Savers – South Lamar

Our eyes spoke volumes to one another and I felt electricity when our fingers touched…                                                                                                                                                                                                                         his name trembled on my lips as he tenderly relieved me of my box…                                                                                                                                                                                                                    then Paul spoke the five little words every girl wants to hear:                                                                                                                                                                                                             Thanks For Donating To Savers!

Oh my! The Thrifty Snicker has been reading entirely too many bodice rippers these last few chilly weeks but thankfully temperatures have started to rise outside just as they have between the pages her favorite romances. Indeed, on one chilly night the Diva of Discount dropped off a box of donatables at one of her very favorite local thrift stores and was delighted when a friendly employee rushed out to help with the box and then proceeded to thank her most sincerely for her support! Makes a girl just want to clean out her closet – especially when that donation nets her a nice tax receipt AND a coupon for a future thrifty purchase! And this blog post contains yet another incentive to get to your spring cleaning…keep reading!

If you’ve ever hit the resale trail in Austin you’ve undoubtedly shopped at the Savers south location on south Lamar just north of Ben White. Unless, that is, you’re like the Thriftstress who lived nearby for over a year before learning that the big bright store she passed every day was actually a thrift store supporting the Easter Seals Society! To think of the missed bargains is nearly unbearable but how was she to know just by driving past? However, she’s making up for lost time and given that some 30,000 items are added to store inventory each week, it’s easy to find something wonderful and wonderfully priced on every visit.

This place has a LOT of clothes! If you can’t find the perfect outfit then you’ve apparently got your nose in a book, which is understandable given their “buy four, get one free” pricing policy, or you’ve been sidetracked by bedding and towels in the soft goods section of this clean and well-organized store. Clothes are hung by size (but not color) and excellent signage makes finding what you’re looking for a breeze. Savers is aptly named what with most clothing items under, if not well under, the $10 cap. Women’s tops, for example, run $2.99 to $5.99. A retro faux chinchilla coat could be had on a recent visit for just $29.99. On the same visit the Thriftstress snapped up a new-with-tags nightshirt for just $5.99. One happy shopping spree a few months ago resulted in the purchase of ten items for a total of less than a Ulysses S. Grant, tax included!

This edifice of economy employees 42 thriftologists, more than half of whom work in the back sorting and pricing. Believe it or not, only about 20% of the donations make it to the floor – the rest is recycled, goes overseas, or is sold to vendors. The store itself is a for-profit venture; part of a company with over 300 locations in the US, Canada and Australia. But even if you donate directly to the store, Easter Seals of Central Texas is paid for your donation. According to the Savers website, $180 million was raised for its charity partners in 2013 alone!

Extremely reasonable pricing isn’t the only thing this thrift does well. The Snicker just loves Savers’ practice of hanging pants at an angle, enabling shoppers to see the waistband tag at a glance. And while it’s not the only store that does this, Savers is also one of just a few that bags up little random items for $1.99. You might find a couple of salt and pepper shakers, a package of post-a-notes and some pencils, or a bag of craft items nicely combined at a steal of a price.

The repetitive advertising over the store’s loudspeaker system gets a bit tiring and there’s entirely too much junior wear mixed in among women’s clothing, especially for a store with a professional sorting staff. Another small, but noticeable, hiccup is the absence of sales staff anywhere but at check-out stations. But overall these are very minor flaws in an otherwise impeccable thrift experience. Not surprising they’ve got this thrift thing down considering Savers is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year! You’re invited to the anniversary party on March 16 but there’s one catch – to snag a coveted invite you have to drop off a donation on the 14th, 15th or 16th and in addition to your receipt you’ll get an invitation. Forget SXSW…this party will have 30% off house-wares, jewelry and furniture and 60% off clothes and most everything else!

Want to shop? You can save on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. the other six days at 4001 South Lamar. There’s tons of parking and all major credit cards are accepted. They even have a reasonable return policy. General information can be had, including additional store locations in north Austin and Cedar Park. Store manager Faith promises a Facebook page very soon to help locals stay in the loop. You can also call the store at 512.442.8011.

As much as it pains the Discount Diva to admit it, she doesn’t know everything thrift. What are your favorite places and best bargains?

Until the next find!

 The Thrifty Snicker


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