As a kid, no one wanted to be caught buying clothes from Goodwill, and getting hand-me-downs from older sisters was so not fair. However, as a college student, going for the vintage look is not only trendy, but practical.
As Macklemore explains in his song, the benefits of thrift shopping are endless, and one of the most apparent reasons people shop secondhand is to save money.
Tedi Kaidy, frequent thrift shopper and exploratory professional sophomore, said she prefers to frequent consignment shops rather than department stores because of the clear difference in prices.
“An obvious benefit is saving money, and being a super-broke college student, I definitely like that,” Kaidy said. “You can also get a lot more for your money. I can get a ton of stuff for $30 at a thrift store, but only one thing for that price at the mall.”
There are an assortment of thrift stores to choose from in San Marcos. Kaidy said Goodwill and Salvation Army are great picks, but that she prefers locally owned businesses.
“My favorite store is Retro Exchange near the Square,” Kaidy said. “They have good prices there and a lot of Texas State stuff for a lot cheaper than the bookstore sells it for.”
Kaidy said she likes the store’s secondhand clothes because they have a lot of character. Co-owner Melissa Mussler-Huerta of Retro Exchange would also agree.
“I like to find things that are unique,” Mussler-Huerta said. “I like to find stuff that people don’t have and find things from the past.”
Regarding people that do not know whether or not thrift shopping is for them, Mussler-Huerta said that saving money and recycling are good enough reasons to try it out.
“Look past the fact that it is a thrift store and really look at the clothes,” Mussler-Huerta said. “Spend more than five minutes in the store.”
Bobcats don’t just save money at thrift stores, Mussler-Huerta said. They can even make extra cash. Most thrift stores allow people to sell or trade their clothes to them. Depending on the store policy, by bringing in their clothing, customers are able to get store credit or cash on the spot.
Mev Allen, co-owner of Second To None Upscale Resale, said although they are not regular customers, Texas State students often come in to make some cash when they need to.
“I think that mom and dad’s cards buy most of the stuff they bring in, but when students need money, that is when they always come in asking if they can sell it to us,” Allen said. “We have people that get a nice little check from us, and can even make several hundred dollars a month.”
Other than finding affordable clothing or being able to sell unwanted items, shopping at a thrift store can be very beneficial for other reasons.
Local thrift store, Twice Blessed Consignment Shop, is a nonprofit store run by First United Methodist Church. Proceeds go to organizations such as the Salvation Army.
“A great benefit of shopping secondhand is supporting local businesses,” Kaidy said.