Friday, June 7, 2013

Another Man's Trash...

I’ll admit it. I’m not a fan of second-hand things. I don’t go to yard sales, flea markets, and I’ve never bought a used car. I’m not tricked into thinking that something old is cool just because it’s called vintage. In my opinion, one man’s trash is usually another man’s trash. I kind of like things fresh and clean, so the idea of clothes shopping at a second-hand store would never occur to me. However, I have a co-worker who dresses well and she told me she gets a lot of her clothes at Goodwill. She encouraged me to give it a try. Another friend recently shared that she found a dress at Goodwill as well. So, I decided that I’d venture into our nearby Goodwill store.

As I entered the door with the ringing bell at the top, letting all the other shoppers know that I was there, I had Macklemore’s song “Thrift Shop” going through my head....”I’m gonna pop some twenty dollars in my pocket...” I scanned the overhead signs for the women’s department. I decided to start in the pants section because I did want some new capris. Much to my surprise, I did find a nice pair of Eddie Bauer capris. I looked them over carefully and saw nothing wrong with them. Then I saw the jeans. A pair of GAP ones that I like that normally cost $70. And then, the big find - a pair of Joe’s Jeans just hanging there in my size. Normally this pair would cost $165, which I’d never pay. I should have stated in my first paragraph that I like new things, but I’m sort of a tightwad in that I hate paying a lot. I do love a bargain and saving money. Anyway, I tried them on and they all fit. I was still feeling a little odd about wearing someone else’s pants, but I figured what the heck. I made my purchase and got change from that twenty dollars in my pocket...$4.28 to be exact.

Last night I washed my “new” clothes and this morning I wore my Joe’s Jeans. It was like they were meant for me - just the right length (many of my pants are too long due to my less than grand stature), I didn’t need a belt, and they were comfy. I was thrilled with my find! Maybe second-hand shopping wasn’t so bad after all.

At school I showed my Joe’s Jeans wearing friend the bargain I got on mine while she got ripped off paying full price for her brand new, unworn pair that she actually had to break in. Then I showed my Goodwill shopping colleague and she was thrilled that I had found as much joy at Goodwill as she did. I was practically becoming a spokesperson for Goodwill.

Fast forward to after school. I was on the couch reading my local paper, “The Sentry,” to catch up on the South Portland scoop and also the “Rumford Falls Times” to keep up with my hometown scoop. As I shifted positions, I felt a cool draft on my leg. I looked down and my beloved Joe’s Jeans had a tear in the inner thigh! What was I to do? I loved these things! I found the sewing kit, some denim-like material, and some iron-on adhesive tape. I’ll be darned if I’m going to let a little rip stop me! I’m going to get the most out of my $4.99 jeans!  In no time the pants were mended and I was back into my comfy Joe’s.

Sadly, I guess it’s true what they get what you pay for. I really wanted to fall in love with this Goodwill shopping. Who wouldn’t want to buy 3 pairs of pants for $15? Instead, I barely had time to bask in the glory of the ultimate find. I was betrayed by the bargain.

That may be my last adventure “from that thrift shop down the road...”


  1. I just found out that Goodwill gets large shipments from Target - with the tags still on... Stuff that just didn't sell, not returns.

    Also, do you have Nordstrom back there? If you open a credit card with them you get $100 worth of free alterations which includes patching and hemming jeans! And they don't require you to use the credit card AND they'll patch/alter anything, doesn't necessarily have to be bought from their store! (I've had jeans hemmed and patched there with great results)

  2. My friend told me that LL Bean also sends clothes to Goodwill. We just had a Nordstrom Rack open a few weeks ago. I wonder if they have the same policy?? Good to know!

  3. Oh don't give up hope on thrift shopping! I have a great consignment store downtown and I've gotten great deals like North Face, Patagonia, etc. And I just bought a super cute Nike half zip/thumbie shirt for Tucker tonight at the kid's consignment store!

  4. Would this not have happened if you actually paid $165 for these pants? Who's to say whether or not these pants were defective to begin with. Wasn't it worth the $4.99 it cost you for the rush you got making the find? (Just one stop at DD you gave up). You honed your creativity and practicality by mending the jeans to extend their life and keep them out of the landfill to help sustain the earth. Goodwill has recycled over 10 million pounds of textiles and with your purchase you played a part. Don't give up! Goodwill rocks!