Five tips to make ‘thrifting’ worth your time in 2022

thrifting - guadalupe resale shopRetail prices are soaring on everything from clothing and food to vehicles and gas. The inflation rate is at its highest level in three decades. Shipping delays and limited inventory are frustrating consumers from coast to coast. 

Savvy shoppers, however, are rediscovering a money-saving alternative – thrift store shopping. Prior to the pandemic, the thrift store industry was growing by 7% annually, according to The Association of Resale Professionals. However, the online resale platform ThredUp estimates the secondhand market will double from $36 billion in 2021 to $77 billion in 2025. 

Thrift store shopping, affectionately called “thrifting” by the trend’s devotees, can be entertaining and enlightening, as well as challenging. Below are five tips to make thrifting worth your time in 2022: 

Shop with a purpose

When customers enter a grocery store, they have a general idea of what they need to buy – milk, eggs, bread, etc. You don’t need a specific list to shop at a thrift store, though, just a general idea, goal or plan of action. If you’re looking to spruce up a living room with new artwork, for instance, decide in advance on the theme, like tropical, floral or wildlife. Then begin your search. 

Pay attention to labels

Resale shops are full of like-new and brand-new items. Shoppers often stumble across designer brands with the original price tags attached. If you’re looking for shoes, dresses, jackets or ties, know which manufacturers have the best reputation for producing high-quality products. Name-brand items can be discounted 50% or more from their original prices. 

Know the cause

Many thrift stores support nonprofit organizations and rely on volunteers to run operations rather than paid employees. That means a higher portion of revenue can support charitable causes like education, the environment, health care or the arts. It’s human nature to evaluate whether you really need to purchase an item, but that decision is easier when you know the money will support a cause that’s near and dear to your heart. 

Consider alternate uses

The best finds at a thrift store can come from repurposing items. A porcelain vase, for example, might have once held flowers, but someone with artistic abilities could transform it into a one-of-a-kind statement piece with a little paint. It’s similar to when fashionistas accessorize their outfits by wearing items that weren’t necessarily intended to go together, like a scarf or hat, but still look good. 

Shop at the right time

Resale shops typically receive the most donations on weekends and Mondays. That’s because people use their free time to clean. Although inventory is replenished on a daily basis, weekend donations can make their way onto the shelves early in the week. Also, many seasonal residents in Southwest Florida donate items before heading north for the summer, so inventory and selection is usually strong in March, April and May. 

The concept of thrifting is not new. However, economic factors have made thrifting popular once again. Shoppers certainly can capitalize on the trend in 2022 if they map out an appropriate plan of action before beginning their next shopping adventure. 

– By Kat McNabb, Manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop

Prized artwork and precious metals seek new homes in Southwest Florida

When one thinks of “treasure hunting,” images of sword-swinging pirates and metal detectors racing over the beach may come to mind. But for most modern-day treasure hunters, the search happens in air-conditioned strip malls, where thrift and resale stores offer a thrilling prospect of treasure hiding in plain sight.

Valuable items once housed in Naples-area homes have made their way to the shelves of Guadalupe Resale Shop, an upscale resale store in North Naples specializing in like-new furniture, clothing and home décor. The Resale Shop regularly receives donations of designer labels, fine jewelry, antique curiosities and high-quality furnishings. On occasion, though, there is a proverbial shimmer of gold in the pan, and something that may have once been pricey turns out to be priceless.

Fortunately, these treasures aren’t falling into unwitting hands. The Resale Shop has a history of pairing valuable décor with savvy buyers. In 2019, for instance, Toronto-based art collector Ron Woods purchased an original oil painting by S. Lewiston, valued at $2,000, for a bargain price of $175. The painting, one of Lewiston’s signature tableaus of the Venetian canals, now hangs in the library at St. Joseph’s Villa, a retirement community in Dundas, Ontario. Just one year later, international gallery curator Aldo Castillo discovered “Janet,” a lifelike statue by prolific hyperrealist sculptor Marc Sijan, in the Resale Shop’s front window. Castillo, a Naples resident, had been a longtime donor to Resale Shop, and thus was not surprised to find such an extraordinary piece of art on display. “People in Naples donate some very nice things,” Castillo noted. Much to the joy of local investors and resellers, these “nice things,” especially artwork and jewelry, will only appreciate value over time.

At Guadalupe Resale Shop, it’s more than just the shoppers hawking for treasure who benefit from high-value items. Proceeds help fund the Guadalupe Center’s transformational education programs for low-income students in Immokalee, including the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and the college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. Each is designed to foster personal and academic success, preparing students to be lifelong learners and leaders.

Guadalupe Center serves more than 1,400 students per year, and as more supporters donate high-end items to the Resale Shop, that number will only continue to grow. To put things into perspective, Castillo’s purchase of the “Janet” statue alone provided Guadalupe Center with enough funds to outfit a preschool classroom with a year’s worth of art and music supplies. These remarkable donations are creating opportunities all over the county, and as collectors are finding their next great investment, local children are finding their passion.

Guadalupe Resale Shop accepts donations throughout the year, and all donations are tax-deductible. The Resale Shop also offers free home pickup for large items, such as bedroom furniture and kitchen tables.

You never know who – or what – will wander through the doors of Guadalupe Resale Shop. Even if customers don’t walk away with a priceless treasure, they’ll still have made a difference in the lives of students in Immokalee.

– By Kat McNabb, manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop