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'Thrifting' gains in popularity

Newswatch 16's Rose Itzcovitz explains why the pandemic may have opened more folks up to secondhand shopping.

DICKSON CITY, Pa. — It's something that's been around longer than your mom's old closet full of clothes, but area stores tell us recently, thrifting is gaining in popularity.

Stephanie Nestor of Scranton has a lot of junk to get rid of, but actually, it's not really junk.

"It's all quality products that people can use and reuse," Nestor said.

Dropping off at Plato's Closet in Dickson City, she says she's got about a quarantine's worth of baggage here.

"Trying to get rid of a lot of the excess stuff post-COVID."

Secondhand shops say they've seen more of this—one man's trash, another's treasure—since people have been coming out of lockdown.

"I know for me personally, when I was at home doing nothing, I went through my closet maybe four or five times within the year," said Tara Ippolito, a sales associate at Plato's Closet.

"There's a lot of moms that come in, they're like, I finally had the time to go through everything, clean out my house, so I'm bringing it all to you guys."

Abbey Williams manages Once Upon A Child in Dickson City, one of Plato's Closet's sister stores. She says the pandemic has brought in not only more sellers but buyers as well.

"I've definitely had customers say that times are harder now because of the pandemic. So thrifting is definitely something that helps in the rough times," Williams said.

"Prices, you know, at the mall are skyrocketing. And then with our policy, our prices always stay low," said Juliana Novack, Style Encore assistant manager.

The act of thrifting itself is probably more vintage than any of the items you'd see at these stores. Thrifters can find anything from toys or clothes for your kids to well-known name brands.

Data from online thrift store thredUP projects the secondhand market will double in the next five years.

"I have five kids, so I'm always bringing things in that we're done with, and shopping and it's a great way to make ends meet and stretch what you have," said shopper Kellie Green.

"We've always shopped in thrift stores," said shopper Karl Tomolonis. "It's really convenient, and the prices are good."

As for Stephanie Nestor, who lightened her pandemic load, she decided to do a little shopping after she picked up that extra cash to start fresh.

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