With the opening of the new stations on the Downtown Line, it’s now easier than ever to get to Salvation Army’s Praisehaven Mega Family Thrift Store (located at Hillview Exit A). Out of all their thrift stores (there are 5 of them), this one is by far the largest, and thanks to the DTL, it’s probably the most convenient one to get to. Here are some things they have that make the trip worthwhile.
Note: The shop has a “no photography” policy, but I managed to get clearance from a staff member to take a few general photos. (Click to enlarge photos)
Categories of Items
- Furniture – The basement is entirely filled with furniture, including beds, sofas, desks, bookshelves, dining tables, and more. I spotted a modern solid wood-frame chaise for $130, a complete 6-piece traditional Chinese rosewood living room set for $1500, and a baby crib/cot for $40. All these pieces were high quality pieces (not the cheap particleboard that IKEA sells). And they were all in excellent condition. While I was there, they were having a furniture clearance and many items were further discounted. If you are unable to haul the item yourself, you can opt to have your item delivered. Their delivery fees start at $40.
- Baby Items – Let’s face it, kids grow up way to fast to buy everything new. Wouldn’t you rather save that money for other things, like for their future education needs or for your own retirement needs? Besides baby furniture, Praisehaven also has baby clothes, car seats, high chairs, prams, rockers, and toys. Who cares if there might be some cosmetic stains here and there. So long as its sanitary, your baby will likely stain brand new items anyway.
- Formal Wear – Sadly, the vast majority of bridesmaid dresses (and other formal wear) never get worn twice. And this is often where these one-time-use outfits end up. If you have an upcoming special occasion, and want to wear an almost-new dress, this is a good place to shop. Often, these dresses come dry cleaned by the previous owner. The prices are about 30% to 50% off what you would otherwise pay at a boutique.
- Clothing & Accessories – Prices for their clothing are a bit on the high side for a thrift store (in my opinion, Red Cross Thrift Store has the best prices). But most of their pieces are in really good condition. They also have fitting rooms available so you can try before you buy, which is really rare for thrift stores in Singapore. In addition to clothing, they also have handbags, shoes, scarves, belts, and ties.
- Books – Praisehaven has a huge selection of books, including children’s books, reference books, and foreign language books.
- Household Goods – They have tableware, linens, and small kitchen appliances. All items that require power have been tested to be in good working condition by the staff, but if for some reason, the item no longer works when you bring it home, they have an exchange/store credit policy and you can bring the faulty item back. I found their prices for household goods to also be on the high side for a thrift store (in my opinion, the prices seem to be a bit higher than prices for comparable items at Cash Converters), but still way cheaper than buying new.
- Electronics – They have phones, cameras, camcorders, computers, laptops, printers, sound systems, webcams, gaming systems, and more. If you’re looking for a good used phone, they have the iPhone 4 16GB and the Samsung S2 16GB for sale at $100; and the iPhone 4 32GB for $180.
- Sporting Goods – There were tons of golf clubs, balls, rackets, and bike helmets. There were some items that looked barely used, perhaps they were once owned by someone who thought they would take up a new hobby, but in the end gave it up. Their loss is your gain.
- Musical Instruments – Praisehaven has tons of string instruments (guitars, cellos, violins, etc.), instrument cases, CDs, music stands, and music books – all at very reasonable prices. I also spotted a complete drum set. On their online store (reddshop.com), they have a Casio Piano for sale at only $250. If you’re interested in learning a new instrument, I recommend buying second-hand, just in case you find out later that it’s not for you.
- Art – Buying artwork and framing it can cost a lot of money, especially if you get it custom-framed. A much cheaper alternative would be to buy artwork from a thrift store. Sometimes I’ll just buy a piece at a thrift store just to use the frame itself. I once gave two very large framed wedding photos as a housewarming gift. Everyone was so impressed because they thought I had the photos custom-framed (which would have cost around $200 each). Nope. They were just $20. At Praisehaven, you’ll find a lot of framed artwork at very affordable prices.
- Miscellaneous Bric-a-brac – Going to the thrift store is always like a treasure hunt to me. Even if I don’t end up buying anything, it’s sometimes just fun to search and look. You’ll never know what you’ll find. I once bought some decorative boxes and used them as ang pow wedding boxes. I’ve also purchased large linen sheets and made curtains out of them. Unfortunately most of the knick-knacks at Praisehaven won’t be suitable to buy as gifts for other people because the price is written with black permanent marker. I hope one day they change to using stickers or removable tags instead.
If you are a loyalty member (membership free), you get a card which entitles you to a 10% discount for all general merchandise, excluding books, at all Salvation Army thrift shops. Of course, buying from Salvation Army also means that your proceeds will be supporting their good causes. And buying pre-loved goods means you’re helping to reduce waste. It’s a win for everyone!
Salvation Army Praisehaven Mega Family Thrift Store
500 Upper Bukit Timah Road, S678106
Tel : +65 63495312
Business Operating Hours: Mon – Thurs: 10am – 6pm
Fri & Sat: 10am – 9pm