Saving You Money: Getting the Look for Less

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

Many of us are spending less these days to make ends meet, and that has caused sales to plummet at some retail stores. However, not everyone is suffering.

Thanks to budget-conscious shoppers, business is booming at stores selling recycled fashions.

But, can buying used really save you money without sacrificing your style? I went resale shopping to find out.

Carolyn Koehler is not a new comer to the resale scene. She's been saving for years

"You can find unique things like something you would have to get at a department store, but it would be more expensive," Koehler said.

This day she's searching for deals at the College Station Goodwill.

"I enjoy looking it's almost like a little dollar store," Koehler said.

Click here to read Meredith's blog about this Saving You Money experience.

At Goodwill gently used shirts run between $3 and $6, pants between $4 and $9 and shoes about the same. The brand determines the price.

"You could probably put together a really nice 9 to 5 work outfit and walk out the door completely dressed and ready to go for about $15.99," Patsy Conrad with Goodwill said.

We rummaged the racks and found brand name items at a fraction of the cost.

We found an Ann Taylor Loft trench coat for $10.99 at Goodwill. While I couldn't find similar styles online, jackets at Ann Taylor Loft cost between $40 and $120.

We found Enzo Angiolini shoes for $4.99 at Goodwill and similar styles retail between $45 and $90.

It's steals like these that have shoppers coming back

"It saves me money and I find a lot of good things that I wouldn't find in other places," Resale shopper Erica Quiroz said.

Goodwill isn't the only store doing well in a rough economy.

"We've probably been busier in the last few months than we have in quite a while," Drew Johnson with Once Upon a Child said.

Once Upon a Child buys gently used children items from the public and resells them.

"When you come in to sell an item typically we're probably going to offer you around 25 percent of the value of the item and we're going to resell it back at 50 percent," Johnson said.

We found a Polo shirt for a young boy at Once Upon a Child for $5.50, which retails for $29.50 at Ralph We also bought Gap khaki pants for $7.50, which retail for $14.99 at
And, we purchased Tommy Hilfiger shoes for $10, which retail for $33.45 at
The entire outfit will set you back $23 for the recycled version. It will cost you $77.94 brand new.

For a child that grows into a new size every month this is almost a guilt free purchase. And overall you're getting the look for less.

That's why Carolyn keeps shopping.

"I got this bible cover for $3.99 and in a store it would probably cost me about $15," Koehler said.

A deal this bargain hunter couldn't pass up

I also went shopping at Goodwill for myself, to see what great deal I could find.

I found an entire outfit for $27.01, which would cost me around $205 brand new.

I bought brands I was familiar with, so I knew if I was getting a good deal.

I bought a Maggie London dress for $12.99, dresses by this designer retail between $100 and $200 at Macy's.

I found Mossimo shoes from Target for $4.99, similar styles retail for around $20.

I purchased a New York and Company necklace, which was brand new, and it set me back $2.99. The necklace retails for $24.00.

The earrings and bracelet, both new, cost me $1.99 each. The earrings retail for $5.99, the bracelet $5.

Needless to say, I felt really good about this purchase.

To find more resale shopping tips, as well as Saving You Money ideas, click on the Saving You Money section of Click on the link below to be directed to the site. I've also blogged about my resale shopping experience. To read my blog, click on the link below.

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