One of the benefits of thrift shopping is the near-constant element of surprise. You can’t predict what you’ll find on the racks – or in the case of a recent visit to a very good Goodwill in Easton, Maryland, what you’ll hear from salesclerks.
“Everything’s half-off today – all except the new merchandise!” the clerks greeted shoppers as they walked through the door.
It was the last Saturday of the month and this Goodwill regularly holds a 50 percent off sale that day. In August, this was a boon for back-to-school shoppers and the aisles had many mother/child pairs looking through the hangers of pants, clipped in the typical Goodwill fashion on a slant, so that you instantly view the size labels on the waistband, a big time-saver.
Significant daily discounts are found in all of the 2,800 Goodwill locations in the U.S. and abroad. There are special color days with 20 to 25 percent discounts and senior citizens typically have one a day a week with additional savings.
But 50 percent off is unusual.
This meant our two $4.87 blouses were $2.43 each. One, a Croft & Barrow button-down, is in a pleasing yellow stripe. The other, a short-sleeved blue polka dot blouse by Sag Harbor, is a cool nylon blend, perfect for the upcoming end-of-summer heat wave being warned of by the weather bureau.
Two purses caught our eye, a black velvet evening bag large enough to hold a phone (many aren’t) and a cream tote with clean lines and good carrying capacity. Both were $2.50 each, down from the usual $5.
Our total bill? $9.87, as this week also is a back-to-school tax holiday for clothing in Maryland.
Shoppers lucky to have hit the store’s monthly bargain were thrilled at the check-out counter, and happily rounded up their purchases to the nearest dollar to help further the Goodwill mission. The round-up is a Goodwill-wide program that helps shoppers easily become small extra donors to the nonprofit’s mission of offering education and skills training to aid the 288,000 job seekers it helped in 2017.
Only the few items of new merchandise—chiefly Halloween costume staples like comically large clown ties and bowler hats—remained at their low full price for the Easton store’s discount day.
The store is part of Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Inc., founded in 1919. It runs 28 retail stores in eight Maryland counties, stretching from north of Baltimore to the Eastern Shore, where the quaint Federal town of Easton is located. We can assure you there are surprises found in every location.
Goodwill, 134 N. Washington St., Easton, MD 21601. 410-770-4458.
Open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.