I’m only a few shelves away from having all of the books I need! It’s really hard to believe, yet also crazy to think how much time I’ve spent on this. It hasn’t been as expensive as I had thought it might be, but it also hasn’t been as easy. A few years ago I would have gone straight to Red Racks and bought loads of their books for a quick fill, but that just wasn’t an option this go around. You want to know why?
Because my local Red Racks now charges $4.98 for a hardback book. $4.98?!? At a store that got that Danielle Steele book that everyone and their uncle ok, maybe aunt has for free. Just a few years ago those same books would have been $1.99 (and quite often 50% off of that) but thanks to thrifting loosing it’s stigma everyone is darkening the doors, and these stores are getting corporate and seeing dollar signs.
Thrift stores used to be a place I would go when I didn’t have much money to spend. There’s no guarantee of finding anything good, but the time was worth the investment if you came across something of value because you knew you were getting a great deal. But when you search and search and find some nice drinking glasses that cost more than buying a set new, you start to question the use of your time. So, I’ve been getting my secondhand fixes in other ways. Estate sales are still on my list for 2016, and Craigslist will always be a favorite for larger items.
For these books I found quite a few at estate sales and the rest through stretching my thrift store boundaries. A reader mentioned that a locally owned thrift shop a bit outside my usual stomping grounds had a large selection of books. I had been there before, but didn’t frequent it. It was walking in that I realized why I had never really looked through their books: they had too many to spend time on in my pit stops between errands! Aisles of books for 50 cents a piece, displays of glassware for 25 cents to $1, furniture for $15-30 and almost always half off. THIS is what thrifting is supposed to look like.
I’ve been back three times, and every time I learn something else about the place that makes me want to keep coming back. They really are a true charity shop, started as a clothing drive that grew into a store offering prices almost anyone can afford (all clothing is $1.98) and vouchers for those who can’t. In need of diapers? They’ve got a pantry. Need some food? There’s a pantry for that too. It’s simple and humble and filled with people trying to be a light in the dark.
I love knowing I’m putting my dollars into a place that’s directly impacting our community…not some C.E.O.’s pocketbook. It’s a bit out of the way, but I plan to take our no-longer-needed items to Frugal’s from now on and will definitely shop there first. If you’re in Kansas City, I recommend checking out Frugal’s Family Thrift Store in Independence. As a thrifter, it’s a really refreshing experience.
What’s your take on thrift stores? Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way. Do you have some gems you frequent?