so I dressed in whatever I could find and I would make funky outfits to suit my own style. Then eBay came into my life in 1999 and well, the rest is history.”
Due to websites that allow you to sell your items, thrift shops online have boomed. It has made finding that “little gem” more accessible, especially as there is not a fixed price on an item. Todd explains more about this system on the Gone Tomorrow site:
“If you find something you like and you think we may be overpriced, or you just can’t afford what we’re asking, you have the option of using our ‘Name Your Price’ service. Submit your offer and if it’s reasonable we will accept.”
Thrift stores going online mean you don’t have to dig and hunt anymore for that designer item at a bargain price.
“I’ve found Chanel clothing several times,” Martinez says. “I sell a lot of vintage sequin sweaters so I know they are popular.”
There is something for everyone of any age equipped with a lifelong venture of treasure-hunting.
“I’ve been shopping in thrift stores since I was 9 years old! I can remember the first thing I bought, I was a small girl, and my mother took me to a thrift store to buy me a case for my dolls,” says Martinez. “It was a red cosmetic case [...]That was my first purchase.”
This way of buying and selling can be addictive, as thrift stores also purchase your unwanted items from you rather than giving ill-fitting or disregarded presents to charity shops.
Martinez is living proof of how it can take hold.
“Back in 1999 I found a silk Asian scarf that was beautiful. It was $1 in the original gold box. I sold it for $11 online and I have been hooked ever since.”
Though this begs to ask the question could thrift stores and online thrift sites take over the high street shops?
“I think in this economy, thrift stores are a good way to shop especially for certain types of merchandise,” Todd says.
There is no comment for whether thrift could rise above retail as that is up to the consumer, so what are you waiting for, start treasure hunting!