Article by: Kristina Byrd
We all love when someone compliments the outfits we wear. Especially us fashionistas – when that amazing outfit we strut was a bargain!
“Thanks! I got it on sale!” We eagerly reply, proud of our thrifty nature, and our keen ability to spot that great deal.
Though retail has made somewhat of a comeback from the recession, many have adopted methodical shopping habits. Saving money being a top priority, many have turned to thrift shopping to find not only a great (sometimes unbelievable) price, but also a quality often better than in big box stores.
While thrifting is a great way to save money, it has quickly trended to a fun hobby for many. Everyone loves a unique find that is a treasured and desirable runway statement piece – but at a fraction of the runway cost.
Forbes Magazine, Business Insider, and other retail climate watch dogs are noticing the trends of thrift shopping outpacing traditional retail stores. The concepts of “upscale resale” and “gently recycled” items are on the rise. According to The Association of Retail Professionals, “we are progressing from a disposable society to a recycling society.” According to Cardinal Commerce, millennials are responsible for 35% of all retail sales. This is also the generation commonly known for being environmentally conscious as they’ve inherited the problems of the throw away culture of the ‘80’s. “Thrifting” or recycling of “Gently Used” is environmentally and budget friendly, which makes it appealing to multiple generations.
Becoming a “Thrift” shopper is intimidating to some people. We like what we are comfortable with. Many of us have little time to learn a new store. Some of us are concerned that peers will think negatively of our new-found thrifty-ness. There are many great finds in thrift stores go unnoticed by the majority of retail shoppers. The catch of finding the great treasure is more than just finding a unique item. It also means you saved money. In fact, the average thrift shopper can save over 50-80% of the original ticket price.
It’s a pretty common conception that a new car loses 10% of its value the minute you drive it off the lot. (Carfax.com) The minute you drive your new car, it becomes used. And the sale price drops. Yet it’s essentially still brand new. A similar depreciation occurs with items in thrift and resale stores. Many items put on racks and shelves still bear the department store tags. Yet, because they are in the thrift store, the value is seemingly less than it used to be in department stores. While the item has depreciated in cost, the item – whether it be a piece of clothing, furniture or media – may be in perfect condition, and just as new as if it were in the department stores.
The surprising takeaway from all of this is that while secondhand or “gently used” may have negative connotations to the population at large, many items received by thrift and value stores, like Heaven’s Treasures, are purchased brand new. I know, but before you start questioning the logic, hear me out. While many of the items on the shelves are donations from the community, stores such as Heaven’s Treasures work with suppliers to give customers the best quality – this includes back stocked items from larger box stores, or new unsold items from other retailers. Did you see that? Not previously used. That’s right. Shop at a thrift or resale store and you could be buying products that are brand new for a FRACTION of the retail value.
It’s the same with other resale items. Many items found in thrift stores have never been worn or used and still have the department store tags on them. Yet they have been purchased so they no longer carry the same retail value they did when new. Other items are barely used, and have the same depreciation. Studies are beginning to show that on average, a person thrifting could save 50-80% on their annual household clothing budget. If you spend an average of $1,000 per year on new clothes for a family of 4, you could be saving $500-$800 annually by buying gently used resale clothing. That’s an extra $500 you have saved in your pocket (that could mean over $10,000 saved for college or whatever your needs are over next 20 years).
The wallet isn’t the only driving force behind the move toward responsible consumerism. Retailers are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by sending less material to landfills. As consumers, we can help. When a store doesn’t move an item fast enough even after mark downs, it has to go somewhere. One of the places it can go is to re-sellers. Deeply discounting these unsold items, thrift stores can move the items along for a lower price, offering great deals on merchandise many people find out of their budget at full price.
The bottom line in resale retail is that stores Like Heaven’s Treasures offer consumers a fiscally, socially, and environmentally responsible option to shop. When buying used, we can afford that extra impulse buy, shop name brands, and know we’re helping the environment at the same time. Even better, with Heaven’s Treasures Thrift and Value, you know you are helping to support your local community members running nonprofits that second chance employment, homelessness, and those struggling to make good life choices.