Thrift stores see booming business

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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Thrift stores in the area are seeing an influx of business and it may not only be due to the downturn of the economy. “I love shopping at thrift stores because you never know what treasure you might find,” said frequent thrift shopper Helena Snyder. “It’s not just about saving money, but sometimes I can find really unique, cool clothes that aren’t going to be in regular stores.” Snowline Hospice, a nonprofit, community-based organization, has several stores in El Dorado County including two in Cameron Park and a large store in Placerville off of El Dorado Road just north of Highway 50. There is also a Folsom store. Ravel Buckley, manager of retail operations for Snowline Hospice, said she believes the stigma once associated with thrift shopping seems to have gone by the wayside. “People are shifting to thrift for several reasons. Once you get in the habit and see what you can discover, it’s hard to go into a retail store and spend full dollar,” Buckley said. “With this economy, people are also looking for ways to save.” For Rachel Henderson thrift store shopping is more about finding something unique than it is about saving a few dollars. “I know I can save money shopping (at thrift stores), but it’s really about being able to find something unique, whether it’s clothing or something for the house,” she said. Buckley said she sees several repeat customers at the Snowline stores and some are into thrifting for profit. “One of our customers tries to find ways to supplement his income,” she said. “He found a political button for $5 and sold it online for $200.” Trinity Thrift in Folsom is stocked with clothing, knick knacks, decorating items and more. Judy Pinney, of Trinity Thrift, said she has seen an increase in customers as of late. “We’ve notice in the last couple of years that we are seeing more customers,” she said. “Generally people are looking for bargains of any kind and really don’t want to pay full retail for clothing and such items.” Snowline accepts donations of gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations are tax deductible. Trinity Thrift, on Wool Street in Folsom, offers modestly priced, books, children’s toys, clothing and household goods.