thrift-store-shoppingWhen rich kids want to look cool, they shop at thrift stores to look poor. When unemployed people want to look clothed, they shop at thrift stores so they don’t get arrested for wearing nothing but their tattered former company’s t-shirt and dirty socks. Thrift stores, “in this economy”, are the unemployed’s best friend when it comes to getting what they need for relatively cheap.

Rather than buy something at full retail price or surf Craigslist’s free stuff section for days on end trolling for a microwave or cute (read: ugly) dress, the unemployed will sometimes bite the bullet and head to their local thrift store as a compromise. Although futilely searching online in hopes that someone will cough it up for free is obviously the cheapest way to go about getting stuff, going thrifting is often a better way to kill a lot of time while saving a bit of money. Depending on who runs the thrift store, the experience can either be very corporate or very “what the hell?” where the unemployed have to spend half an hour sifting through a box of broken can openers to get to whatever they’re looking for – a winter coat in the middle of summer.

If the unemployed are not afraid of soiling their hands, they could very well spend hours sifting through a mess in their quest for the perfect outfit for less than ten dollars. Although it can be daunting for someone who never considered wearing used clothing prior to becoming down on their luck, the idea of saving money while also obtaining street cred for wearing vintage stuff is enough to drive the unemployed into becoming expert thrifters. The thrill of the chase becomes addictive and soon enough the unemployed are hooked on buying used goods ranging from smelly books to eclectic dish sets with high lead content from the 1970s to muumuu’s for those stay-in-bed lady days to board games with missing pieces. When a certain old smell starts to emanate from the unemployed’s belongings, it becomes pretty clear that from that point forward, no thrift store can be passed without the unemployed having to step inside “just to look” for things they no longer need but want to get anyway because shopping at thrift stores is just that cool.

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17 Responses to “#143 Thrift Stores”

  1. Heather says:

    Thrift stores are so fun! Taking 20 bucks in and coming out with two bags full of stuff. I haven’t been laid off yet but it’s coming and I will continue to shop at thrift stores because it’s so fun! :)

  2. Bruce says:

    I can loose myself in thift stores for hours. Finding that book you never finished or a cassette tape from high school. At Goodwill watch for the “colored tag of the month” sign (or ask)which gives you 50% off the attached price tag. What a deal!

    • AmongTheRanks says:

      After 61 applications, I got a minimum wage job at a bakery. I’ve covered college kids shifts when they call in sick from hangovers, I’ve worked a 12 hour day when 3 people didn’t show up (arranging for childcare), and made positive changes that are in-use and effective. Today I’m gettting fired because a bunch of NEW college kids have been hired. I’ve always loved going to Good Will for my “therapy” and now…. I have more reason to go sooner ! Keep your chin up, all !

  3. Jenn M says:

    Also sign up for Freecycle.org Its totally free.

  4. theredrat says:

    I hate hipsters. Also, when did “thrift” mean paying 3x as much for some dad guy’s clothes as the dead guy paid when he bought them in 1954?

    Incidentally, they remind me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMg8V3nGNuY

  5. Jerry says:

    What are the best value meals in NYC? Anyone participated in a focus group at all? Any advice?

  6. you says:

    is anybody else out of unemployment? im so broke!

  7. Juliet says:

    Ha! Just did this and scored a Banana Republic NEW jacket, a barely worn REAL Louis Vuiton wallet, and the book Julie and Julia. All for under 20 dollars. Suck on that!

  8. Alex says:

    I’m not ‘unemployed’ but thrift stores are fun nontheless!

  9. Miriam says:

    Who needs thrift stores? I buy the latest fashions at Dots and Rainbow! Most stuff is five to fifteen bucks, including shoes and boots. Trendy and cheap!

  10. nojob says:

    I like how we are all bummed out over no money or work
    & the side adds have half-dressed russian girls who seem to
    be looking for us…hahaha! What’s that? They want to date us, too?
    We can actively message them until they find out we are
    unemployed!

  11. Polgara says:

    Once again totally wrong. Like Miriam mentioned the poor and unemployed are down at the supermarkets and wal marts buying giant packs of old person undies to wear because that’s what’s cheap. The employed and trendy are at ‘vintage’ clothing stores buying thier grandpa’s t-shirts for $20 a piece.

  12. If you do it well you can nab some Designer Bargains at places such as Oxfam. Ignorant old biddies are a frightful asset in this case.

  13. I also say ‘Ignore the Hating Voices’ and fucking well style yourself out so long as you are functional too, warm in winter, cool in summer, according to your climate. I am in the UK btw.

  14. not cheap enough says:

    I dont understand how i can drop off my unwanted clothes for free and then the same thrift shops have the nerve to tag prices as high as ten , twenty and thirty dollars?? Are you kidding me? How are they helping poor people when they pocket such profits!!???

    • Save America says:

      Who said they were trying to help the poor? They pay for the space to sell it, that costs money, their phone, electricity, etc. How are they going to sell stuff if they don’t have a store and people to run it? Businesses are for profit. The thing is, you don’t want the clothes, but you don’t want to just throw them away, so you give them away. Your choice. A thrift store employee, on the clock, picks up your clothes and other items from other people, sorts through it all, decides on a competitive price to maximize their investment when they decided to take other people’s toss-aways off their hands by way of supplying a convenient drop-off bin that they also had to pay for. Then they have to display it, taking up real-estate in their store and hope it isn’t damaged or stolen before someone who probably can afford brand new clothes comes in for kicks and buys it because it was so fun to get a 200 dollar bra for 30 dollars. What’s to kid about? How sure are you that their profits are excessive? Do you know if they even made a profit at all? You gave it away, but it wasn’t free, as you now realize. You didn’t say they could have it if they promise not to break even or benefit from it, did you? It doesn’t matter what something costs you, it matters what it’s market value is and the better you can estimate that, the better business person you are, and the better business you have. That is a plus for everyone. Now, What is your beef? You’re mad cuz you gave things away to a thrift store and you concluded that their pricing decision was somehow contributing to people being poor? I can’t tell if you are standing up for poor people wanting to get stuff for nothing or mad at poor people for trying to make a living by running a business.

  15. My college kids used to laugh at my thrift finds, now they go themselves. My son Nick’s greatest find to date a shirt with “Nick Danger” on the front.

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