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$20 Thrifting Challenge


$20 Thrifting Challenge

CHS Prospector

With only $20 in their pockets to spend, three staffers of The Prospector visited three separate thrift stores.  Each staffer recorded their experiences below.  


1545 Parkmoor Ave, San Jose, CA 95128
Review by Isabel Lin

Courtesy of Savers

Courtesy of Savers

Savers is a for-profit thrift store chain that receives its merchandise through paying non-profit organizations for donated items or through direct donations. Items deemed resellable are sold in-store, and unsold items are recycled or sent to developing countries. 

Prices were about 50 percent cheaper than retail; in general, shorts were $7, shirts and blouses ranged between $4 and $8, and jackets were $13. 

Most items were visibly worn and used, but a small number of items appeared to be new or gently used. For the most part, clothing items were outdated and old-fashioned. 

The clothing at Savers was relatively organized; items were sorted by type, then size. It was easy to browse around for specific items, and the shopping experience was made even more convenient through shopping carts that were provided for customers.

For the individual with time to spare and extreme patience, Savers is a great thrift store to visit. Though most of Savers’ items may appear outdated or worn, the keen thrifter can find unique, like-new clothing items at Savers for just a fraction of retail value. 

PURCHASED ITEMS: Forever 21 blouse = $4.99, Forever 21 dress = $6.99, Newport News maxi dress = $7.99

Crossroads Trading

1959 West San Carlos, San Jose, CA 95128
Review by Jason Munoz

Courtesy of glassdoor

Courtesy of glassdoor

Crossroads is a high-end thrifting store which stocks branded and new or lightly used clothing. Clothing is received from customers, who are given money in exchange for their clothes. Crossroads looks for different clothes depending on the season.

As far as thrift stores go, clothes were pricey. Shirts were about ten dollars, but ranged up to twenty while pants went for about 15 to 25; however, many clothes still even had tags on them, so it was definitely cheaper than retail.

Very few items showed signs of wear, most looked almost new while many had tags on them still. Clothes were trendy and current, similar to clothes you might find at H&M or Urban Outfitters in style.

The clothes were well organized based on size, and different articles of clothing such as jackets and pants were placed on different racks. The men's clothing section was relatively small; however there was a much wider selection of clothing for female shoppers. Of note was the wide variety of shoes, with gently used shoes like Vans for under $20.

While not ideal for shopping on a tight budget, Crossroad’s offers high quality and stylish clothing to consumers wishing to dress well and spend far less money than they would at traditional retail stores.

PURCHASED ITEMS: Banana Republic short sleeve henley= $12 

Nearly New

225 E Maude Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Review by Maithilee Kanthi

Courtesy of Donna T. from yelp.

Courtesy of Donna T. from yelp.

Nearly New Shop is a non-profit thrift store that donates all proceeds to the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) to provide women in the area with college scholarships. The store is staffed and operated entirely by PEO volunteers. Nearly New offers gently used items, such as clothes, houseware, books, and accessories. 

Clothes ranged from $2 to $20. However, Nearly New is currently holding a sale in which many items are priced even lower than their original resale value. Pants tended to be in the $15 range while shirts ranged from $3 for t-shirts to $20 for high-quality blouses. 

Most items seemed to be in a nearly new condition and there was an equal offering of clothing items in all sizes. Be warned though- most clothes fall under the description of outdated. Some items could be considered “vintage cool” or “retro”, but that’s the exception.

The level of organization at Nearly New Shop was commendable. There were racks for different types of clothing, such as dresses, blouses, pants, etc. The racks themselves were conveniently separated by size, and then further, by color. It was extremely easy to find what one was looking for in the store.

For someone who may be looking for a quick shopping trip and not expecting to carry home a major haul, Nearly New Shop is a wonderful store to check out. The kind staff and convenient organization make for a pleasant experience. And, despite the out-dated items, the selection can wield a hidden gem or two for a bargain. 

PURCHASED ITEMS: Black and white flannel - $3; Sutton Studio Black 100%-cashmere sweater - $18 


Thumbnail Image Courtesy of Klothes Kloset Thrift Store.