Self-made millionaires don’t become rich by giving their money away. Contrary to popular belief, millionaires often spend less (as a proportion of their total income) than non-millionaires. Self-made millionaires also hunt for great deals on clothes, household goods, and accessories, so don’t be surprised if you are shoulder to shoulder with these wealthy savers at …… the thrift store.
I’ve been shopping at thrift stores for most of my life (which is partly why I still have sticker shock every time I see a mall price tag), and because I’ve “seen it all”, I can tell you that most of the time, thrift store prices don’t really excite me… that is, until my recent visit to the Red Cross Thrift Store. Here’s what I found:
The Red Cross Thrift Store is in two locations (The Red Cross Training Campsite at 62 Jalan Khairuddin, Opera Estate, S457524 and The Red Cross House at 15 Penang Lane, S238486) and open on Fridays (Campsite) and Wednesdays (Red Cross House). Also, at various times during the year, The Red Cross House will hold a Sunday Sale.
Clothes at 25 Cents Per Piece!
I stopped by the Red Cross House during lunch time last week. Upon arriving, I immediately noticed a number of large pallet-size boxes filled with clothing and a sign above that read “4-for-$1 NETT“. There were 4 to 5 large boxes for ladies clothing and 1 for mens clothing, but by the time I arrived, everything was mixed around. I would have preferred that the thrift store display the items in a more orderly fashion (preferably on hangers and assorted by color or by size), but because the price was so low, it was worthwhile rummaging through the boxes (and it felt like a treasure hunt!).
Here are some pieces that I found in the “4-for-$1” piles. Some of them were even branded clothes.
Brand New Shoes
Next to the boxes were lots and lots of shoes – all brand new! They were all between $3 and $5 a pair.
Colour-Tagged Pre-Owned Items
On the opposite side, there were books and two rooms filled with even more clothing, bedding, and accessories. The items in the rooms, however, were individually priced as many of them were brand new. The price tags they use are a bit unusual, as they are colour coded. Here’s what the colours mean.
- Blue $1
- Pink $2
- Yellow $3
- Green $4
- White $5
Individually-Priced New Items
There were 2 racks that had branded new formal wear. For these items, the prices were written in. Some of the items still had mall tags from Tangs, Isetan, and other department stores. Here are some photos of such branded formal wear.
You might think that some of these prices are a bit high, but on the day that I went, they were having a REALLY BIG SALE! Just how big? If your total was $20 or above, they would give you a 70% discount on your entire purchase! This means that you pay only $6 for every $20 worth of merchandise! There was one lady who bought more than 20 pairs of shoes that day. The lady in front of me at the checkout queue had filled and stuffed an IKEA bag with clothing and accessories and paid less than $10 for everything.
For me, having just attended a clothing swap, I really had no need for additional clothes, but the 4-for-$1 deal was just too good to miss. I quickly rummaged through some of the piles and picked out 3 items (I was in a bit of a rush so I just gave up on finding a 4th piece). Here are my finds:
I didn’t realise until I got home that one of the blouses was from Mango (left). The other two blouses are both made of silk and are very comfortable to wear in our hot climate. And here was the total amount that I spent:
Ethnic & Occasion Wear
They also have ethnic wear. This is a photo of a salwar kameez I bought at their last Sunday Sale (in July). At that time, they weren’t having a crazy 70%-off special, so I paid a bit more for the set (a whopping $2.80), and now I have something to wear whenever I go to Indian festivals. If you’ve never shopped at a thrift store before, it’s never too late to shop like a self-made millionaire and visit the Red Cross thrift store. If you work near either of these thrift stores, you might want to swing by during your breaks. They don’t have the 70% off sale every week, but from time to time, they will have specials (the previous week, they had 50% off all stocks). If you don’t work near either of their outlets, you’ll have to wait for their Sunday Sales. The next Red Cross Sunday Sale is planned for November. And I’ll be sure to include it in the Frugal Weekly Planner so that you won’t miss it!
Singapore Red Cross Society
Main Thrift Shop
15 Penang Lane