Thrifting: Where to save a buck

College students live with a constant struggle to be able to buy spring clothes, a book to trigger their imagination or a coffee maker for the caffeine crazed–all while trying to save a buck.

With most of their money spent on tuition and textbooks, Cobbers little leeway to buy the extras they may want, and thrift shops may just be the answer to this problem.

Senior Haley Anderson loves to go thrift shopping, but said that both mainstream and thrift stores have something good to offer, it just depends on what you are looking for.

“I go to thrift shops for looking for really unique things and for items that are hard to find in a mainstream store,” Anderson said. “At a mainstream store you are looking for something specifically new.”

She recently went to a Goodwill in her hometown of Alexandria to look for cute items to decorate her apartment with next year.

Along with thrift shopping, Anderson enjoys spending a day looking for great deals at garage sales.

“If people really love to go thrift shopping they should look into going out looking for garage sales too in the summer,” Anderson said. “It’s fun to go out on a Saturday morning and find a sale.”

For thrift shopping in the Fargo/Moorhead area, Anderson prefers Savers.

“The Savers in Fargo is a hit or miss,” Anderson said. “Sometimes you find good stuff and sometimes you don’t.”

Anderson also heard that the Moorhead Thrift Shop is a great place to go as well.

Located just off of Main street, Moorhead Thrift Shop is filled with a large collection of items that cover the store from floor to ceiling. It has a variety of books ranging from romance, to Reader Digest editions from the 1960s, to mysteries, to religious books with a sign overhead that says, “Those who read succeed!!!”

Customers of the quaint store are greeted by a smiling sign and kind staff, who would remind anyone of their sweet grandparents.

Littered on glass and wood shelving are a variety of knick knacks. Bronze shoes, soap dispensers, crocheted baskets, yarn houses and floral tea pots.

At first glance the thrift shop may look like it has nothing of interest for a college student, but a customer can find the hidden treasures they’re looking for.

“You’ll often find the stuff you’re looking for or want, mixed in with what you don’t want,” a female worker remarked as she watched me wander the store.

On the other side of the store, a couple of racks of shoes are displayed. Among a lot of brown and black flats, retro tennis shoes and a few pairs of sensible heels, is a pair of black, floral flats with a buckle decorating the toe.

Dakota Boys and Girls Thrift Store can be found in North, South and West Fargo, and Dilworth, Minn.

About three times the size of Moorhead’s thrift shop, Dakota Boys and Girls in North Fargo appears to be a small store housed inside a white square building on the corner of a busy street. Once inside, the store expands to hold a variety of merchandise from used electronics and games to cosmetics and shoes.

The store includes a larger amount of clothes including swimsuits, old prom dresses and summer dresses, all labeled by size.

Some of the merchandise even includes items that can be found at Target, according to a couple of shoppers who shop regularly at Dakota Boys and Girls Thrift Shops.

Their collection of shoes goes beyond neutral flats and sensible heels and includes flip flops, wedges, sandals,and boots. Including an odd selection of more than 12 pairs of black combat boots.

Walk a little further into the store and there is a small alcove where the books are held. Like the Moorhead Thrift Shop, there was a lot of romance. It was as if Nora Roberts, a popular romance novelist had taken over. However, among the romance was also a collection of general fiction and mystery/murders.

In the back of the store, among the children’s toys and opposite of the used electronics are shelves overflowing with board and trivia games. Among the games were Boggle, Trivial Pursuit DVD Pop Culture edition and Scene It (Disney Channel version).

Dakota Boys and Girls had everything that Moorhead Thrift shop had to offer, with a few exceptions, but in bigger quantity.

Plato’s Closet, a thrift store found in a small strip mall off of 45th St. in Fargo, not only has a large selection of merchandise, but most of it is recent top designer and brand names. Unlike Moorhead Thrift Shop and Dakota Boys and Girls, it is more focused on clothing and accessories geared towards teens and young adults.

On the outside windows, graphic posters label the different styles of clothing they have to offer; Skater Style, Night Out, Everyday Basics, Print Party and Perfectly Preppy.

From wall to wall there are racks of clothing from American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, Rue 21 and many more.

Male students also have a section to look in. Walk straight to the back of the store and racks of jeans, plaid shirts, sweaters and graphic tees are found. The brand names here are Obey, Billabong, Abercrombie, Express and many more. Similar to the women’s section, the men’s clothing racks are topped by a variety of shoes including Nike, Adidas and Vans.

The prices in Plato’s Closet range from around $1-3 to $200, depending on the brand name and type of clothing, said Sadie Fluto, employee and 2008 Concordia Alumnus.

“The top brand name clothes and designers is 75 percent off normal prices here,” Fluto said.

Fluto got the job at Plato’s Closet through networking. She knew the owner’s friend and was in fashion at the time, which landed her the job.

Like any other thrift shop, Plato’s closet accepts donations, but are more selective with what they put in the store. Fluto’s co-worker said they will buy current styles in generally good condition and donate the rest of what they don’t keep to local churches.

Surrounded by local thrift shops, Concordia students are able to get what they need for a reasonable price without breaking their pockets. A student can get that new pair of flip flops, that dress for a night out, another edition of Scene It, without the guilt of spending money they could have used for their next textbook.


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