The recession has hit us across the world very hard, businesses are going bankrupt, shops are closing down and especially retail stores which means the fashion industry is suffering. Is there a solution? - the internet! Where better could any woman find that special outfit that they have desired for an age and now you can get it even cheaper at thrift shops and they have made it exceptionally easier, thrift stores are online!
To give our readers the low-down on these brilliant bargains Reasons to be Beautiful have spoken to two owners of online thrift stores.
www.gone-tomorrow.com is a thrift/consignment store. Sharon Todd from Gone Tomorrow tells us a bit about what they sell;
"Our merchandise is not always what you would typically find in a thrift store and it's not always used merchandise. We have a lot of antiques and new - never been used items such as in our clothing, books, jewellery and other categories. We also carry handmade merchandise for our consignors."
And Brigiette Martinez from www.myniftythrifty.com uses sites like eBay and blogging to sell vintage clothing from the 1950's - 1970's.
"It was easier in the 80's to find things from the 50's to 70's, so I dressed in whatever I could find and I would make funky outfits to suit my own style. Then eBay came into my life in 1999 and well, the rest is history."
Due to websites that allow you to sell your items, thrift shops online have boomed, it has made finding that "little gem" more accessible especially as there is not a fixed price on an item, Todd explains more about this system on the Gone Tomorrow site;
"If you find something you like and you think we may be overpriced, or you just can't afford what we're asking, you have the option of using our 'Name Your Price' service. Submit your offer and if it's reasonable we will accept."
Thrift stores going online mean you don't have to dig and hunt anymore for that designer item at a bargain price.
"I've found Chanel clothing several times," Martinez expresses this view. "I sell a lot of vintage sequin sweaters so I know they are popular."
There is something for everyone of any age.
"I've been shopping in thrift stores since I was 9 years old!" Martinez tells RTTB. "I can remember the first thing I bought, I was a small girl, and my mother took me to a thrift store to buy me a case for my dolls. It was a red cosmetic case. They are called train cases now. That was my first purchase."
This way of buying and selling can be addictive, as thrift stores also purchase your unwanted items from you rather than giving ill-fitting or disregarded presents to charity shops.
Martinez is living proof of how it can take hold;
"Back in 1999 I found a silk Asian scarf that was beautiful. It was $1 in the original gold box. I sold it for $11 online and I have been hooked ever since."
Though this begs to ask the question could thrift stores and online thrift sites take over the high street shops?
"I think in this economy, thrift stores are a good way to shop especially for certain types of merchandise," Todd says.
There is no comment for whether thrift could rise above retail as that is up to the consumer, so what are you waiting for, start treasure-hunting!