Secondhand scores

Top three thrifting spots around town

by Rachel Oliver, Editor in Chief

As thrifting becomes an increasingly popular trend, everyone’s hitting the thrift stores. However, with an abundance of Goodwills filled with bedazzled tank tops from kohls and t-shirts stained with who-knows-what, it can become discouraging to keep looking. But, with these three thrift spots, it’s hard to lose.

1. Hill Country Community Ministries Thrift Store

Hill Country Community Ministries Thrift Store, or Hill Country Thrift for short, opened last year on June 1. However, since then, it’s quickly climbed the ranks as the best thrift store in town. From their great deals to the friendly staff, Hill Country Thrift is the way to go.

The main selling point for them is their pricing. As other name brand thrift stores, such as Savers or Goodwill, continue to raise their prices into the $10 and even $15 range, Hill Country Thrift keeps their prices down to a solid $4 or $5. They organize their racks into blouses, skirts and jeans just like any other thrift store, however, they keep a consistent price for each section, unless marked otherwise of course. This pricing system makes it way too easy to buy way too much.

The good news doesn’t stop with their low prices. Their staff is also incredibly friendly. Even though they’re mainly staffed by volunteers, their customer service is beyond amazing. They always recognize me when I am checking out, and it genuinely feels like I’m having a conversation with a friend while I’m checking out. This differs greatly from stores like Savers, where you’ll often catch a glare from an employee or just feel judged and scrutinized while checking out.

Believe it or not, there is a downside to Hill Country Thrift. Their selection doesn’t change very often. This is probably due to the fact that there isn’t a constant swarm of people crowding the racks like popular thrift stores. A plus side to this is that usually when I’m thrifting and I find something I like, but maybe I don’t want to buy it on that trip, so I just put it back and pray that somebody else doesn’t buy it before I come back to get it. But at Hill Country Thrift, I know that it will most likely still be there because almost nobody shops there.

Whenever I’m in a thrifting mood, my first stop is always Hill Country Community Ministries Thrift Store at 1501 Leander Dr, and anyone looking for a good thrift should make it their first stop too.

2. Savers

Savers is a classic. That’s all there is to say. They always have a new selection of clothes, and they also have a wide selection of pretty much everything. They have clothes, they have knick-knacks, and obviously they have paintings of men on motorcycles in the clouds. They have everything.

Their impressive selection, keeps me coming back after my first stop at Hill Country Thrift. I can always expect to find something new and unexpected when I visit. I love walking through their houseware isles, filled with useless trinkets, old waffle irons and “World’s Best Dad” mugs. The isles and isles of sweaters, pants, and dresses always keep me looking through the racks for what feels like hours, and what sometimes actually is hours.

However, there is a downside to Savers. Recently, much like Goodwill, their prices have skyrocketed. A shirt that used to be at most $5, is now $15. To me, this defeats the purpose of thrifting. Even though I know that I’m supposed to thrift because it’s good for the environment, what really makes me want to thrift is the fact that I can get a lot of clothes for a small amount of money. But when a shirt is $15, what is the difference between shopping at Savers than Brandy Melville? Sans the environmental impacts of fast fashion of course. 

Although their selection is superior to Hill Country Thrift, the rising prices definitely put Savers into second place. So, I recommend after stopping at Hill Country Thrift, to head over to Savers at 11101 Pecan Park Blvd in Cedar Park.

3. “The Small Goodwill”

Although there are six Goodwills in the Cedar Park-Leander area, the one located on 75 Brushy Creek Rd in Cedar Park, otherwise known between my friends and me as “the Small Goodwill,” is by far the best one.

Don’t be fooled by its nickname, the Small Goodwill is packed with good finds. The store is packed with racks, and the racks are packed with clothes. Their walls have two racks, one on top of the other, of sweatshirts, button-ups and rugby shirts. Even with their small square footage, they still made room for a home section for paintings, DVDs, books, and my favorite, knick-knacks.

However, the Small Goodwill faces some of the same problems as Hill Country Thrift and Savers. One, their prices have been steadily rising, making sweatshirts and button-ups to be around $15 on average. Two, their selection doesn’t change very often, which especially hurts because their original selection wasn’t very good to begin with. Although still better than other Goodwills in the area, it takes some hunting to find something good from here.

So, after checking out Hill Country Thrift and Savers, I would suggest making a final stop at the Small Goodwill. It’s surprising what’s hidden in a deceivingly small store.