When most people think about thrift stores, they imagine musty aisles filled with broken toys, knick knacks and outgrown clothes which have been tossed aside by people without the patience to have their own rummage sales. I however have a different attitude towards those shops filled with cheap goods awaiting a home. I have discovered treasure in those shops in the form of brand new merchandise. Yes, on a regular basis my wife and I purchase unused items with the tags still on them, and we buy them at absolutely rock bottom prices.
You see, thrift stores get their merchandise from many more sources than just their dedicated drop off sites. Manufacturers can often take handsome tax deductions by donating their discontinued goods and irregular items to charitable organizations. When small retailers go out of business, they sometimes have unsold inventory picked up by organizations such as The Salvation Army, Goodwill and other smaller operations. Even large chain discount stores sometimes get into the act by donating open box items, discontinued styles and display goods.
I have included with this blog post a small gallery of still tagged items we have on hand right now. These and many other pieces like them make up the bulk of my wife's inventory which she sells on eBay and HiBidder.com. Most of the time the new items have had the tags already removed from them but sometimes we find them with retail tags still attached and looking like they were just purchased at your favorite shop in the mall. Don't let the prices that resale shops charge fool you, often times you can find first class merchandise in those shops and they'll sell it to you for far less than you'd expect to pay at Wal-Mart.
This post was written as part of a series on how to thrift shop smarter. Read more on what to buy, and not to buy, at thrift stores.
To Thrift or Not to Thrift: There's a goldmine out there!