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Melissa Oyler: Goodwill convert!

February 2, 2012

Melissa Oyler is a local graphic designer, a self-described poet, novelist, organizer, clean freak and marathon runner. However, Melissa is not a thrift shopper. That is, until she stopped by our new Ballantyne Goodwill location.

We read Melissa’s account about her first visit to Goodwill, and asked her if we could share her story with our readers. Read below for Melissa’s own words about how she became a Goodwill convert.


Melissa Oyler - Goodwill convert

Ballantyne Goodwill: a great new place for bargains

I’m not a Goodwill shopper. Mostly because I’m not a patient shopper. I can’t stand stores like TJ Maxx or Marshalls simply because you have to really invest some time and energy into finding good clothes. I much prefer Express or Old Navy or somewhere else that knows what I like and has it in every size, shape and color imaginable.

So, the news that a Goodwill opened its doors in Ballantyne shouldn’t have appealed to me as a shopper. It makes me happy in the sense that I don’t have to drive as far to donate old items, or if I want to go looking for a Halloween costume or something, but regular, everyday shopping? No thank you.

However, when WCNC posted on Facebook about the brand-name bargains one of their employees found at Goodwill, I was intrigued.

I had a little extra time between errands and a meeting yesterday, and I was driving right past it anyway. Might as well stop in, right?

Well, I and every other resident of the Charlotte area clearly had the same idea. The parking lot was full. Cars were parked along the side of the road. I would have just turned around and hightailed it out of the madness right then, except a car happened to pull out of a genuine space right as I was pulling up, so I snagged it and went inside.

And oh, the mania. This is what I hate about bargain shopping, yard sales, big sales. People everywhere. Lines to the back of the store for those wanting to check out. Shopping carts blocking aisles. But my eye caught the shoe rack at the front of the store, so I made a cursory walk past.

And found two pairs of shoes that caught my eye. Both happened to be in my size. Both barely showing wear. And at $3.99 a pair, I snatched them up. It didn’t hurt that one pair was bright pink, the color of my hair.

Grabbed a basket, took a deep breath, and headed into the women’s section. I didn’t have time (or patience) to search through everything. But luckily, things were color coordinated. I want to add more blue, purple, green to my wardrobe to offset my hair, so I headed straight for those colors. I looked through the dresses and skirts, too. And I found clothes I recognized from the stores – maybe a season or two old, but not much more than that. And all in great shape. Brand names I love – Express, Limited. I loaded up my basket and headed for the dressing room.

At the end of my try-on session, I ended up with the following at the register:

One pair of Gap low-rise curvy jeans ($4.99)
One Banana Republic sleeveless shirt ($3,99)
One hoodie from Aeropostale ($3.99)
A pair of shoes from Nina ($3.99)
A pair of shoes from Michael Shannon ($3.99)

So, just for fun, I did a quick search to see what these items are worth in the stores right now.

Gap jeans: $69.95
Banana Republic top: $69.50 on sale for $29.99 for comparable style
Aeropostale hoodie: $29.50 on sale for $14.75 for comparable style
Nina shoes: $79 on the cheap end for comparable style
Michael Shannon shoes: I did have a hard time finding these, but this site mentions they are worth $62 retail for a new pair

So, accounting for sale prices, this would be a grand total of: $255.69 + tax  in the store!

And guess what I paid at Goodwill? A whopping $20.95 + tax. For all this:

Goodwill shopper? I may have just been converted.


Thanks, Melissa, for letting us share your shopping story! The best part is, 90 cents out of every dollar that is spent at any of our Goodwill stores goes to help people in our own community through job training and employment programs.

Share Melissa’s story and help us spread the word – thrifting is good for your wallet, good for the environment and good for our community.

Thank you!

2 Comments
  1. Cindy permalink
    February 2, 2012 1:53 pm

    very cute… The one in Mtn Island is great too.

    • February 2, 2012 1:54 pm

      Cindy – We agree. Mtn. Island Goodwill is a gem! Have you found some treasures there lately?

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