The Do's and Don'ts of Goodwill shopping

When finding a bargain and some good style there are things to remember

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Pascal Albright | The Daily Wildcat The Goodwill, located at the south end of fourth Ave, offers discounted clothes, household items, books and more to the city of Tucson.This location gives students a 20 percent off discount when they show their student ID at checkout.

When it comes to saving a dime and finding that discount, college is the perfect time to practice. College students have to pay for tuition, food, housing, books and other necessities. 

For some, fashion is a necessity.

Like many young people, I find that my fashion is a statement of how I feel or how I want to present myself. That leads me to how one can save money and still look good. The answer? Bargain shopping, a.k.a. shopping at Goodwill.

Goodwill, a non-profit organization, not only provides job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs, but it is also funded by a massive network of retail thrift stores which operate as nonprofits as well.

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When it comes to finding a unique wardrobe while also saving money, Goodwill is the way to go. Here are some simple do’s and don’ts that you should learn.

The first thing with any thrift shopping is that you always need to wash before you wear. When you locate a good find, make the purchase and bring it home and — unless it’s a vest that you want to wear to a rap concert right after — wash that article before you wear it.

The second thing is that you should never pay more for less. If you purchase one shirt at a thrift shop, you should not pay the same as if you were buying three shirts.

Pascal Albright
Customers shopping at the fourth ave Goodwill look through blouses. The store gives discounts to its customers from weekly deals to daily deals.

The price range depends on what article of clothing you buy. A long-sleeved collared shirt should not be more than $7, while a t-shirt should not be more than $4.

“People who love thrift stores really love thrift stores. And they were gaining in popularity well before Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ made its best attempt ruin that trend,” said Andy McDonald from The Huffington Post. “In 2012, the number of thrift stores was up 12 percent from the previous two years. Data shows that in a given year, approximately 16 to 18 percent of Americans will shop at a thrift store.”

The third thing one should remember when thrift shopping is to be a cautious shopper. This means that when buying undergarments either don’t do it or buy wrapped. I don’t need to tell you that 25-cent underwear is too good a bargain.

That leads into the fourth point: If the deal is too high or too low for your liking, there is a better article of clothing to be found. You have to remember the fashion rules, too, like no stripes on stripes — unless of course there is a sports coat that you want to pair with some plaid pants, but that comes next.

Remembering fashion rules is important. Yes, you can have fun when shopping and getting a bargain, but remember to stay true to yourself. I assemble my fashion to mirror an upper New York style — at least, that’s what a woman in Goodwill once told me. I pay what I want but stay classy, and that is important to me when I shop.

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The location on Fourth Avenue is the only location in town that gives you that student discount. That is on top of any other discounts that are available, like color of the week, and you should use that to your advantage. There are articles of clothing that fit your style and are also low cost.

“You can create your own style,” McDonald said. “And you can do it using the past styles of so many others. We’re not here to judge the bowling alley computer you have in your living room. Hey, just do you.”

There are many more tips and tricks to a good thrift shop, and each location will vary. Just remember to wash, be cautious and find those good deals. Whether it be a big hat to match your yellow coat or a new suit or some spectacular spectacles, remember to have fun, save money and stay true to yourself.



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