Harrisonburg Thrift Shops: Where to Go and Where Not

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Senior Meredith Wilson shops for Christmas decorations at Gift and Thrift.

Gift and Thrift

Gift and Thrift, a cave of wonder for broke college students, is located just off of Virginia Ave., on Mt. Clinton Pike, next to A Bowl of Good.

Frugal Friday runs six to eight p.m. and draws in a gaggle of students to take advantage of the 25 percent student discount.

The store seems small from the outside, but the space inside is maximized. All of the clothing is organized in areas for men, women and children, then into color and sizes. Much of it seems to be the same thing from week to week, but every now and then you can find a wealth of retro, punk, or whatever your style is. Most of the clothing items range from two to eight dollars.

There is also an area for books, which seem to be either dated, Christian, or a combination of the two, old movies, CDs, and cassettes. These items range from about two to six dollars.

There is also a back room of furniture, kitchenware, and craft supplies. The kitchenware and craft supplies have a wide variety, but are limited in quantity. There is some china, silverware, glasses, a small collection of mugs, etc. The fabrics in the crafts section are also limited but of a high quality. One thing that they have a fairly large supply of in the crafting section is patterns for dresses, pants, jackets, purses, bedding, etc. These items are 35 cents each.

Overall, it is a great place to go for an inexpensive bit of shopping so long as you are not in need of something too specific.

Goodwill

The Goodwill on E. Market St. near Target may not sound like a place worth stopping by, but it is.

Target has a deal with Goodwill that anything they deem as damaged or unsellable goes to Goodwill. Usually it is items that have gone on clearance because they have been discontinued or are a seasonal item, not because they are actually of a lesser variety.

The store itself is a treasure trove, organized into men’s and women’s clothing, and then by specific article: pants, blouses, t shirts, etc. Though there is not a breakdown for size and color, Goodwill has a larger plus size, men’s, children’s, and maternity section than Gift and Thrift.

Much to my surprise, they also had a large selection of shoes, mainly kitten heel or no heel.

They had a small book, movie, and miscellaneous section, though it seems it would be rare to find a diamond in that rough.

This is the place to come if you want more in-season clothing, shoes, or good quality coats and handbags. If you are a frequent shopper, it is also worth looking into Club Goodwill for extra holiday, birthday, and student discounts.

Stopping by the house-wear items, Wilson inspects a glass.

Stopping by the house-wear items, Wilson inspects a glass.

Mercy House

Mercy House is like a magical tent from Harry Potter. For those of you who do not know what that means, it is much larger on the inside than it appears outside.

The first room after you enter the door is filled with clothing, smaller home items, and movies. While there are a lot of clothes that are fairly organized, most are older, more conservative and non-attention grabbing. Nothing really retro, punk, or out of the box can be found here.

The next room is larger furniture items and crafting supplies. This is the place to go to if you are in need of fabrics, body pillows, or sewing patterns, as those are very cheap at just 10 cents each.

The next rooms are as follows: kitchenware, knives, glasses, and other cooking utensils; puzzles, board games, and books; and an entire room dedicated to stuffed animals.

Much of what is in these rooms goes for a dollar. On some days they have a special where shoppers can get a bag of books for five dollars.

Overall, Mercy House is the place to go for non-clothing items, as it is very reasonably priced and has such a wide range of items that it would be hard not to find what you need.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army on E. Washington St. is close by, but probably not the best choice for student shopping.

Of the thrift shops visited, Salvation Army was the largest and had the low- est caliber items.

They have a fair sized collection of clothing, kitchen items, books, and CDs, but they are mostly the things that have gone far out of style.

However, since Salvation Army relies on donations, the stock depends on when you go and when they get their donations in.

What was surprising were the in- expensive quality jewelry and the assorted work out equipment as well as seating, such as couches and arm chairs, which, while pricier than other thrift shops, were still large savings when compared to department stores.

These items seemed to be of a good, almost new condition, and well worth taking a look at if you are in the market for a new couch, arm chair, or work out machines.

One of the items that was well stocked was vinyl records. There were bins upon bins of records in the back room as well as a selection in the front.

Though a last choice for clothing and not a choice at all for crafting, this is the place to keep in mind if you are in the market for furniture or records.

-Hailey Holcomb, Sports Editor; photo credits, Michelle Mitchell


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