Why Shopping at Thrift Stores can get Expensive

Let’s face it, we all love to save money, especially around the holiday season when spending exceeds the norm. And when scouting for good deals, what better place to look then a thrift store. To some they may represent poverty, but to most it’s a great place to score some savings on like new items, especially clothes. So you’re probably wondering, how can thrift store’s lose me money?

It’s actually pretty simple.

Have you ever seen a sale on something no one really needs, yet people are snatching it up like crazy? Sure you have. When a person sees something that cost’s less than it usually does, they most likely buy it, and in doing so, feel like they have saved money somewhere in the process. But in the long run they haven’t. Because if they never bought anything in the first place, they would have spent a total dollar amount of zero. Talk about savings, right?

So how can thrift shops, who most likely have the stingiest prices in town, lose you, the savage deal hunter, money? The same way big chain stores like Walmart make you spend more than you should: With cheap prices! Sure, Walmart has a much wider selection of items to drain your pockets, but the idea is the same. Everything in a thrift store is incredibly cheap, so most likely, you feel obliged to buy more than you normally would. Three dollars for brand new looking designer jeans? Why not get four of them, it’s still cheaper than one new pair? With awesome savings on clothes, electronics, furniture and whatever else people donate, you’re sure to spend a lot more than you planned on when entering the store.

To be clear, thrift stores don’t intend for this to happen on purpose, even if they’re aware it’s going on. Most of these stores offer used items at very low prices to help out the less fortunate. But with no manufacturing or purchasing costs on their items, and minimal employees, their prices really can’t get any lower. And that’s a threat to you and your wallet.

So when you know you’re going to be going to a thrift store, plan ahead, and have a general idea what you’re going to purchase. Write down the few things you really don’t want to buy brand new, and if they don’t have those items there, don’t buy anything. And with all hope you won’t fall prey to losing more money then you should, even if you think you’re saving.