If you cannot see the above video please check it out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi2LCAuhDDk
I would like to talk a little bit about my awkward excursion to Value Village last week where I discovered this enchanting work of art, a print if you will by Michelle Armas. I was actually looking for boots which I discovered (see my post Boot Lust) when across the store I could see this fascinating not to mention huge piece of art along the back wall. All of my favourite colours pulled me in from afar. I managed to get this 48×36 frame down off the wall to my delight it was only $24.99… naturally I had a coupon too so less than $20 by the end of it.
Getting it into my new car was a feat I must say. The Tucson was certainly the most spacious ride I had for thrifting, it made my life easy. Now the Civic Si shows off my bold personality but does not compare in regards to trunk room! Sports cars not good for large scale thrift adventures! I managed to wedge the frame into the trunk and slowly made my way about 2 minutes down the road to work to unload. Once inside I was able to look at it closer and found a sticker on the back of the frame with Michelle’s logo and Etsy website.
After scrolling through the most beautiful artwork on her page I came across “Elka Three Print” for $60. This beautiful print was wrapped on a wood frame and now waits in my hallway for the perfect wall to display her.
I have skipped plenty of Value Village half price weekends this year as sometimes thrifting loses its thrill when the price points start creeping up and I don’t see the value in it. Last weekend I decided to spontaneously treat myself to a morning away (as in a two hour drive) to Ottawa to hit up the Value Village circuit for the Super Saver’s half price day. I like to be there for 10:00am when it opens that way I can get a cart and the clothing isn’t absolutely everywhere as per my second stop an hour later.
By the time I get in there are already women rummaging through every row so I get in line as it were and start the plunge. I thrift to resell far easier than I thrift for myself. I know at this stage of the game what will sell the fastest and what the women in Kingston are looking for. Mainly tops, bright prints and clean lines. I spent $180 in the first location I stopped at, which is over $300 in product, roughly $3 per item! The most expensive item I bought was $20, so I paid $10… I flipped this wonderful item at the store within two days to bring home a $40 profit!
I was hoping to turn a profit on a Kathy van Zeeland bag I found for $6… unfortunately even after examining it I realize the shiny finish was completely peeling away. Can’t imagine how I would have missed it in the store as I comb through everything after discovering these items. Sadly not much you can do but shrug your shoulders and toss it.
I have two favourite finds at the end of this haul: a nameless white lace long sleeved mini dress and a vibrant neon print dress by Sandra Angelozzi. I paid $3 for the white number and wore it the next day, I had not expected it to even remotely fit but my gosh its a beauty!
The neon print dress the cashier commented on how she loved it but donated it because the top was too gappy on her – it was on me too always is! So in the early hours of the morning before work I took it up in the shoulders as I so often do and it fits like a dream. After wearing it over the course of a regular busy work day I discovered it is not so good for bending!! I checked out the brand online and Sandra Angelozzi dresses range in the upwards of $200 ballpark! Not bad for $6!
May 2nd – $21
May 9th – $42
May 24th – $18
Total purchases: $81
May 1 through 8th – $224
April 9 through 15th – $140
April 16 through 22th – $120
April 23 through 31th – $271
Total income: $755
Number of items consigned: 70
Consignment Income $755 – Spending $81 = Month End Balance $674
Wow this month I spent $11 over my budget with mostly housewares and a couple resale items that I sold at the store. All in all I’d say that’s not too shabby! I consigned less items this month and made roughly $100 less than last month. We can’t always have record-breaking months!
April 14th – $15
April 24th – $20
Total purchases: $35
April 1 through 10th – $206
April 11 through 17th – $195
April 18 through 24th – $349
April 25 through 30th – $94
Total income: $844
Number of items consigned: 105
Consignment Income $844 – Spending $35 = Month End Balance $809
What I have learned recently is that it does pay to save off season thrifted items to consign. A lot of our clients are of the mindset “I’m clearing out, I want it gone now!” Which is fair and understandable. However, it is summer and you are trying to “get rid of” your very nice winter wears, you could simply throw them all into a Rubbermaid bin to store until the proper season and make some cash! When you do consign right (based on the store) you can make a great supplement income with minimal effort involved.
Even a return of $2 on an item is $2 more than you had before. The better the item, the faster it sells, the greater the return value. Some items I can get $18 for, some I get $2… it is a gamble but like I said, its more than you had just throwing it away. Now having said that, sometimes things don’t sell at all and you have to donate it anyway. Nothing lost!
March 28th – $34
Total purchases: $34
March 1 through 6th – $141
March 7 through 13th – $241
March 14 through 20th – $269
March 21 through 27th – $148
March 28 through 31st – $133
Total income: $932
Number of items consigned: 144
Consignment Income $932 – Spending $34 = Month End Balance $898
I’m at a loss for words what can I say? When I set my mind to do something I follow through full tilt. Since deciding to purchase my first home (which I haven’t found yet!) I have completely put a halt on my spending. I visited Value Village maybe twice this month and only spent $34… I also sold some items on Kijiji which just increased my home savings.
I think the boost in sales is mostly in part to finally being able to consign spring items which in my opinion sell far better than anything else. Everyone here is chomping at the bit for warmer weather and sunshine! It does pay to save your off-season items!
I am often asked about how I can afford to thrift as much as I do, they suggest my wardrobe is massive and bursting at the seams. I buy a lot of clothes, that we will admit up front. But I am buying clothing at a fraction of the retail price so you need to change your way of calculating. I only buy secondhand knowing that I get bored of things and change my style frequently. I also have the ability to open up my closet on any given day and pull out a ton of pieces that are not screaming my name.
Most people are not able to be this brutal as most people think of how much they spent and have an emotional attachment to things. The most emotional attachment I have ever felt with clothing is my inability to wear it after experiencing something traumatic or unpleasant in that outfit. For instance if someone broke your heart and the red dress was their favourite, you’re not likely going to want to wear it again because it will remind you. I have had a few items that have been tainted by experience so I need to remove them from my closet.
Don’t get me wrong I do donate a lot of items, but many items are still in great condition and worthy of generating extra cash. In working at a consignment store I know exactly what to look for and what will sell to our clientele. Each store has its own processes and requirements, so I can only speak to our way of doing things. Let me tell you a little bit about how consignment works.
Lightly worn items are brought into the store clean, pressed and ready to go on hangers. These are items that are in style, in season and purchased within the last two years. My job is to analyze each item that is brought in to decide if it is suitable for resale, quality and if we would potentially have a buyer for it. Once I decide to keep an item I change it over to our hangers and double check that there are no stains, rips or flaws. Once I have processed all the items I return the hangers along with any “no thank yous”. Continue Reading
If you cannot view the video above, please check it out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwYxutG-jJg
The number one question a thrift-lover is asked on a regular basis is: “How do you ever find anything?!” The thing about thrifters is we don’t see these shops as gross, we look past the scent lingering in the air from unwashed clothing, we see the limitless potential in every piece we see. The fun is in the search, the reward is discovering that magical piece whether its clothing, home decor or furniture. In these stores it is all one of a kind and to me, that’s something special.
I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos and read plenty of blogs regarding the do’s and don’ts of thrift shopping. They all have similar points but a few I would disagree with based on how I go about it.
Try it on or wear your thrifting uniform
I used to load up a cart with items that looked like they would fit, I was pretty certain I was about this size and if not well I didn’t spend much so it’s okay. Its this attitude that gets you spending and wasting. More recently I have been taking the time to try things on, even if its just over top of my clothing. Now I don’t have a thrifting uniform (leggings, tank top as your base layers with easy to slip off shoes) I just go after work so whatever I’m wearing is how it is. Granted, this doesn’t make it easy usually for trying things on – so I have to really love it before I go through the effort in the change room.
I thought this year I would try tracking my purchases and consignment income a little more closely based on the success of my first year of the “Thrift Challenge“.
Value Village half price sale purchases total:
January 10th – $160 Belleville ($100 in consignment-worthy goods)
January 11th – $38 Kingston
January 20th – $56
Total purchases: $254
January 4 through 10th – $105
January 11 through 17th – $37
January 18th through 24th – $70
January 25th through 31st – $137
Total income: $349
Number of items consigned: 55
Consignment Income $349 – Spending $254 = Month End Balance $95
This year I will be lowering my monthly spending goal to $70 per month with the exception of months where a half price sale is applicable as I take this as an opportunity to collect items for resale and therefore income! Sadly to start out the new year I painfully failed my goal, damn you half price days!