Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shopping Progression

As a teenager I loved the mall. I spent hours at the mall; friends and I would shop, eat, walk around and just hang out. I can’t say that I usually bought a ton of items (sometimes the only thing I bought was lunch), but the mall was a go-to destination for me for years

Later I moved onto discount stores that sold new clothing because I could buy more items for less money. The stores themselves were less glamorous in presentation than the mall, but I was fine sacrificing some ambiance for lower prices. Perhaps that’s where I started to hone my (clothing) hunting skills among long racks of sort of organized stuff and got accustomed to paying less for items.

Now, I prefer thrift shops. It seems like it should be the reverse; that as I grew older (and could afford it) that I would prefer shiny new items to used ones, but more often than not, this isn’t the case. I don’t go to the mall with excitement any more and I don’t want to browse for hours—I want to be in and out…quickly.

It’s not that I don’t shop for new items at the mall or other discount stores (with new items), because I do, but I tend to go to those places for specific items (e.g. shoes). Once in a while I’ll drop by the mall to see what there is (and may find something I like), but it often just feels rather sterile and generic. I prefer thrift shops for the surprises.

It’s fun to shop at thrift shops because there’s such a variety of stuff, and I feel like I can get some good deals because it’s (almost always) cheaper than buying something brand new. For me, it’s usually best if I’m not looking for something specific at a thrift shop, and I can easily spend hours browsing; I’ll just see what they have and see if there’s anything catches my eye. It’s about finding something unexpected; something I didn’t know I wanted until I saw it; and perhaps something different than new items being sold in stores (since I’m not a terribly trendy person to begin with). It’s just more fun.

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