While my boyfriend and I were visiting San Diego this weekend for a falconry lesson, I stopped in at a Goodwill in La Jolla for a little field research. Since a posh city usually means a posh thrift store, I had high hopes for it. Overall, it was well worth a visit, and I give them especially high marks for presentation. Overall rating: B
What to buy:
1. Jewelry. All their jewelry was tucked away behind glass cases, which was inconvenient as well as mysterious, since it was almost entirely composed of plastic. However, it was reasonably priced, ranging from $1 to $3, so it’s worth a look if you’re in the market.
2. Clothes. Each item was priced individually, which I always prefer, but the pricing did not always take labels into account. Thus, Arizona jeans from JC Penney were $6.99, when you can easily get new ones for a $20 on sale, and yet the Tahari dress was a mere $7.99 — good luck getting a new dress from them for under $200. (It didn’t look super recent, but still.) Similarly, this wrinkled Banana Republic shirt could be yours for $4.99, while this Ted Baker dress shirt could be rocking the world of you and those around you for a mere dollar more.
3. Scarves. Like ties, scarves are a great item to purchase used, because they are typically in excellent condition from infrequent wearing. They had an attractive display of scarves priced at $2.99 and $3.99. It’s hard to get any new scarf for less than $15.00, and some of these were from nice makers. If you get a long one, learn from your predecessors.
Things to avoid:
2. Decorative items. Places like World Market and Pier One base their entire business on your perceived need to fill your house with useless crap. The vases, statues, and ornaments of the world rarely seem dated, and are always available in the sale rack of any CVS, TJ Maxx or Cost Plus, so use caution when turning to a thrift store for your decorating needs. It’s not at all unusual to see an item like this glass vase priced at $.99 at a thrift store and turn it over (as I did in this instance) to see the original price tag of $2.00. Sometimes I’ve actually seen the original store tag be cheaper than the thrift store price.
A comparable version of this nutcracker, priced at $4.99 here, is available right now for $10.50, and when they all go on sale right after Christmas, it will be a lot cheaper than that, believe you me.
Similarly, this Lenox China Gilded Garden basket, while very nice quality, was priced at $49.99, while a comparable new one I found is going for $53.99.
All in all: walk, don’t run. P.S. If you’d like to learn how to hunt jackrabbit with a bird of prey or simply have it land gently on your leather-gloved arm, get in touch with Sky Falconry.
View the photo album of this Goodwill here.