Lisa2014_1Second hand stores are popping up everywhere these days, while bringing a new kind of client to shop in their thrift stores. People from all walks of life have tightened their belts when it comes to spending money. Thrift shops have been around for years, but there is a “new” kind of retail moving up, not to mention opening more stores; Goodwill being one of them.

Goodwill was founded in 1902 by a Rev. Edgar J. Helms in the south part of Boston. He was a Methodist minister with a vision of helping others; a social innovator. He collected items from the wealthier  parts of town,(items which were broken, unwanted or needed), and hired on those less fortunate, so he could train them to mend or repair the goods, and then resold them; at times giving them back to those that repaired the items for pay. It was never about a “hand out” to the less fortunate; it was described as a “hand up,” and became the philosophy for Goodwill. They are a global social services enterprise, priding themselves on building stronger families, offering job training, and placement services; helping those with disabilities as well. To find out more information online you may search , or call 1-800-741-0186.

Thrift stores of all kind can offer a variety of items besides clothing; ranging from vintage items, to even some new items (which may still have the original price tag on them). The newer Goodwill stores are extremely neat, organized; offer new clothing items and some of them have enclosed (locked) glass cases which have more expensive items for sale. Depending on where you live, different types of organizations have certain locations, however … locally (consumer) owned thrift & antique stores are everywhere. Sometimes it’s interesting to stop in somewhere while traveling a distance; you may find a unique or rare item which might interest you. As for me, it seems to be a walk through time… as if I’m in the past, some years ago. It’s nostalgic for sure.

There are also consignment stores, which are second hand stores that will except your “better” clothing items (or household item)… then price them, taking a percentage for themselves as well, once they sell. I don’t know anyone who enjoys taking a loss when it comes to money, so for these people there are webpages such as eBay, craigslist and so on. If you are looking for used ‘high end’ items, such as handbags, clothing and whatnot, I recently found a site which wasn’t badly priced (for the elite shopper of course). Its  and not all items are shipped from the USA, so be cautious when shopping. As always, no matter where your purchase comes from, be aware of the rules. Some places will offer returns with the proper receipt, even if it is used or seconds, but not all stores. Also, for what it’s worth… please remember, while shopping at Goodwill Industries (among others not mentioned), you are helping others in some small way; and what’s not good about that? They may have called it “Hand up” … but today… we call it “Pay it Forward.”

Make your week count.