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Shopping for a bargain

Value Village Manager Kathleen Palmer puts away a pair of jeans in the women’s section. The store, like many discount shops, has seen a spike in sales as the economy nears recession.  - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Value Village Manager Kathleen Palmer puts away a pair of jeans in the women’s section. The store, like many discount shops, has seen a spike in sales as the economy nears recession.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

Gas prices may be dropping, but the current economic slump is still in full swing.

Shoppers are finding bargains at local thrift and consignment shops to save some cash during these tough economic times.

Seattle Goodwill spokesman David Sandler said the Goodwill retail store in Bremerton has seen an increase in sales in recent months.

“According to our retail team, Goodwill’s sales at all of our stores, including the Bremerton location, have been above our expectations,” he stated in an e-mail. “More people are shopping at Goodwill and taking advantage of the great values we offer.”

Lisa Schneider, co-owner of TeeDee Company in Old Town Silverdale, said the consignment shop hasn’t seen a sales increase or decrease.

“We’ve maintained probably in the middle,” Schneider said. “We’re holding our own I guess you could say.”

TeeDee Company in Old Town Silverdale sells gently used furnishings and home decor at discounted prices. Schneider said TeeDee Company’s prices fall somewhere between Goodwill and thrift shops.

Although TeeDee Company has not seen a profit boom, Schneider said she has seen more new customers come through the Silverdale store.

Value Village in Bremerton has seen a recent rise in sales, according to store manager Kathleen Palmer.

“Oh absolutely. It’s decent,” she said. “Yes, it’s good numbers.”

Value Village sells everything from clothing to furniture to housewares and a portion of the Bremerton store’s proceeds go to The Arc of Kitsap and Jefferson counties.

“Last year alone this store paid over half-a-million dollars to Arc of Kitsap County,” Palmer said.

Value Village sells items at a significantly reduced price. Palmer said she bought a normally $200 suit for $15 at the Bremerton thrift shop.

Consignment and thrift shops can be a good way for people to recycle old items and buy cheap, gently used items all in one location, according to Schneider.

“I think a lot of people are living a little more green,” she said.

Sandler said people are trying to save a buck wherever possible and shopping at Goodwill and other discount stores is one way to do that.

“In this weak economic climate, more people are trying to save money wherever they can with the price of basic necessities, like food, increasing so much,” he said. “Goodwill is a great option to get great clothing, housewares, furniture and other items for a fraction of retail prices.”

Palmer said she believes people will continue to shop at Value Village and other discount shops even if the economy starts to look up.

“I used to go to Macy’s a lot as a clearance shopper and now that I’ve worked here (Value Village) it’s tough to shop anywhere else,” she said.

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