While retailers struggle to sell anything no matter how much they slash prices, some thrift shops are raking it in. The guy who runs the Salvation Army's Chicago thrift shops says sales are up 26% -- and some people using the charity's other services are apologizing because they were regular donors before the economy went south.

This return to thrift is great news for the economy and the finances of those who are coming to their senses about waste and wasteful spending. But I wonder how it's affecting long-time thrifters. Is there more competition for bargains?

On the yard sale front, the coming season could be the best in a long time. With more and more families looking to raise some quick cash, yard salers should find themselves with plenty of sales to choose from -- and eager sellers willing to make deals.


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