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Baby Boomers Are Responsible For 50% Of All Money Spent At Thrift And Resale Stores

On National Thrift Shop Day on August 17th, get ready for some bargain shopping! Nearly every town in the United States offers a thrift shop or second-hand store. So there’s no excuse not to celebrate.

  • Before thrift shopping became common, people usually liked to repurpose their clothes. During the eighteenth century, many new ways of using old items were created.
  • By the late nineteenth century, the United States experienced a massive cultural shift. The Industrial Revolution increased the production of clothes and goods, while the pursuit of the American dream led to heightened immigration.
  • Many moved to urban areas, causing the process of buying new clothes and disposing of old ones to quicken. Pawnshops and scrap yards arose to provide for this need, but there was an unfavorable opinion surrounding clothes that were once owned by a stranger, as it indicated a lower social status.
  • Typically, charitable organizations run the stores to raise money according to the organization’s stated charitable purpose. The organization may also use some of the items to help others get back on their feet after a disaster or when times have been difficult.
  • A thrift store goes by many different names! This includes charity shop, second-hand store, resale shop, consignment store and hospice shop.
  • Clothing, furniture and household goods are great finds among the other hidden treasures within the walls of thrift shops across the country.
  • To some, shopping at a thrift store isn’t even about the price (that’s just a bonus!), but instead, it’s about the adventure of finding vintage and antique items.
  • Redecorate on a budget – Thrifty shoppers know styles come and go. Find the one you’re looking for at the thrift store.
  • Clothes Mentor Naples

    Dress for less – No matter the occasion, #CelebrateEveryDay with styles galore!

  • Enhance your budget – By saving money through thrift shopping, you’ll have more money for more important things.
  • Expand your library – Books of all kinds find their way to thrift stores.
  • Any article of clothing you buy should be washed before wearing (with the exception of anything that requires dry cleaning).
  • There are things you shouldn’t buy at a thrift store. Here’s a list of 40 Things You Should Never Buy at a Thrift Store.
  • Thrift shops reflected the department stores of the time in the 1920s. Initial impressions began to change after thrift shops stopped being known as “junk shops.”
  • By 1935, there were nearly 100 Goodwill stores nationwide and they were useful during hard times the nation faced.
  • The Great Depression and World War II made thrift shops more viable as a more affordable option to full-priced stores. People warmed up to the idea of thrift shops as a way to find vintage items and niche goods, and ever since, the thrift shop has steadily shed its negative image.
  • While there’s no “perfect” day to shop in second-hand stores, many regulars swear by shopping early on Monday and Tuesday. Homeowners tend to drop off garage sale leftovers on Sunday nights!
  • Thrift comes from the old Norse word “prift” which means “prosperity.”
  • Rapper Macklemore’s 2012 song “Thrift Shop” reached number 1 on the Billboard charts.
  • 1879: The Salvation Army comes to the U.S
  • 1902: Goodwill Industries is founded in Boston.
  • 1919: The term “thrift shop” is coined.
  • 1974: Buffalo Exchange opens its first store in Tucson, AZ.
  • 1984- NARTS– The Association of Resale Professionals. Founded in 1984. Has noticed an increase in resale shops.
  • 1995 – eBay and Craigslist are founded
  • At a garage sale in 2000, a Fresno, California house painter noticed images of Yosemite National Park on glass plates of old photo negatives. After some negotiation, Rick Norsigian bought the lot for $45. He had a hunch the images were by the iconic nature photographer Ansel Adams, so Norsigian asked some experts. CNN reported that his find may have been worth more than $200 million.
  •  2006: Nashville, Tennessee thrift shop find for $ 2.48 turned out to be a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Sold for $477,650
  • 2009: thredUP is founded —an online thrift store for women’s and children’s clothing.
  • 2011: The RealReal and Poshmark are founded for the resale of luxury goods and as a peer-to-peer social networking resale platform, respectively.
  • In 2015, Zach Norris paid $5.99 for a watch at Goodwill, Phoenix. The watch was later discovered to be a rare 1959 Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm. It sold for $35,000
  • A bargain hunter picked up a $20 blue and white teapot in an online auction.  It turned out to be one of the first pieces of porcelain created in America. It was the work of John Bartlam, a well-known artisan from nearly 250 years ago. Though broken, the teapot sold at a  2018 auction for about $806,000.
  • Resale shops have grown 7% a year for the past two years, with over 25,000 stores in the US.
  • Approximately 16-18% of Americans shop at thrift stores and 12-15% shop at consignment or resale shops annually.
  • There are more than 25,000 consignment, resale, and not-for-profit shops operating in the thrift store industry in the U.S., which highlights that many of these stores offer high-quality goods at much lower prices than the MSRP.
  • 18-24-year-olds are the most frequent thrift store shoppers, with 40% of them visiting thrift stores in a month.
  • The average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing per year.
  • The average American buys 70% more clothing today than they did 20 years ago.
  • 51% of US consumers expect to buy secondhand over the next five years.
  • Baby boomers are responsible for 50% of all money spent at thrift and resale stores.


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