Thrift Shopping with Goodwill Rewards Card

Posted On Monday, January 16th, 2012
Filed Under: Looking FLY on a Dime, Thrift Stores

Goodwill Rewards Card

I love Goodwill. I really do. I love it so much that I racked up more than 300 points on my Goodwill Rewards Card {read up on the card HERE}, which meant I have a total of $30 in coupons.

I popped in to the Goodwill in Harlem {2196 Fifth Ave} and was on the hunt for an awesome dress, but I kept striking out. I found a few pieces but I wasn’t exactly happy with the prices. A Donna Morgan dress was $10 {original price tag was still on, $178}.

Donna Morgan houndstooth dress

That wasn’t a bad deal compared to the original price but I kinda had my heart set on a dress under 10 bucks and the piece didn’t fit me perfectly. And then I found a Bebe sweater dress for $15.

Bebe sweater dress

No way! Maybe I’m just becoming super cheap or maybe thrift stores are becoming more expensive, especially in NYC.

I wasn’t willing to spend my points on anything less than an absolute gem. I was getting ready to walk out of the store with a serious case of disappointment but I ventured to the shoe section and found a pair of Nine West suede pumps…for $20. Um, that’s not a deal!
Nine West shoes, Goodwill
But on the next rack I spotted Stuart Weitzman patent pointy toe heels. And they were $13.

Stuart Weitzman booties, Goodwill

And a few feet away were peep toe booties by Luciano Padovan, also $13.
Luciano Padovan booties
I used $10 towards the purchase {you can only use one discount at a time} and the total for the two pairs of shoes came out to $16.

Thrift shopping can be discouraging when you don’t find exactly what you want, but my suggestions:

  • Go in with an open mind: it’s great to have a general idea of what you’re looking for but be flexible. If you’re only seeking a particular garment, in a particular color or material, you’re bound to be disappointed. Have a few pieces {little black dress, skinny jeans, wool trousers, etc} on your generic thrift wish list and any other gems you find will be added icing on the cake.
  • Go back often: the inventory at secondhand stores is always changed from day to day and even hour to hour. Striking out at a store on Sunday may equal tons of goodies when you go back a few days later. Just be patient.
  • Give yourself time: unless you’re a pro thrifter {and even if you are!}, try to allot at least an hour to browse the racks. It really does take time to leaf through racks or bins of clothes. And if you’re walking out after 20 or 30 minutes, there’s tons of merchandise that you’re missing out on.

Did you guys go thrift shopping this weekend? Have you noticed an increased price at your local secondhand store?

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14 thoughts on “Thrift Shopping with Goodwill Rewards Card

  1. Hi there! Love those patent Stu W’s and I thought the Donna Morgan dress was very pretty. I am with you on the increase of thrift store prices. But I find it is so random, for example a well-worn pair of Donald Pliners for 10 bucks right next to a barely worn pair of Steve Madden glitter stilettos (orig retail in the 120 range) for 5 bucks. Because of the wear, I would have expected the prices to be flip-flopped. Don’t get me wrong though, the deals are still way better than retail!

  2. I’ve been “blog stalking” you lately and just wanted to say you have a great blog. 

    I tried thrift shopping for the first time a few weeks ago and I had a rough time, but this post was encouraging. I will definitely try again. 

  3. Goodwill is too expensive for me. I like dark dingy thrift stores that require digging for finds. Today, I visited a new one with friends and scored 2 vintage wool skirts and a color blocked lined jersey dress for a little over $8.

  4. I noticed that the Goodwill has become very expensive too!  I notice they try to mark up well known brand names, but often you will find more expensive items marked very cheaply This is shown by your awesome shoe haul!

  5. The Goodwill around were I live is no good. Most of the clothing is tasteless & over sized. I used to visit a thrift store called “Unique” & found a white Calvin K. sundress for about $10, that last summer; now all they have is overpriced clothing prices according to label. Anything that might be brand name can cost you up to $100. I did find a lot of good things though, many cute cheap dresses from forever 21 to donna k. shorts.

  6. I’ve definitely noticed an increase in prices at thrift stores… to the point where I could get similar items for cheaper on the sale rack in the mall!! So what I did was pay special attention to the color tag sales at Salvation Army – like when all green tags are half price. That’s what I usually go for now. Love your blog!!

    • My Goodwill regular 75% off colour tag sales. It’s unbelievable! And because I’ve become so cheap due to thrifting, I ONLY purchase the colour that’s on special. Otherwise it defeats the purpose of the sale.

  7. Yes! My local Goodwill used to have fixed prices: $8 for blazers, $5.49 for shirts, $7 for jeans, etc. For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been noticing certain items priced higher, like  known designer blazers for $20 instead of the usual $8. That’s still a bargain, of course, but 20 bucks is real money, and it makes you think twice about buying. Also takes the thrill out of scoring a deal. That’s part of the fun of thrifting, isn’t it?

    Thrifting has made me so cheap, it’s not even a joke. I walk into The Gap and see a T-shirt for $10, and I’m like “WHAT? Highway robbery!!”. LOL.

  8. Hello!!! thank you for blogging…we have been thrift store shoppers for years…I have taught my daughters to buy second hand….many fun finds over the years!!!!! Keep up the great work, you are helping others to budget wisely….We appreciate what you do!

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  11. Pingback: One mom saves cash and keeps it classy thanks to thrift stores | Looking Fly on a Dime

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