This past weekend, I went with a couple of my girlfriends to the Fort Myer Thrift Shop. I had been there once before when I was buying china for my wedding reception, but I didn't check out anything besides their dish section. The Fort Myer Thrift Shop is unlike any other thrift shop I've seen...mostly because it's on a military base and you have to get your car searched for WMD's, bombs, and anything else that might be considered terrorist. That's right, you have to pull over, get out, give them your license, let them search your trunk, engine, and interior as they write down your license plate number for record keeping. Once you get past security, you drive around the base until you get to the back corner and park in some teeny spaces.
The thrift store is only open Tuesday-Thursday from 10:00 - 2:30 and the first Saturday of the month from 10-3. Occasionally, the store will hold special hours on another Saturday especially around Christmas. The thrift shop takes both donations and consignment, but only from military personnel and their families. Since I don't fall into one of those categories, I can buy but I can't unload any of my own stuff there. The thrift shop is actually housed in two buildings - the smaller of the two is called the Boutique and carries consignment goods which are usually higher priced, but also nicer quality goods. You might find fine china, a fur coat, or a gold ring. The Boutique also has some clothing, all the jewelry (both real and costume), and the nicer housewares. The second building has tons of clothing, kid's clothing and toys, a whole room of housewares, a room of household linens (i.e. sheets, curtains, table linens, comforters, etc.), artwork, picture frames, and all the furniture. The stores are run by a small staff and a group of volunteers and profits go toward community grants and scholarships for military families.
I found the prices to be significantly higher than Briana's thrift stores, but the quality was way better than the Goodwill I went to last week and I felt that the prices were on par with what I would expect from the D.C. area. There was also a lot more selection at the Fort Myer Thrift Shop than what I've seen at any other place in D.C. so far. The great thing about the consigned pieces is that each tag has two dates listed with automatic price drops. Since the shop is open on such a limited schedule, you might be able to snag a great deal by just holding out a couple of weeks. Also, the shop runs discounts and specials based on the volume of the type of item. For example, they were running 2 for $1 on women's clothing tagged with red tags...which tended to be winter clothing. One of the volunteers explained to me that donations don't usually tie to the correct season (for example, most people are donating winter clothes now, but we are headed into spring) so the thrift store will store them in their attic until the appropriate season and run specials at the end of the season. Here are a few of the finds I spotted during my trip:
This settee has a horrid fabric choice, but the cushions and caning were in excellent condition and I love the shape.
|$40 for each table...wooden squirrel not included.|
I loved the unique legs on this table and I tried to talk one of my girlfriends into buying it (she needs a small table for her bedroom, but unfortunately, she needs one even smaller than this!). This was the cheapest piece of furniture I saw while we were there.
Love love love this headboard and foot board. I like it how it is, but this would also be great painted white or with a darker stain.
|$150 but 5/29 will be $112.50 and 6/18 and after $75|
I thought this would be cute in a nursery, but originally at $38.75 it's a bit high (even if it is original artwork, signed, matted, and framed)...but this is a great example where the price has now dropped to $23.25!
|$38.75 originally, 3/16 - $31, 3/31 - $23.25|
|$4 for 4 cups, plates not priced|
|$15 now, 5/18 -$12, 6/2- $9|
|Pitcher: $45 now, 5/29 - $33.75, 6/18 - $22.50|
Vase: $30 now, 5/29 - $22.50, 6/18 - $15
|$8.50 now, 4/16 - $6.38, 5/6 - $4.25|