Thrift shopping remains big business despite the down economy.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports sales across the industry are up 5% over the last year, according to the Association of Resale Professionals. Thrifting has gone mainstream, with some stores introducing loyalty programs, private shopping hours, frequent shopper cards with discounts and more.
For example, one Goodwill is offering 25% discounts when you reach $250 in spending. Another has a loyalty program where you start earning discounts when you spend your first $20.
The private sale hours are particularly popular at places that sell designer goods. I’ve heard of people who have expertise in vintage clothing, art or collectibles that make a living visiting thrift stores and yard sales to buy items at a discount and then resell them on eBay.
The point is, buying second hand has become a first choice for saving money, either out of necessity for people or because they’re thrifty.
All three of my kids went through elementary school wearing used clothes. My mom was really unhappy about that, particularly with my first daughter who is now in college. Every birthday, my mother would buy nice clothes for her granddaughter!
The funny thing is now that my daughter is grown up, she’s the most brand conscious person I know, so I guess my idea of trying to make her thrifty backfired on me!
Editor’s note: This segment originally aired Jan. 27, 2012