By Kat McNabb
Scoring a good deal provides an adrenaline rush. It’s exciting to haggle down the price of a new car or find your favorite designer brand on the clearance rack.
Internet sleuths are great at scoring deals online, but when it comes to in-person shopping experiences, there are two distinct leaders: yard sales and resale shops.
Yard sales are the ultimate consumer-to-consumer experience. They’re the equivalent to bartering of yesteryear, but with a cash exchange. Meanwhile, resale shops act as the middleman between consumers. There are for-profit thrift stores and consignment stores, so it’s important to find a resale shop that accepts donations and resells items to generate revenue for charitable causes.
Bargain hunters will notice seven clear differences that make resale shops preferred over yard sales:
1. Charitable cause
- Yard sales: Property owners and renters host yard sales to clear out clutter and hopefully make a little bit of cash. Proceeds go right into their pockets.
- Resale shops: Donors drop off items for similar reasons. However, nonprofit-run resale shops reinvest sales revenue into programs that benefit causes like education, youth, housing, hunger, employment and social services.
2. Quality merchandise
- Yard sales: Hosts display every item they are willing to sell, hoping someone comes along and buys it. Unfortunately, tables often are lined with items that have no resale value.
- Resale shops: Stores post donation guidelines showing items they will accept. While they’re appreciative of every donation, resale shops will only put items on the showroom floor that have a resale value. Shoppers often find brand-name merchandise, some of which still features the original price tags.
3. Limited inventory
- Yard sales: What you see is what you get. No additional merchandise is on the way.
- Resale shops: What you see on the showroom reflects only the merchandise that has been inspected, cleaned and priced. There usually is a lot more in the back. New donations are processed daily.
- Yard sales: You need a GPS to navigate neighborhood streets to find homes hosting yard sales. Your gas bill might eat away at any potential savings.
- Resale shops: U.S. 41 is thrift store central in Southwest Florida, with more than 20 resale shops along the busy corridor in just Collier County. They offer easy access and ample parking, and since they’re indoors, A/C will keep you cool.
5. Shopping days
- Yard sales: Traditionally, yard sales are held on weekends to allow for the most amount of potential browsers.
- Resale shops: As a business operation, stores are open five to seven days per week to cover operational costs while still contributing financial support to a charitable cause.
6. Shopping hours
- Yard sales: Sales often are advertised to begin at 8 a.m. or even 7 a.m. Bargain hunters will start circling the neighborhood at least a half hour before that time. Many times, the best merchandise is gone before the advertised start time.
- Resale shops: Retail stores are open eight or 10 hours daily as a convenience to shoppers. The longer the hours, the greater chance that shoppers will be able to visit.
- Yard sales: Browsers feel pressure to buy items because there won’t be a yard sale next week. Haggling is often a hassle.
- Resale shops: Stores offer special shopping days for seniors and veterans, and many email exclusive deals and discounts to their fans. They also offer frequent social media updates to keep shoppers in the loop.
In Southwest Florida, yard sales tend to be seasonal. Resale shops are year-round operations, and the nonprofit organizations they support need your patronage year-round, too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kat McNabb is manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop, located at 12980 Tamiami Trail N., Unit 10 in Naples. For information and store hours, please visit GuadalupeCenter.org/resale-shop or call 239-594-2696.