8965 Research Blvd.
Austin, TX 78758
Mon-Sat: 9:00am - 9:00pm
Sun: 11:00am - 7:00pm
One of the things I want to do with this new blog is re-instate my previous attempts at cataloging and reviewing Austin's thrift store offerings. I'm a thrift aficionado; I've thrifed in several cities, and Austin is by far the best I've seen. Still, some places are far better than others, so a series of Austin thrift store reviews may be helpful. If nothing else, it will help me keep track of where I've been and whether I liked it. And give me a chance to show off my thrift store scores.
The Goodwill on Research Blvd, called the MacFarlane Goodwill, is my go-to thrift store. It's huge, it's fairly well-organized, it's reasonably clean, and they have a big book section. All of these are important attributes in my book. The pricing is the general Goodwill item-type pricing they all seem to be doing now ($6.99 for pants, $5.99 for skirt, $1.99 for paperback book, etc.), which is fine--at least it makes things easy when you are shopping. Given this pricing scheme, though, I really really wish they'd stop putting price tags on the book covers. They are impossible to remove.
My latest trip to this thrift mecca was on Saturday. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, which is, in my opinion, the best way to thrift shop. I spent about an hour and a half in the store. One thing I noticed is that there are a good number of plus-sized clothes mixed in to the regular clothing sections, and the quality of these items seems to be higher than that of the plus-sized clothes in the plus-sized section. This is worth taking into account, I think, given the difficulty of finding quality plus-sized clothes second-hand. It seems that, in some stores at least, the best finds are not in the plus section at all. I'll definitely keep this in mind.
I came home with the following:
-a long khaki skirt, Old Navy, size 16, perfect condition
-a pair of sailor style wide-legged pants, Isaac Mizrahi (Target), size 18, new with tags
-a pair of khaki Banana Republic slacks, size 16 long, perfect condition (though weirdly over-starched)
-a set of four Pilsner glasses from Crate & Barrel
-three paperback books (Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, a memoir about being part of the first generation of interracial adoptions, and the last edition of a woman's history essay compendium), all in very good condition
Total cost = approximately $32, including tax
Weak spots in noticed were in men's short sleeved shirts and shorts (which is probably seasonal) and house wares (lots of old Tupperware taking up shelf space). I used the dressing room, and it was reasonably clean. I got no impression of the employees of the store on this trip.