Do you Feel Guilty Shopping at Thrift Stores?

Posted by Mrs Money on October 6th, 2009

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AA036668Yesterday I spent a fair amount of time at thrift stores in the Ann Arbor area with my mom. There were a few interesting things that happened. As soon as we pulled up to the Salvation Army thrift store, we noticed the parking lot was FULL. My mom exclaimed “what, are they giving something away?!” I knew that wasn’t the case, but as this is pretty much my favorite thrift store ever I wanted to brave the crowds and go in anyway.

I wasn’t looking for much, just a pair of jeans or two, and luckily I found a pair that fit well. My mom found herself a pair, and we made our way up to the line. The line was seriously like 8 people long when we got in it. It was the longest line I’ve ever seen for a thrift store! We did wait in line, and when we checked out it was worth it. I got a pair of jeans for $3.99 plus half off of that, and my mom got hers for $5.99 plus half off (yellow tags and women’s jeans were half off.)

I almost felt guilty shopping at the thrift store. I can “afford” to shop for new clothes if I want to, and am I hurting all these other people that may need the clothes worse than me? I don’t know why, but that thought hit me when I was in there searching for deals with so many other people.

Have you ever felt guilty shopping at thrift stores?

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23 Responses to “Do you Feel Guilty Shopping at Thrift Stores?”


  1. Tiffany says:

    The thing is with thrift stores is that the money you give that store, goes to helping people get job training and get them back on their feet. You shouldn’t feel guilty for that… plus you get to flex your frugal muscle. It’s liberating to me to find such great deals and for such a good purpose.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    It’s liberating to me too. I love finding bargains! I didn’t think about me buying things there helping others at the time. I do feel much better about it now!

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  2. I seem to recall feeling a bit embarrassed as a teen, but I don’t believe I’ve ever felt *guilty*. Tiffany had a good point that usually the money goes to help people in need so you are helping out when you shop there.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it. I just felt like I was being greedy I guess. I grew up thrifting and it is one of my favorite things to do now! ;)

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  3. Robert says:

    My buddy bought a sportcoat for $5.99. Yeah, $5.99.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Awesome! It’s great to find good deals!

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  4. Kathy Lovin says:

    Tiffany (above comment) is absolutely right!

    Don’t feel at all guilty for shopping at thrift stores. For instance, when you shop at a Salvation Army store, the revenue generated from items sold is used to fund no-cost alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs for people in your community who need it!

    You are blessing others when you shop at The Salvation Army! Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Thanks, Kathy! I feel really good about my decision. :)

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  5. H Lee D says:

    I used to feel guilty, and then I changed my schema. Thrift stores aren’t just for people who can’t afford to shop in other places. They’re also for people who are green and want to re-use.

    Why buy new clothes when you can buy used clothes? Besides being better for your purse, it is better for the earth. It’s recycling.

    Enjoy your cheap jeans :)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I love the green aspect of it too. I was just telling my mom that I think there are enough baby items in this world that there don’t need to be any new created! It seems like every yard sale and thrift store has a plethora of baby items!

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  6. Kittymoose says:

    I donate just as much as I buy from thrifts, so no. For example, I’m going as Velma for Halloween. I got almost the entire outfit (including shoes) from Goodwill, and since I have no further need for any of it, will donate when I’m done. Also, I clear out my closet about once a year and anything that I don’t want and can’t sell at a resale shop gets donated. Which, considering I never seem to be able to resell clothes (even designer, weird) that ends up to be about a whole box per year, much more than I’ve purchased.

    I also donate anything that is perfectly usable but I don’t have room for, like furniture, working appliances, etc.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I donate a lot of things too. It’s pretty cool to get rid of things and think of someone else loving what you just gave away. Your Halloween outfit sounds so cute!

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  7. Kacie says:

    I agree — thrift stores aren’t just for people who can’t afford to pay retail! They’re for people who like to recycle, who like to support charities with their money, and who would be better served to spend less on clothes/stuff and put their savings toward other things.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I hadn’t considered the supporting charity aspect of it, and that makes me want to go even more now. :) I’m all about voting with my dollars!

    [Reply]

  8. Miss M says:

    Like a previous commenter said, the thrift stores are using the profits to help the community. You aren’t taking something away from another person, your money will go to a useful purchase. I haven’t shopped on in many years simply because I don’t have the patience to sift through rack after rack looking for the one item that actually fits and is a style I’ll wear.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    It does take so much time! I have a list of things we need so that I don’t go in any buy a ton of stuff. That really helps!

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  9. cavewoman says:

    I agree with all of the comments here: helping the public at large, helping the environment too. No need for embarassment. Thrifting is awesome fun, cheap entertainment, and a good way to supply yourself with the things you really need.

    I wish we had better thrift stores where I live. I can always find awesome furniture, but subpar clothing.

    The best I can hope for concerning clothing are good yard sales and consignment. It appeals to the greenie in me. (:

    Yea for thift shopping!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Where I live, we have a couple good ones, but not like the Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor area! They were awesome up there. I really enjoyed them!

    [Reply]

  10. jesinalbuquerque says:

    Have you ever seen a thrift store that was short on merchandise? Believe me, they’re praying you’ll buy their stuff. It’s how they survive.

    [Reply]


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