I have always called it the “Jesus Loves You Thrift Shop” because that is the phrase written across the top of the building.
Glen calls it the Churches Thrift Shop for it is an amalgamated project of many churches and staff by volunteers, paid employees, and is a place to employ the unemployed.
Actually its formal name is the Churches of Salmon Arm Used Goods Society. There is what the sign above the door says.
Yesterday I walked into the store just as a refurbished dresser was being wheeled from its refurbishing shop into its boutique.
Better furniture and dishes go to a room where the prices are higher.
The refurbishing shop is out of sight, above the main store. I haven’t seen anything in the boutique for more than $200 and today I saw a pair of chairs -- $10 each. But then one of them went down to $8 when the seller saw that the wood across the seat was split at the back.
A couple of days ago I saw a hutch out in the parking lot where people drop off their used goods. The colour of the furniture matched Bonnie’s new kitchen but there was only a top, not a bottom. My suspicion was that the bottom was somewhere else in the lot. When I went back to measure at least the top, even that was gone -- now upstairs to the shop where a carpenter touches it up. I wanted to buy it as is, but no the process has started and I have to wait until it comes down to the boutique.
“How will I know when it is here,” I asked the clerk, Marilyn.
“You will have to keep dropping in,” she said.
And she continued, “We who work here aren’t allowed to buy anything for the first 24 hours. Bring cash if you want something. That is how we operate.” I can't say that was calming, but that is the way things are done.
Keep dropping in is not good advice for me. If I keep dropping in, I will have to have money in my purse. I hung out at the Churches Thrift Shop for a couple of hours yesterday, putting aside a pair of wooden salt and pepper shakers, by placing them further back on the shelf and meaning to come back to them. I had opened the pepper grinder, checked that it had pepper corns in it, twisted it to see if it was still functioning. I was ready to buy.
Not ten minutes after leaving that spot, I saw the pepper grinder of that set in a man’s shopping cart.
I felt some consternation. Why had he not take the whole set, and how had he settled on the item I was going to buy? It was hard for me not to will it, somehow, back out of his cart and tell him that I had seen it first. Or at the very least, I wanted to tell him it wasn’t right to break up the set and that he had to take the salt shaker as well with it. I doubt that one piece of a salt and pepper set would cost more than the whole set.
That was a downer of a shopping experience?
I proceeded to take my own basket and fill it with other items I had been putting aside: a 2-cup and a 3-cup pyrex measuring cup, metal mixing bowls, a Wilton cake-mold shaped like a horse shoe. Tthere is a chance that Bonnie might need two out of three of those previous items
When the man at the till began to add up my items he laid them out on the counter and then began to say, $.50, $.75, $1.25, $2.50, $3.25. I was only half listening and thought it odd that each item was a higher price than the one before it, but all in all, the aggregate total seemed to added up to under $10 and I had experienced that much fun going through shelf after shelf in the thrift store.
I pulled out my $10 and waited for him to tell me how much more I should pay. He said, “Yes, $3.25 from $10.”
Oh, it was a cululaltive total. In reality I was now paying 1/3 of what I thought I would have been paying.
The down side is that the clerk told me that I would have to wrap up the glassware myself. He wasn’t good at it. “Someone is sick and I have just come in to fill in for lunch hours and coffee breaks for the rest of the employees.” I was good to go in plastic bags. I had so much by weight that I had to carry my stuff out in two loads.
One the way back into the shop, I saw a woman at the counter buying The Joy of Cooking. She was paying $1 for it, her single purchase. I have always wanted that volume and there it was, leaving the store under someone else’s arm. I couldn’t believe I had missed purchasing that myself.
If I want to fill myself with angst, all I will have to do is stand at the Exit, watch what other people have purchased, and wish that I had seen those items first.
On the other hand, we did get a bedstead for David. The right price for us: $15.