Shop Resale! Live Beautifully for Less.

I’ll never understand why people don’t at least check at resale shops before buying something new at full price. From diamonds to fur coats to furniture and designer clothing, there are incredible bargains available. In fact, you can dress better and furnish your house more elegantly by looking for high-quality merchandise in resale boutiques, particularly those that are non-profit. In other words, you’re helping others while helping yourself.

The following are just a few of my favorites in St. Louis.

Whatever you need in terms of furniture or household goods (other than appliances), check the Miriam Switching Post. This non-profit is run mostly by volunteers and its inventory is entirely donated. Proceeds from sales support the Miriam School and the Miriam Learning Center  for children with learning disabilities, located in Webster Grove. The “pickers” for the store are, indeed, very picky. Fine china and furniture are particular bargains.

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Not all Goodwill Stores have good stuff. I found this child-sized drum set–not a toy–for $15 (and resold it for $50).

“My” Goodwill, in Brentwood on Manchester Road, does have enough cherries to make climbing the tree worthwhile. I’ve found more than one Coach purse there, several leather jackets and a mouton coat I love. Be prepared to hunt and peck, if you decide to frequent thrift shops like Goodwill. But the finds are much sweeter when you work for them!

Rung and its adjoining offspring, Sprung, are non-profit resale boutiques. Rung carries women’s clothing and accessories, Sprung is for children. Overall, Rung’s clothing is businesslike. The prices are good (but not Goodwill good) and there are frequent sales. There is a small section of designer names–Chanel, Trina Turk, Armani. Those tend toward higher prices. I did find an Armani silk jacquard jacket-which retailed for about $1,700–for $60. Inventory at Rung and Sprung is donated, with a significant portion of net profits going to  the  Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis.

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This gorgeous little girl’s dress (flower girl? first communion?) was $15 at a children’s resale boutique. It’s silk and in pristine condition.

Upscale Resale Boutique is a consignment resale store owned by Willows Way Inc., a not-for-profit agency that supports people with developmental disabilities. The boutique is upscale. Last winter, there was an entire rack of fur coats. Inventory changes constantly, and there are designer tags on a significant portion. If you want an authentic Chanel or Prada bag, chances are you will find one–eventually–at Upscale Resale. Most of the inventory is very affordable, if you are comparing with department store prices. In other words, moderate, not cheap. The purse, shoes and boots inventories are  plentiful and this would be the store I would shop for a fancy holiday outfit.

I haven’t shopped at Panache Plus yet, but I will. As any woman bigger than a size 12 will tell you, it’s not always easy finding larger sizes at resale shops. Panache Plus specializes in those sizes. If you get there before I do, don’t take all the good stuff!

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