Monday, February 18, 2008

Thrift Store Review: NEARLY NEW THRIFT SHOP Conroe

I was feeling really down this week, and I was in much need of retail therapy. This presented a problem for two reasons. 1) I love to shop, but I hate actually spending money. 2) Even if I liked spending money, I can't because we are on a total spending freeze. My solution was to take $10 from my Christmas money stash - thank goodness we still have parents that remember us and not just our children at Christmas. I took my $10 to the cheapest thrift store I know. Nearly New Thrift Shop is on 106 S. San Jacinto in Conroe. They are convieniently located down the street from the Assistance League Thrift Store and It's All Good Thrift Store making it very easy for someone with plenty of time and no kids to hit up all the thrift stores at once. If anybody ever goes into It's All Good, please let me know. They never seem to be open when I pass by. This does not bode well for their chances of ever getting a much coveted positive thrift store review. But I digress.

Nearly New is cheap on many items, like books ($.25-$.50), but many prices depend on what day you go and how nice your cashier is. I happened to go on the last day of all clothing $.25. I suspect this is why the parking lot was full, but since the parking lot only fits 8 cars, maybe not. The store is small and cluttered, maybe 600 square feet, but it feels like a closet. It reminds me of an overgrown hedge maze with shelves of bric a brac and VHS tapes creating dead ends as you try to make your way around. There is NO room for a stroller of any kind, so my kind husband had the task of carrying a baby. First on the left is a little section with all sorts of junk, basically. I think it is supposed to have board games and sports sets or something, but usually, unattended kids have taken it all apart and created havoc. There happened to be four, loud arguing children stepping on each other, so after getting pushed by two of them, I quit looking and moved on to the books. Meanwhile, the wretched kids moved on to the middle of the store where they played catch with a ball. After dodging it twice, my husband decided he would rather be in the car.

The book nook is also in a tight spot, but thankfully, no one ever seems to be shopping for books. The books are crammed in and stacked up. There is a lot of kids books to choose from, and that is what I ended up with the most of. I found a big stash of untouched work books ($.25 each), and a beautiful math book that was about an inch thick. Someone had suspected the treasure of it because it had a $1.50 price tag added. It was worth it though. I found two Magic School Bus books that we didn't already have. The books in the adult section weren't great. There was a lot of the Harlequin variety paperback romance. No good mysteries, bummer.

I tried to go from the book corner to the front counter 6 feet away, but my path was blocked by a Little Tikes boat and a meandering customer. I had to wend my way through clothing, past a mustard colored sofa, carefully past the various breakables, and around the obsolete gaming systems. I dutifully checked for old Nintendo games out of love for my husband, but I still don't know why he needs them. Nope, none today. I only found out then that the clothing was $0.25. Did I mention that very few things are labeled? I still don't know what their regular prices are for clothes. At that point, I was running out of time because my husband was waiting in the car with the younger kids, and my older one "wanted to leeeaave". I did find a like new Carter's one piece outfit, but that was a rare find amongst many faded and dated baby clothes. Another annoyance is that they take CASH ONLY. So it's a lot like a garage sale.

I normally love this store for the treasures that are hidden, but I was sort of disappointed this time. It was crowded and unpleasant, making it difficult to look. Besides, I still can't figure out what happened to a Like NEW American Girl Samantha book #5 that I had in my book pile. It would have almost completed my collection. This is really eating away at me. They offered to hold my book pile on the counter when I looked at the clothes, and they were looking through the pile when I walked away. Did one of them remove it for themselves?? I have looked through all the books at home, and I am going to look through the car again. I just don't know if I can ever love that store as much as I used to, now that it is sullied by my suspicions.

I still recommend checking out this hidden gem, but go alone on a weekday and bring cash.
Some prices:
Magazines $.10
Paperback Books $.25
Hardback Books $.50
(unless otherwise marked)
Badminton Set with bag - pieces strewn across the floor $5
Lovely Delft Made in Holland Napkin Holder $2
Matching Tigger, Pooh, Piglet Garden Statues $2 each
Old Nintendo System - not sure it works $15
Nice Wooden Desk Chair $15


Anonymous said...

I think I have been in that store. One of those places where the parents get free babysitting because there are toys to play with while they peruse the other stuff. Step on anybody? My favorite thrift store looks similar, always side stepping the toys on the way to the books.
Hen Pen

Anonymous said...

Dear Thrifty Mom: Nearly New Thrift Store is under new management as of Nov. 2010. Please give us a visit. I think you will change your review about Nearly New Thrift Store. Hope to see you soon!

Helena Hanbasket said...

Thank you for this. I am new here and LOVE thrift stores. Now if I can find it without getting lost.. lol