If there’s one thing we love, it’s cheap prices at thrift stores.
I’m lucky that I’ve got the best thrift stores here in Maryland.
But this week I stumbled upon an upscale thrift store that made me stop in my tracks.
(See the other amazing stuff I found at the thrift store this week, too).
I’d never heard of this store, Life4Animals Thrift, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This was a new neighborhood about 30 minutes away (I live in Silver Spring). I was about to get into my van when I saw it. I had to stop!!
The first thing when I walked in was this massive dresser! The first thing I said to a passerby when she commented on how beautiful it was, was “Yeah, but how in the world am I going to get up there?”
Then I gasped when I read the pricetag:
Apparently dressers like this go for $13,000 (so said the employee), but still, there was no way I was paying that amount for a dresser. From a thrift store, at that.
I kept walking and saw this vintage buffet. It was pristine.
I noticed the price was $250.
Which made me wonder, “Would I pay $250 for a buffet?” I’m so used to finding buffets (like this vintage buffet I made over) for $50 or less, it was hard to imagine paying that amount.
I turned to my Thrift Diving Facebook page and posed the question: “Would you buy this buffet for $250?” and got a mix bag of responses, from “That is NOT a thrift store” to “It looks antique & if it is and in good condition I would pay $250.”
And I wondered what YOU would say…
Would YOU pay $250 for this buffet??
Yesterday I thought I wouldn’t.
But the more I thought about it, and how clean this thrift store was (excuse me, upscale thrift store, as they call themselves online), I think I would.
And here’s why:
7 Reasons Why I Would Pay Higher Prices at a Thrift Store
1. Organized = They Care
Talk about organized! This was so unlike my usual Value Village thrift store (located on New Hampshire and Powder Mill in the Hillandale shopping center, for all you locals). It was the difference between going to Walmart versus going to Walgreens, if that makes sense. Things here weren’t all scattered and misplaced. It looked like someone took thought to carefully place and arrange items, as if they were valuable and loved.
Even the kid’s section was cutely organized. My 3 sons could hang out in this spot while Mommy shops, and it felt more like a play area at a cool bookshop. I really liked that!
2. It didn’t smell!
You know that familiar thrifted odor, right? The kind that hits you in the face as soon as the door opens and makes you hold your breath? But then you realize you’d rather shop than faint, so you just adjust. HA!
When I leave my favorite thrift store, I want to douse my hands in disinfectant (don’t say you don’t want to do the same).
But this place….smelled normal. It was welcoming. It was cleaner. Less icky. And because of that, I think I’d be willing to spend more money if the “ICK” factor isn’t there.
3. They weren’t ripping people off.
They had this amazing mid-century modern buffet for $150. Again, although more expensive than what I usually buy, it was still a solid piece.
They had these end tables for $40 for the pair, which I thought was reasonable, too. I’ve paid $30 for one end table at Value Village, where I get all my deals. So $20 for one here was reasonable, I thought.
And the fact that I walked out of there with the cutest OWL BRACELET for only $3.00 (love it!!), and a wooden necklace for $3.00, it was a happy shopping experience! I liked that I could find treasures at cheaper price points without feeling like everything was jacked up. There was something there for everyone.
I also picked up this desk lamp for $10. It was solid!!!
And this Coach belt I got for $3.00, too!
And I got this mirror for $12! I’m going to spray paint it pink (maybe) and put it in my master bedroom, which I made over recently.
And I also picked up with metal little table with glass inserts, for $8!
Even though I didn’t get this headboard, the fact that it was $8.00 impressed me. I felt like it should have cost so much more. It would have been a fabulous bench!
4. It came highly recommended.
I love talking to other thrift divers. You get the whole story about a thrift store. One of the customers had found this ah-mazing coat rack for $40. She said she’d been shopping at this store for years, and that they had the best stuff. She was also a DIY-lover of painting furniture and making things over. You have to listen to the regulars. If they say it’s a great spot, then you’ve found a goldmine. We’ve got to support the good shops!
5. I’ve paid $250 for Ikea….so why not vintage??
I’ve probably paid more for my Ikea bedroom furniture that we’re still rockin’ after 12 years (it’s nailed together, though…just sayin’…). So why wouldn’t I pay $250 for a buffet that would probably last long enough to pass down to my children’s children’s children? It’s okay to pay for quality. (Now…I have to say, if you’re buying $250 furniture to resell, you won’t make much profit. But for yourself?? Go for it!
Let’s not forget the whole point of thrift stores: to do good for communities and causes.
So imagine if we spend $250 on a buffet. So what?? We’re helping a nonprofit (in this case, the Washington Animal Rescue League). Although, did you see the big stink going on about Savers and how they have been sued $1.8 million because they weren’t honest about the amount of their revenue goes to the non-profits they’re supposed to be supporting? Yep, read that article here. But for the most post, I think thrift stores are genuine, and our money goes to good causes.
7. We waste money on other things.
I could easily buy a blogging conference ticket for $250, which is a one or two day event, and then it’s over. Hopefully I would gain something from it that lasts a lifetime, but you know what I mean. If you can pay $250 for this or that, why not for quality furniture that will last a lifetime? Especially if it’s an in-demand piece like this buffet.
It’s all a matter of what we value. And while you don’t have to spend tons to get good furniture, when you do come across good furniture at a thrift store, don’t be afraid to pay a little more for it. In the end, you get your money’s worth!
So what about you?
Would you have bought any of these pieces of furniture for these prices? Have you ever turned down thrifted furniture because you thought it was too expensive? Leave a comment below and add to the conversation!