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Finding the perfect holiday gifts could be in your local resale shops

Buying gifts doesn't have to break the bank and the keys to finding the best stuff could be found in your local resale shops.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Recycle, reuse, restore, resell! As we enter the holiday season, there are concerns about high prices and low inventory of hot gifts. 

That's why resale shops are growing in popularity.

If this is your first time resale shopping, you need to do a couple of things before heading out. 

First, find the best resale shops near you and then keep an open mind!. Finding the stores is a piece of cake. The work has already been done for you. 

Check out The Happy Thrifter Shopper on Facebook. They also have a website. This group has done their research and even prints a newspaper with a guide to all the thrift shops in the area, along with convenient maps to help you get to the best ones. 

The website can help you find out where to pick up a copy of the resale guide for your area. 

If you really want an adventure then take a ride on the Mystery Resale Shopping Bus Tour. These tours take you to several resale shops in a particular area and even give you lunch along the way. 

Find out more about that adventure on The Happy Thrifter website as well. 

Patti Clark runs the bus tours and says they were able to count up the receipts and before COVID hit, with just 23 tours, they were able to put $215,000 back into the community! 

As far as thrift shopping for the first time, Clark says, "I think you have to enjoy the fun and the thrill of the hunt. I think that's really the key. You have to be open-minded and you have to spend some time and you have to look. And there's a lot of people who just love that."  

She also says there are different kinds of stores. "It's not only just thrift stores. I mean it's consignment stores, it's boutiques, it's resale shops, it's salvage, it's home decor, it's barn decor, it's farmhouse. It's so much that encompasses the resale market."

Clark says she starting to see many younger people shop resale, and she hopes it starts to give people a different view. "You know we're bringing awareness to the resale community and the resale community is really growing. There was a stigma attached to the resale community, like I would donate, but I wouldn't shop. That has totally changed."

For those who have donated, but never shopped, Linda Steves with St. Vincent DePaul in Bradenton has this advice, "We ask them to come inside the front door because the back door is where they drop off donations. We tell them the front door, they'll get the 'front door experience' and they'll love it."

Dawn Simpson with Hope Chest Thrift Store in Bradenton says they really take time going through donations. "We do pick out the best of the best. We're super picky with what we put on the floor from clothing to toys, housewares that kind of thing. We make sure everything is clean and sterilized before it comes to the floor."