Shopping at a Mission Thrift Store is more than just getting a great deal when you thrift shop. Here are 5 reasons I shop them – and why you should too!
What is a Mission Thrift Store?
Thankfully, you don’t have to search hard these days to find a thrift store. Even small towns will usually have at least one and larger cities can have more than you can reasonably visit.
But not all thrift stores are created equally – and they don’t have the same purpose either.
For-profit thrift stores are a great way to save money on second-hand purchases and are designed to turn a profit for the business owner. Depending on the sales structure, you can still get good or even great deals, even though the owner is making a profit.
Mission thrift stores, however, exist specifically to support the financial needs of certain ministries. They will usually only cover their costs with their earnings and funnel the rest to the ministry they’re designed to support.
The bottom line for the shopper is not much different.
Where your dollars go after you leave the store is.
Where I Shop
I love a great yard sale, and I frequent them especially in the spring – because, by the time June and July roll around, it’s sweltering by 8:00 AM. Yard sale season is pretty short for me!
I also love to browse the local buy, sell, and trade groups – especially for furniture.
But when it comes to year-round shopping dependability and treasure-hunting, thrift stores are by far my favorite place to shop.
Most of the thrift shops in my area are mission shops, and they support various mission organizations.
These are where the bulk of my thrift dollars go, and I personally appreciate the fact that finding a good deal doesn’t end with the bag I carry out the door. I love knowing that the dollars I leave behind are channeled toward ministries that work to help people.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone – even for the person who donated the items and decluttered their house!
5 Reasons You Should Shop a Mission Thrift Store
I love shopping mission thrift stores and think you should shop them too. Here’s why:
1. You never know what kind of treasures you’ll find.
Because thrift stores are stocked primarily from donated items, it’s something like a treasure hunt every time you go. You really don’t know what you’ll find when you walk in the door, and it can change a lot from one visit to another.
It never ceases to amaze me what one person considers trash that can be a treasure for another. I’ve been on both sides of the thrift game, both donating and shopping – sometimes on the same visit! Donating is a great way to share things we no longer find useful for our family, and shopping gives us the opportunity to pick up some things we need at a great price.
If you love surprises, thrift stores definitely have you covered. It’s nothing short of thrilling to walk into one with no particular item in mind and walk out with a gem and a great idea. You just can’t beat the thrill of the hunt that a thrift store offers.
2. True Mission Thrift Stores are tax-free.
Shopping and taxes just go hand-in-hand. Even kids learn fast that they’re going to need more than a dollar to shop at the dollar store thanks to taxes.
But true mission thrift stores are different. Because they’re non-profit, they don’t collect tax and you don’t have to pay it!
So stop by a mission thrift store and enjoy some tax-free shopping.
3. They’re packed with upcycle and repurpose material.
Most of the pieces that land in mission thrift stores are things people are tired of or just don’t need anymore. They’ve either outlived their usefulness, are no longer enjoyed or are simply outdated.
Because you’re a thrift shopping pro, none of that matters. All those pieces are prime candidates for some amazing upcycle and repurpose projects.
Paint is usually all you need for a fresh upcycle, and your imagination is the only limit for a great repurpose!
Not sure about the difference between an upcycle and repurpose project? Check out Upcycle or Repurpose…What’s the Difference?
4. Mission Thrift Stores are designed to help the community.
Of all the reasons to shop a mission thrift store, this is the best one. These stores are designed to pour funds into the community through specific ministries that help people in need.
The thrift shop I frequent most is one of two that channel funds into a mission for the homeless in our area. The ministry provides housing, food, clothing, education, discipleship classes, and assistance in finding employment.
When you shop at mission thrift stores, not only are you getting a deal on great pieces, but you’re also investing in the goods and programs that offer practical help to those in need.
5. It’s fun!
Don’t forget that it’s simply fun to go thrift shopping. You can stretch a dollar a lot further than at a regular retail outlet. The things you can find and the deals you can get are new every time you go. Think of it as an adult treasure hunt – on the cheap! 🙂
My Latest Find
Have you ever seen something on a thrift shopping trip that you grabbed almost before you even thought?
I love those finds!
No need to think or try to decide how you’ll use it…it’s just right up your alley and you know it’s a find that’s going home with you and will fit your style perfectly!
If you’re not sure what you’re creative style is, I’ve written a great resource to help you easily figure it out. Check out The Creative Design Template to learn how.
That’s exactly what happened when I saw a couple of faux topiary trees in wooden planters for just $5 each.
Even though I love a repurpose project, I knew right away that this pair was ripe for a simple upcycle. The bones were pretty good, it was just the outside that needed a fresh face.
I loved the concept of the original design and only wanted to freshen it up with something crisp and bright.
First, that dull and dusty fake ivy had to go.
Next, I pulled out the knots of supporting twigs and as much of the moss as I could from the planters. Now down to the basic pieces, it was time to put it back together.
I hit it all with high gloss white spray paint.
For the supports, I used a floral foam cube cut in half and hot glued it to two sides of the pole. The metal ring provided some additional support too.
I started with bright pink flower sprays, pushing them into the foam from the top.
Next, I added some fuller flowers with leaves just under the sprays.
More sprays along the bottom edge…
and some leaves to add more texture and color.
Finally, I pushed in moss between the pieces to fill in the gaps.
With the few pieces left, I pushed a stem down into the base and covered the foam with more moss.
How to Find Mission Thrift Stores
If you’re not sure where the mission thrift stores are in your area, use The Thrift Shopper to easily locate them. Simply type in your city and state or zip code and get a listing of all the U.S. charity-driven thrift shops in your area. You can also join the forum where you can interact with other thrift shoppers.
Happy Mission Thrift Store Shopping!