Thrifted Wicker Lunch Box

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This little gem cost me $2.99 at my Goodwill. I have torn the inside lining out because it was stained and the elastic was dry-rotted (the elastic was intended to hold utensils and condiments), and plan to use it as a handbag.

 

 

My New York City Shopping Trips Part II: Greenwich Village’s Curated Goodwill Store

My record shop craving having been fulfilled, I now wanted to seek out some thrift stores and swanky vintage boutiques.

2. “Curated” Goodwill Thrift Store 

Address: W. 8th Street between MacDougal and Sixth Avenue

In my pre-trip research, I read this article about a curated Goodwill store in Greenwich Village. With all the talk of Ferragamo, vintage Dior, Ann Taylor, and other name-drops, I was so excited to check it out, I could hardly keep my pants on. Maybe I just have bad luck, but the only designer items I saw were in the window display, and those there being held for a silent auction. The window had some 90s Jimmy Choo clogs and Kate Spade heels, but nothing really relevant to current trends.

Don’t get me wrong, you can certain tell that someone was hand-picking all the items — there wasn’t any junk or damaged items like you might see in your average Goodwill, but all in all, it seemed like it had already been picked over. It is in a swanky neighborhood with a lot of vintage stores in the vicinity, after all… but, it was still fun to look. The store was clean and well organized, which is impressive, considering the amount of people who are in and out each day. Long story short, I left empty handed.

Final thoughts: Check it out if you’re in the area, but don’t make a special trip.

 

Are thrift stores getting too pricey?

Items for sale in my etsy store!

It has been quite awhile since I last visited Goodwill, so I thought I’d make the trip this evening. I got some really amazing finds this time, and I am really excited to get it all cleaned up and ready to photograph for you all. (Though they were great finds, they need some serious TLC — including dry cleaning.)

But… something is bothering me. Every time I visit Goodwill, I see the prices go up and up. Intellectually, I understand that stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army bolster valuable charity programs. That’s awesome! However, these stores are selling used goods, often in need of dry cleaning, laundering, and sometimes repairs. Today I saw six fall and winter jackets that were priced at $50. That’s essentially retail price. Sure, they might be real leather, or “vintage,” but that doesn’t mean they’re worth the price of a brand new jacket. Many of these coats had dirt, stains, and tears on them. This is absolutely ridiculous. Just because an item is made of leather doesn’t mean its worth the price of a new garment. Just because an item is old enough to qualify as vintage does not mean it is worth the price that a curated vintage boutique would charge. Vintage shops sell items for higher prices because the items are still chic and fashionable and still in a wearable condition. No one is going to buy those jackets. They were in cuts and designs that are not translatable to today’s fashion, and they were stinky and in very used shape. Shouldn’t the price reflect that? Is Goodwill getting greedy? Who is determining these prices? These are all DONATED ITEMS. $50 is just too much.

Intellectually, I understand that stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army bolster valuable charity programs. That’s awesome! However, these stores are selling used goods, often in need of dry cleaning, laundering, and sometimes repairs. I am forced to wonder if they realize that it’s not just the people on the receiving end of the charity efforts who stand to gain from these types of thrift stores — there are a lot of people who do all their clothing shopping at second-hand stores because of low income. A lot of families cannot afford to buy retail, and stores like Goodwill offer them a chance to shop for a variety of styles, brands, and seasons that would not be available to them otherwise. They get a chance to have some say in their personal style because of the variety second-hand shops offer.

How do you feel about this issue? Personally, if I want something bad enough, I will buy it anyway. The fact that part of the sales go to charity makes that easier, but now that they’re upping the prices on more mundane and generic items as well, I am disheartened. Is the art of the thrift store hunt in danger? Let me know what you think with a comment. Click the text bubble next to this entry’s title to chime in.