Hello! For the past few years I've seen rumblings on the Internet that thrift store bargains are fewer and further between, and sometimes this does seem to be true.
Then, too, I've attended estate sales and garage sales where the too-high asking prices are justified by the sellers displaying printouts from eBay listings showing even higher prices for similar items. (I've seen this occasionally done at thrift stores too). I don't mind this tactic as much if the estate sale is being run by a company hired for that purpose - after all, they're in it to make a profit - but if it's a self-run sale? If you're using eBay as a reference for setting your prices, why not just list your goods on eBay? (some larger thrift store chains, such as Goodwill, do have eBay sites now).
Needless to say, I walk past anything I think is over-priced, but fortunately there really still are plenty of bargains to be had, or at least that's been true in my experiences. And this "Bang For A Buck" series will occasionally show off finds I feel are a very good value. Posts in this series might occasionally feature purchases that cost more or less than a dollar, but you get the point.
In general, thrift store clothing still tends to be an excellent value. Sure, you have to examine the garments carefully for missing buttons, broken zippers, holes, stains and other flaws. But once you've inspected a garment and see no problems, you may very well have snagged a bargain, especially if the label is from a reputable manufacturer.
The deals get even better if you stop in when a thrift store is having a good sale. Sometimes these are color-coded, as in everything with a blue label half off. Even better are the "clothing for a dollar sale", whether this be all the clothes currently on the store's racks, or maybe just the pants. These sales are worth a look - who knows, you may find just the item you'd been wanting to add to your wardrobe.
Such was the case for me when I visited a local thrift store's "clothing for a dollar sale" at the beginning of winter. I bought these:
They may look like ordinary jeans, but note the green and white print fabric on the turned-up cuffs: that's flannel. These are LL Bean's flannel-lined jeans, and are almost $60.00 in their catalog. That's a far cry from a dollar! They were just my size and length (the latter not always easy to find in thrift store jeans, as I'm short) and were in fine shape.
I'd long seen these jeans in the LL Bean catalog and had thought they'd be a nice addition to my winter wardrobe, especially when the cold winds blow down from Alberta or wherever they come. The 60 bucks stopped me though - it wasn't as if I have to be out in all kinds of winter weather doing outdoor chores (other than snow shoveling).
Our old house is rather drafty, though, so these flannel-lined jeans have been just the thing to wear when it's on the chilly side indoors. Last year I'd worn fleece leggings under regular jeans, but these jeans are more comfortable since the layering is already built in.
And so I'd say this purchase is definitely a great bang for the buck!