By Piper G
Not all thrift stores are created equally. When one pictures a thrift store, their mind may create an image of outdated wall decor, racks of disheveled and questionable clothes, and a musty, potent odor of mothballs and mildew wafting throughout the building. While this has been my experience in some thrift stores in the Duxbury area, certainly not all of them fall into this cliché categorization.
Of the many local thrift stores on the South Shore, several are hidden gems.
Over the past month, I have visited four different thrift stores: The Duxbury Thrift Shop in Duxbury, MA, Penny Lane in Sandwich, MA, Savers in Hanover, MA, and Savers in Plymouth, MA.
The Duxbury Thrift Shop has been called “the best-hidden treasure on the South Shore.” according to a visitor to the store. Its located in the former Foodies plaza and sells quality clothing, accessories, jewelry, books, and home décor for very reasonable prices. This store is laid out nicely. And it’s a welcoming and comfortable place to shop with an inviting atmosphere. This probably has to do with the fact that the store is run by volunteers who enjoy working there. It’s evident that a lot of time and care is put into the window and jewelry display cases. The selections to choose from are more quality than quantity, which makes shopping there more efficient and less distracting than in larger thrift stores. The Duxbury Thrift Shop is run by volunteers and is nonprofit with proceeds going to scholarships for graduating Duxbury High School seniors. On a scale from mothballs to magnificent, I would rate The Duxbury Thrift Shop as simply marvelous.”
Penny Lane is an upscale thrift store located in Sandwich, MA. Its located in a small shopping plaza like the Duxbury Thrift Shop and is similar in size. While there were beautiful window displays, I found this shop less inviting. It carried name brand clothing and accessories, however, there was less of an inventory of clothing. The store had some large furniture pieces on display and was set up nicely, but the limited inventory of clothing made it less appealing. While its website boasts about its extensive inventory, I didn’t find that to be the case and was out of the shop within fifteen minutes. The items for sale were like those offered in the Duxbury Thrift Shop, but the prices were noticeably higher. Using the scale from mothballs to magnificent, I would have to give Penny Lane more of a mothball sort of rating.
Savers, Inc. is a privately held for-profit thrift store chain that has over 300 locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. I visited two different Savers in the general area. One Savers is located in Hanover, MA and the other is in Plymouth, MA. Although most chain stores carry the same stock, Savers is a thrift store. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to review the same store and determine the differences based on location.
Savers in Hanover, MA is located just off Exit 13 on a busy strip of road. Depending on the day you go, you may find parking a challenge. The building that houses Savers is large and factory-like in appearance with linoleum floors. There is a lot of inventory for clothes, accessories, books, and home décor, which can make shopping there overwhelming. It’s obvious at Savers that quantity is valued over quality. However, you can find some name brand items if you have the patience to look. In a store this large, it’s easy to get distracted and lose track of time. This thrift shop fell about in the middle of the mothball to magnificent scale.
Savers in Plymouth, MA is located off Exit 6 in the Shaw’s Plaza. This location is less congested than the Hanover store but it is similar in size. Although the Plymouth location has more similarities than differences to the Hanover location, both stores offer huge inventories of items and exhausting shopping experiences. I found Saver’s Plymouth location preferable. In addition to the location, I like the layout of the store better. The Plymouth location also plays music from the 1970s-80s to enhance the shopping experience, which I liked. Definitely a magnificent rating.
Overall I came away from this experience with the understanding that thrift stores can be extremely different and that there is no guarantee that you will find something worth buying every time. Going to thrift stores always ensures an exciting experience because you never know what you are going to find.