Kaneland Krier

Battle of the second hand stores

By: Gabrielle Faletto and KT Mattern

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These days, buying a pair of jeans and some new kicks will empty your wallet after just one hour at the mall. Even if the jeans look like they just went through a paper shredder, they still cost around $50. Instead of buying just one expensive name brand item, you can buy several items for the same price or less at second hand stores like Goodwill and Plato’s Closet.

Goodwill: Gabrielle Faletto

Shopping at name brand stores is all fun and games until you look at the price tag and stare in disbelief at how expensive a plain tee can be. That’s when Goodwill comes into play.      

There are two facilities close to the Kaneland district, located in Dekalb and Batavia. You can find name brand items that would sell for 3x the price anywhere else. Introducing over 2,000 new items on the sales floor each day, you can find unique fashion-forward clothing, home decor or even supplies for your next DIY project. Not only is it the perfect place to go thrift shopping, but you can also donate items that are in working condition, contain all their pieces and are free of stains and unwanted rips.

Helping those in your community is easy. Start by collecting items you and your family no longer need, like that old sweatshirt that has been hanging in the back of your coat closet for 2 years, that play kitchen that your 10 year old sister has outgrown, or even that one Christmas gift from your uncle that you never found a place for. Give them a look over and then head on over to Goodwill and drop them off.

When comparing Goodwill to Plato’s Closet, Goodwill uses the money when someone buys your item to fund job training and other services. Whereas, at Plato’s Closet, you can bring in clothes to sell, which have to be name brand, in exchange for immediate cash. With that being said, at Goodwill when you pledge some of your goods, you’re choosing to support valuable employment, education and help people find a job, while getting control over their finances. The money you’re spending stays in your community and gives those who are struggling an opportunity to start fresh.

Donating and purchasing items from Goodwill gives you the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals living in your community. Not to mention, you will find one of a kind items while getting a real bang for your buck.

 

Plato’s Closet: KT Mattern

When you think of second hand stores you may picture a warehouse setting, with an overwhelming amount of items you’d have to dig through to find the perfect pair of jeans.

At Plato’s Closet, the environment is inviting and feels like any other clothing store with its own originality in their decor and set up.

At about the same amount of distance as other popular stores, Plato’s Closet is located off of Randall road. Most drive the same distance to pay full price for items that you can find at Plato’s closet for a fraction of the cost.

Other second hand stores have numerous categories of items like toys, decor etc. Plato’s Closet is centralized on clothing, which makes your trip all the less stressful. Instead of hunting for the t-shirt section in the store, you can follow the well organized racks of clothing. As a smaller store, it’s a lot easier to find exactly what you want instead of looking through tons of items that you wouldn’t even want.

As a second hand store, the items in there are from previous owners. Unlike most other thrift shops where you have to go off brand, you can skip possible embarrassment and get branded items for a fraction of the original cost.

While donating items does help your community, getting some money back for the hundreds of dollars you spend on your clothes does help fill your pocket money. Instead of practically wasting money when donating that sweater from your grandma that doesn’t fit you, you can get some money from it to buy a sweater that does fit at the store.

The process is also extremely simple. All you have to do is walk in and ask for an employee to look at your items to exchange. While the employee values the items, you can browse the store or run a quick errand. The entire process is usually quick and doesn’t take too much time out of people’s schedule. Once the employee has reviewed the items, they’ll make an offer on how much money they’re willing to give you for the items. Once, or if, you accept you can walk out with some extra cash in your wallet or decide to spend it at the store and trade in your old clothes for a new outfit.

Plato’s Closet has set up a perfect system that helps both you and others. Instead of being a one sided store like most brand names, you can make some money and donate at the same time.

Winner: Goodwill

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Battle of the second hand stores