Sometimes a bargain hunter receives less than she bargained for.
That’s what just happened to me.
Yesterday, my daughter and I were stuck in another city, about a 90-minute drive from home. We had a couple of hours to kill, waiting for an appointment, so we decided to explore the area a bit.
That’s when we stumbled upon the thrift store.
I don’t wanna mention any names, but the store’s name rhymes with Wood Gill and our family actually supports this nationwide outreach with donations of apparel and household goods every month or so.
This particular store was located in a rather affluent area. And, as any savvy frugalista well knows, the best deals on quality thrift store merchandise are often found in such neighborhoods. It all boils down to which closets are contributing to the collections in that milieu.
So we popped in to peek around.
We scored several screaming deals, scooping up our favorite branded stuff. Both of us picked out sweet plaid flannel shirts – perfect for fall days at the barn. The tags say things like American Eagle, Cruel Girl, and Aeropostale.
A Hollister shirt was marked $1, simply because it required a little sewing along one shoulder seam. I’m a pretty handy seamstress. I’ve sewn everything from draperies to business suits and prom dresses, so that was no big deal.
My daughter grabbed a pair of trendy jeans with cute Cowgirl Tuff jeans with rhinestone pocket bling and a fabulous Western leather belt with silver conchos, still in pristine condition.
We lined up to check out, estimating our purchases would total about $15 for six still-fashionable and useful items.
That’s when it happened.
The cashier called out our total: $21.42.
That must be a high tax percentage in this town, I thought, as I counted out bills and change.
Later, when I unloaded our bag of thrifty treasures, I discovered the checkout clerk had charged us $4 for the $1 Hollister shirt. But by then we were more than 50 miles away.
OK, it's only $3, but that's almost a gallon of gas. On the other hand, it would have cost us a lot more than that (and tons of time) to return for a refund.
I have to wonder. Did we support the mission a little more than expected? Did the cashier make an honest mistake? Or did we line her pockets with some extra lunch money?
Either way, we still picked up some bargains, which we’ll wear well this fall.
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