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"Thrift shopping – a day for a real bargain, eh!"
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"Thrift shopping – a day for a real bargain, eh!"

Harnoor Gill pic

Shopping at second hand stores can mean bargains and adventure, writes Harnoor Gill, 16, a Correspondent from Georgetown in Canada, but it also means supporting charities that operate thrift shops and serve the needy. 

Gather all of your change because it’s time for you to have fun shopping while bargaining.

Many people are not aware of what a thrift shop is, but you’ve come to the right place to learn all about the experience. A thrift shop is a retail establishment, with the difference being that a thrift shop is generally run by a charitable organization. One example is the Salvation Army, which operates its Thrift Stores in order to raise money for the charity’s purpose. Thrift or second-hand shops make a great network because the products available – ranging from clothing to household goods and electronics to furniture – are donated by individuals in the community, which in turn allows for the store to offer lower cost of the items for the buyers.

Nowadays saving money through various coupons or flea markets is on everyone’s mind. It has become significant enough to warrant a designated National Thrift Shop Day, August 17, to highlight the opportunities for bargain shopping. The most enticing thing about thrift shopping is not just the money but also the adventure of finding vintage and antique items. It is probably one of a shopper’s best feelings to finally find their own hidden treasure within the stacks of sometimes ancient offerings within the walls of a thrift shop.

Buying second-hand might not be your forte, but you never know what you can find in thrift stores so it’s always worth a try. There’s nothing to lose. You don’t have to spend much money, but you can have the fun of trying to find something interesting. It can be like your own scavenger hunt. Another option is to go into a thrift shop with your friends and see who finds the coolest thing. The person with the most outrageous find is acknowledged, then pays for everyone else’s items. If you are into gaming, you may find a deal on collector’s items and rare finds, but remember that in a second-hand the rule is buyer beware and there may not be refunds. Don’t go for something too expensive.

In Canada, there is a charity-operated store that has actually done fabulous work with the whole idea of receiving donations from the community and selling items back. Habitat for Humanity is a foundation dedicated to providing housing that has done an amazing job of changing 964 lives forever by providing affordable housing created through community donations, volunteer labour and ‘sweat equity’ from the new homeowners. They have affiliated themselves in over 300 communities on a mission to ensure that Canadian families have a roof over their head by raising awareness on the issue of affordable housing. Part of the funding for Habitat for Humanity comes from its Re-Store operations. There, individuals, businesses and industry can donate surplus or second hand building materials, supplies and household furnishings for resale. The products help lower-income shoppers meet their needs, and the proceeds help Habitat for Humanity finance its affordable housing projects.

National Thrift Shop day is a boost both for the shopper and the charities involved. The Peace Welcome Club supports the days and reminds you that social media is your friend in the ongoing task of raising awareness of National Thrift Shop day on the 17th of August. Use resources around you such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry Messenger, Myspace, Pinterest, Tumblr and even Snapchat.

Have a happy day of bargaining!

photo credit: practicalowl via photopin cc

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About me: I am a student in Georgetown, Canada, and founder of the Peace Welcome Club. I love to volunteer, read, write, and play basketball. I volunteer with local environmental and youth organizations and am dedicated to raising awareness about youth volunteering. My writing has been published in Indo-Canadian Voice, Asian Journal, Times of India, The Independent & Free Press, and in Amazing Kids! Magazine.

https://www.facebook.com/PeaceWelcomeClub

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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