Sun Sentinel/MARK RANDALL
March 1, 2006
You'll often find great selection, good quality, and better-than-bargain prices at these stores. For example, you might spend $5 to $20 for decent clothing and $30 to $100 for furniture. The merchandise is generally in good shape. Clothing, for example, is not dirty or worn out. You'll find children's clothes that were quickly outgrown, or blouses and dresses that got little wear. Toys and games should include all parts; chipped dinnerware should be a rarity, and furniture and appliances should not be banged up.
Tips: Shop on Mondays, right after the donations that came in over the weekend move from the loading dock to the sales floor. Since most merchandise is donated by residents in the surrounding towns, check out thrift stores in affluent areas, where unwanted goods are often more stylish and like new, and sometimes you'll find a rare treasure. You can even shop at the Goodwill online for upscale bargains and auctions of designer clothing, jewelry, and artwork, which often come with appraisals.