The Smart Shopper
by Pat Swartley
As Christian women, one of the best ways
we can be good stewards of what God has given us is to shop wisely,
making every penny count. How can you find fabulous bargains for a
fraction of their original cost? I'm going to tell you one of the best
kept secrets of smart shoppers: Shop resale.
Wait! Don't touch that mouse! Resale is
one of the fastest growing segments of the retail industry, according to
National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops. Today as never
before, savvy shoppers are leaving the malls and discount stores and
heading out to their neighborhood resale and thrift shops.
Why? To save money. They are looking
for a designer label suit with the tags still on it, or home furnishings
for 50‑75% less than the original retail price. And it is not uncommon
for an upscale resale shop to put out 500 or more new items on their
floor every week, so resale shopping can become an exciting adventure
you'll want to do often. But the true gold mine is in the constant
savings resale shoppers realize every day, which helps them to become
good stewards of God's bounty. Resale shopping is not just for those on
a budget, but rather, it is for those who want to spend money wisely,
while beautifully outfitting their family and home.
One of the biggest surprises for a new
resale shopper is discovering the variety and quality of merchandise in
resale shops. Some shops sell everything and anything; other shops
specialize. Ladies resale is very popular, but many sell clothing for
the entire family. Furniture and children's resale have been the
fastest growing types of resale shops. I once bought a beautiful high
quality leather couch and loveseat that looked like new, for only
$1,200. (original retail price was over $5,000). I also purchased a
bed, mattress, changing table, highchair, stroller, swing, and other
assorted nursery items for under $300‑and all of it was brand new.
One reason some people shy away from
resale is because they have the illusion that everything is… well…
used. And sometimes the thought is that used also means old
and worn out. The truth is, resale shops today are very selective in
accepting merchandise for sale. Also, some shops consign or purchase
new, out of season stock from upscale retail stores or stores going out
Resale shops carry "pre‑owned"
merchandise, which can be slightly used or even brand new. Every one of
you has something stored in your closet or house that has never been
used for one reason or other. Smart shoppers take those items to their
local resale shop to sell on consignment. Remember that sweater you got
for Christmas that was wrong size? And that fancy kitchen gadget you
never used? Open a consignment account and sell those items! Are you
looking for a way to give more to missions, or to a special need at your
church? This could be one way to earn the cash. (In a later article we
will discuss the benefits of consignment over selling through a garage
Now that I have you motivated to want to
shop resale, let me give you some websites to help you find a good
resale shop near you, and a website for shopping resale on‑line.
The South Texas Association of Resale
Shops has a website which lists their member shops and also has tips on
how to shop resale and consign. Visit
The National Association of Resale and
www.NARTS.org, has a national list of their members in the
"Shopping" guide section on their site. You may also send a
self‑addressed stamped envelope to them to receive a listing of member
shops in your area. Enclose a check for $3.00 and send to:
NARTS, P. O. Box 80707, St. Clair
Shores, MI 48080‑0707.
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