Avoiding Black Friday: The College Woman’s Shopping Alternative

By Rachael Smith, Student at Radford University

Black Friday is here and that means it’s time to SHOP! While everyone is focused on hitting up major markets like Walmart, Forever 21 and Best Buy and spending the big bucks for their merchandise, try a unique shopping method.

Yes, a lot of people may think of the Goodwill as a place to go only when a 80s-themed party is thrown, otherwise it is just the low-priced building filled with grandmas and old clothes.

However, I am here to tell you: Thrift stores rock! Give them a chance. Everyone has seen some kind of effect from the economic crisis and a lot of us have to tighten up with senses. So first, here are some reasons why they do indeed rock:

They’re cheap
Basically at secondhand stores, everything is on sale. True, most of it is used, but employees usually are only allowed to take items that are gently used. They throw out anything that has stains or tears.

If you think about it, everything in the store has a background and story. I’ve found things that stores used to sell and don’t anymore and it’s impossible to find again.

They stand for something
Most thrift stores have a mission statement to help people. Goodwill helps put people to work who are unemployed, the Salvation Army is religion based and spreads the word of Christianity, The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Thrift Store relies on donations to help out veterans as well as other charities.


Now that you’re shopping, it's important to bear in mind a few things. Thrift store shopping is different from any other shopping because you never know what that day so remember these tips:

Be patient
If you plan to spend only five minutes shopping, don’t go at all. Some of the greatest treasures are hidden and they take time to be found. You may end up finding something you were never looking for in the first place.

Don’t be afraid to bargain
It never hurts to ask if the owner will take less. Some places like the Goodwill can’t do this, but other places may work out a deal with you if you’re truly interested.

This is the 21st century
You can use a washing machine to clean any clothes you buy before you actually wear them. A lot of my friends are grossed out by secondhand clothing because it has been worn by someone you do not know. Fear not! You can use your own personal detergent to make it yours!


Remember: Just because you don’t get lucky on one shopping trip doesn’t mean you won’t find something the next time. Thrift stores will make your wallet happy and may even turn you into a discount junkie!


Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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