On The Utility Of Thrift Stores

People who know me well know that I don’t like to shop. The exceptions to that rule are hardware stores, grocery stores and thrift shops. About once every few months, I get the itch to see what’s on consignment-sale in the area. I have a circuit of six stores that I visit around town. I usually don’t buy anything, but every now and then I see something in good shape at a price that’s unbeatable and I buy it.

For instance, one time I picked up eight steel folding chairs for $4 a piece. Those are always good to have in the garage. Another time, I bought some brand new Timberland hiking boots for $3. I’ve bought everything from picture frames to audio speakers to specialty barware. The best things to buy are steel products like a boxspring frame for my homemade guest bedroom set and non-electro-mechanical garden tools like a grass seed spreader. You can tell right away if the products are in good shape, they last forever, and you end up saving a ton of money.

A few years ago, I bought a used bike. I had been looking for one that would be useful to ride to work, meaning it needed fenders to block water spray and a rack to hold my laptop bag. After a lot of fruitless searching, I found the perfect one at a consignment store for $60. It’s an old 10-Speed Raleigh Sprite Mixte (circa 1978).

I just learned Raleigh rolled out a new line of single-gear (non-“fixie”) urban bicycles aimed at the yuppy/hipster demographic. It’s called the Raleigh One Way, and it retails for $750.

The One Way: ($750)

My Bike: ($60)

Thrift stores are the best. Of course, you have to be willing to make five fruitless trips before you find something you really like. But when you do buy something, it’s usually a steal. The fact that your money goes into the coffers of a charity is just icing on the cake.

For more information about cycling in Greenville, click here.

On The Utility Of Thrift Stores
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