Resale Shops and Preparedness: A Recent Experience

Have you ever considered a resale shop to purchase preparedness items? Some people will cringe at the idea of walking into a resale shop. But the fact is that you can find some really great deals on items that you might be looking for to move along your preparedness.

The Negative View of Resale Shops

When people think about resale shops, they think of piles of junk that no one wants. But that thinking is so far from the truth! The reason people think that is because they themselves donate junk. An article in May from the AP reported, “Problem is, too many such items could most accurately be described as trash. Many of the donations are defective or worn-out items — gifts from well-intentioned people who want to reduce waste but who donate items that simply shouldn’t be donated.” Junk donations add to the trash costs that resale shops have to incur.

Another reason people don’t like to visit resale shops is due to the misconception that resale shops are only for poor people who can’t afford to shop at “nicer” more upscale stores. Those that feel like this wouldn’t want to be seen walking out of a resale shop by someone they know. This is simply a mental block that many people have to get over.

Benefits to Shopping at Resale Shops

But the truth is there are many benefits to shopping at resale shops. One benefit is that you can save a lot of money on items you might need. If you do happen to find something you need, a houseware, a piece of clothing, a book or some other item, it will be crazy inexpensive!

I found the pot that I used for this video at a resale shop for $2. There was nothing wrong with it. I would have used it in my kitchen. The reason I purchased it for the video is because my wife wouldn’t let me use her pots.

Another benefit is that you are helping and doing your part in just not being a consumer of new products. You can find new or slightly used items at resale shops. Instead of buying new at a big box store or fancy mall, you can reuse or recycle an item. If we learned how to take care of items and reuse them, we would make less trash, not waste as much and just be good stewards of what God has blessed us with.

And lastly, a benefit to buying at a resale shop is that you are usually helping a charity. Many churches and non-profits run resale shops to create jobs, provide a service to the community and raise money for their organization.

A Recent Experience

I recently made a few purchases at a local resale shop. I was surprised at what I found and thought I should share it with others who haven’t visited a resale shop in a while.

The resale shop I visited was clean and neatly organized. The shop was arranged into zones: housewares, kids, men’s, women’s, books, linens, electronics, and a room for more expensive items. One of the the things I noticed was that there were a lot of new items still wrapped.

There were all kinds of people in the one I visited. One group that I noticed seemed to be a grandfather and his two grandkids. He was looking at clothes and picking out some items for his granddaughter, asking her if she liked what he was pulling out. Another couple was looking in the electronic section at an electric hedger.

My Resale Purchase

I went into the resale shop looking for an old looking oil lamp. I’ve wanted one for a while and I’ve never found one that I really wanted. After asking a sales person where I would find one, I found that they would be located in the more expensive room. After looking around, I found one for $9. It was used, but had a new wick and the knob turned easily.

I could have easily purchased one at Amazon. They have a cheap one that sells for $13.99. But it is a basic lantern without any character. I also couldn’t help myself and had to buy it.

I also found a 6 outlet AC plug extender for $1 in the electronic section. It was brand new. I found a similar product on Amazon for $6.50.

Resale Shops and Preparedness

It’s pretty obvious that I want an oil lamp for blackouts. You can use different types of oil if you have to, even expired olive oil. If you do use other types of oil, please be careful. This option should only be used in an emergency if liquid paraffin oil is not available.

One of the other things that I found, but didn’t buy, is a cast iron grill pan. It was about a 10 inch grill pan for $9. I couldn’t find the exact match on Amazon, but the cheapest version I found was $18.99. Cast iron will last for a long time and you can cook over a fire if you need to.

Other Thoughts about Resale Shops

If you do start visiting resale shops, you might want to keep a few things in mind.

Know what you are looking for. In the moment, you might find things that you could find a use for. But if you don’t go into this knowing exactly what you’re looking for and what you want, you’ll start acquiring “stuff” that you might not need.

Also, visit resale shops often and in older well established neighborhoods. I’ve known of families who have had to clear out a parents house after they passed and donated many of the items to resale shops. Seasoned citizens would know the value of items like cast iron and other valuable items to preppers that are lost on the younger generation.

Lastly, if you are worried about what others think of you for visiting a resale shop, go to one on the opposite side of town. Don’t make a special trip, just stop by when you are on that side of town. In fact, it might be a good idea to know where the better resale shops are all over town.

Final Thoughts

Buying new or slightly used items at resale shops can save you a lot of money. You might even find items that can be used in preparedness. And, you can feel good that you are reusing or recylcing items and being a good steward of what God has given you.

Do you visit resale shops? If so, what are some of the items you have found? Drop it in the comments below.


Resale Shop

2 thoughts on “Resale Shops and Preparedness: A Recent Experience”

  1. Max Stotto

    “Preaching to the converted” here I am afraid, you cannot have enough good stuff! Regards from the UK.

  2. Grammy

    I have found many pieces of cast iron at thrift stores. I try to keep a couple of outfits, jackets, and coats at my house for the grandkids. I have bought brand new clothes for nearly nothing and found excellent coats and ski bibs. We’ve also found some great hand tools and power tools. I love thrift stores!

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