Secondhand finds at first-rate prices

Evan Belfiore

Thrift stores provide fun, cheap merchandise

Mary Loesch, sophomore political science major, shops at Fabulous Finds Thrift Superstore in Kent.

Credit: Beth Rankin

Secondhand stores create fun summer shopping sprees. Buying clothing, accessories and even furniture in thrift stores allow thrifty shoppers to get more for their money.

This area has several different types of secondhand stores for whatever the shopping list contains. Foraging through secondhand items can be both a fun way to spend an afternoon and a great way to find something unique.

Fabulous Finds

If there is an elusive item on the “to buy” list, look through Fabulous Finds’ plethora of merchandise. Located on state Route 59, across from Twin Star bowling alley, Fabulous Finds is two stories of clothing, furniture, household items, games and shoes.

Much larger than the Goodwill store down the street, this thrift store features racks upon racks of merchandise. With prices comparable to other thrift stores, Fabulous Finds is a good place to start searching for a Halloween costume or a unique fashion piece.

Kent/Ravenna Goodwill

A well-known name in the secondhand shopping world is found in the Wal-Mart plaza on state Route 59. Although the Kent/Ravenna store is small, it is very clean, organized and convenient.

Shoppers can find treasures here because of the variety of items people donate, from antiques to the cover for a dish that someone needs, said Shelly Perkins, assistant manager at Goodwill.

Also selling clothing, furniture, housewares, toys and shoes, Goodwill offers a student discount with a Kent State ID that makes cheap finds cheaper.

“People shop here because of the thrill of the hunt,” Perkins said. “When people that collect things find something that they collect, it is like a really big high, and that’s the thrill.”

Plato’s Closet

In the Chapel Hill shopping area is a trendy store that sells previously owned designer and name-brand clothes, shoes, accessories and must-have trends. Plato’s Closet specializes in selling casual wear for the high school and college-age demographic.

The store sells women’s clothing size 0 to 15 and men’s waist size 28 to 38 in designer labels from Abercrombie & Fitch to J. Crew and Guess.

Although the prices are higher than some thrift stores, popular fashions are much lower than most mall discount sales. The store’s clothing is also organized by size and style, making everything easy to find.

Unlike other secondhand stores that take donations, Plato’s Closet actually buys clothing from its patrons.

“Our main goal is to buy clothes that have come out in the past year to year and a half,” said Chelsey Peyton, certified buyer for Plato’s Closet and junior art education major. “We pay based on style and condition. They can take cash or use their sell-back credit for merchandise.”

Plato’s Closet is working on adding to its accessory collections, Peyton said.

In addition to buying and selling shoes and clothes, the store has candles, picture frames, games, CDs, DVDs as well as purses, scarves, belts and sunglasses.

Plato’s Closet offers a 10 percent discount with a military ID.

Whether shopping to update a wardrobe or decorate an apartment, thrift stores can provide a less expensive alternative to mall and department stores.

“There are a lot of thrifters out there and this is the time of the year and this is the style that people do now,” Perkins said.

Contact general assignment reporter Evan Belfiore at [email protected].