An illustration of a Goodwill price tag.

Shaking Secondhand Store Stigmas

By Rikki Yanez
Assistant Blog Content Contributor

Growing up I’ve noticed that it was highly encouraged by my peers and relatives that name brand clothing was the “cool” thing to buy. This made me wonder why nobody talked about shopping at secondhand stores as well as why there’s a negative connotation when it comes to the words “thrift shopping” or “secondhand clothes.” People shouldn’t be ashamed when it comes to shopping at such places. The existing stigmas about second-hand stores can prevent people from not only finding great items, but saving money. Now that it’s become a trend to shop at these stores we are starting to see that it’s not only great for business, but for shaking away these stigmas.

Many people may have doubts about buying clothes from secondhand stores. Some of their misguided reasons may include: only poor people shop at these stores, the clothes are no longer in style, they are dirty or ugly, and they were once worn by someone else. There are also stigmas against people who are financially well off that shop at these stores, because to them it’s the new trend to do. Those who have been shopping at these stores due to financial reasons feel as if they are being mocked in a way. They feel as if those who have money are wanting to show people that they have a poor person’s mind set, such as not wanting to be viewed as materialistic or wanting to be seen as down to earth. For those who have these thoughts about these places as well as the people that shop there, they should first look at all the benefits of shopping at these stores before assuming anything.

Uptown Cheapskate in San Marcos, Texas
You can find a variety of styles for reasonable prices at second-hand stores like Uptown Cheapskate. Photo by Rikki Yanez.

You may ask, what are these benefits? Well, some of the benefits from shopping at these places are finding past styles that are now currently in style at a fraction of the cost you would typically buy in nationwide clothing stores. In most secondhand stores you’ll even find name brand clothing or accessories from brands such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Kendra Scott, Forever 21, PacSun, or H&M, costing almost close to nothing. Now that more people are shopping at these stores it’s helping those business and getting rid of social stigmas. Another reason why these stores are important is because you can always sell your unwanted clothes there for cash or store credit. This not only helps the business gain more customers, but it also creates more of a unique variety of styles for those who thrift shop. Lastly, these stores are good for the environment since they are recycling clothing, which helps reduce waste and pollution.

All in all, people shouldn’t feel any shame thrifting because there is so much to gain from it. It’s also rewarding knowing that you are saving yourself money in the long run. As a college student this has become a hobby of mine, since I know my style is constantly evolving now that I have that option to donate it or turn around and sell it. There is so much clothes out in the world so knowing that I can help the environment in little ways like this is a good feeling.

 

Featured image by Rikki Yanez.

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