Don’t look down on thrift stores/dollar stores just because they’re cheap
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
There are so many things about thrift and dollar stores that I love. I could spend hours looking at all the ridiculous knickknacks, nightlights, and discount denim. In no other place can you find miniature disco balls, turtlenecks, and glowsticks for a lower price except for these emporiums of cheap treasure. The best part? You’re never going to break the bank shopping at one of these fine establishments.
Yet sometimes when I share with people where I get my clothes, or my passion for haunting various dollar stores and Salvation Army branches, I’m met with disdain and contempt. You like buying cheap junk and second-hand clothes? You like buying clothes that other people have sweated in? You bet your sweet keister I do.
People seem to have this idea that if something is cheap or second-hand, that means it’s bad quality. It’s a weird stigma that comes with living under capitalism, but it’s simply not true. Most low-budget stores have great quality things if you know what to look for. In fact, I have found in my experiences shopping both first and second-hand that I get a better quantity and quality of things than I would at mainstream first-hand stores, where they sell cheaper-quality clothing for double, sometimes triple the price. There have been times where I have purchased five articles of clothing at popular retail store for about $60, whereas at a thrift shop I can get five articles of clothing for less than $20, and they’re usually better-quality material. So, the idea that something is “better” merely because it is more expensive is silly.
Additionally, buying yourself toys at the dollar store is a great way to make you feel better because who doesn’t love buying themselves dumb little presents (especially if they’re only a buck)?!
It’s fine if dollar stores and thrift shopping ain’t your thing, but you shouldn’t shame or look down on people who do enjoy them. For people with low income, thrift stores are the only ways they can shop for clothing. It’s also eco-friendly since you’re buying recycled clothing and better for society because the money you spend in thrift stores usually goes to charity. Dollar stores also have a lot of household essentials for dirt cheap. Where else are you going to get a shower curtain for $2.50?
I can’t help but roll my eyes when people make a stink about the quality of a store just because it’s cheap or second-hand. However, on the other hand it makes me happy that too many people aren’t into it—so I can reap all the benefits. You don’t have to like thrift shops or cheap dollar store junk, but don’t judge others who do, and realize that the idea of “expensive equals better quality” is a farce.