Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thrift Store Review: NORTHWEST ASSISTANCE (NAM) FM 1960 Houston

My mom visited us, which partially explains my long absence. I decided we should try a new thrift store to celebrate. Northwest Assistance Ministries actually has about three resale locations. This is the only one I have been to, but I hear that it is the largest. It is in an old Wal Mart building at 3645 C FM 1960 West, so it's nice and spread out. Call for hours 281-880-9000. There are even old shopping carts that you can use! Strollers fit easily going down the aisles. There is something here for everyone. VHS and CDs for $1 (Raffi!). If you're into mismatched dishes and kitsch art, this is the place for you! They have a saavy pricing person though, so the nice stuff is like $4 and up. I just couldn't rationalize a green glass paperweight. Sigh.

There was lots of clothes. In fact, they were selling grab bags (black, plastic trash bags) of clothes for $1 each. I did not partake. I have phobias about polyester and rayon taking over a closet. The kids clothing was $1 for tops and bottoms and $2 for dresses. I had to hunt, but I found something for every child. I don't mind buying Tommy Hilfiger and Gap when it's resale. There was also a big pile of kids bucket style sun hats (new with tags) for $.50 each. Sweet! I can never have enough of those. They are upstairs, downstairs, in the car and in the diaper bag, and yet, we still lose them. I stayed away from the adult clothes, most of them were $4 each and just too time consuming to look through them all.

There is a room off to the side filled with books, luggage, toys and baby items and lots of furniture. It reminded me a bit of my beloved Faith Farm, but the hardcover books are $2! Kids "flimsy" paperbacks were $.25 and all other paperbacks are $.50, plus none of the kids books were over $.50. I went to town on kids books. Seriously, there were SO many. The toys were not great, in fact they really sucked. There was a gem though - a vintage Fisher Price Medical Kit with original inserts and case, only missing the thermometer ($1.50).

They have a lovely display counter by the register with some great jewelry. I saw many sterling silver and gold items and she told me certain tag colors were 25-50% off. I drooled a bit over a big silver mercasite ring, but even after a discount it was still $20. I would rather have a crock pot for that price. No really, that is my price goal for my crock pot. Ah, someday...

Upon checking out, I saw on a sign that they had "grab boxes" on sale 4 for a $1. How could I go wrong. She told me I needed to take my reciept and drive around to the back. We went to the loading area, and there were two types of grab boxes - books and housewares. I hadn't pictured them being moving box size - silly me. This was a problem since I was toting three kids, grandma and a double stroller. I settled for two of books and two of housewares and limited visibility out of my rear window. I highly recommend these grab boxes (just hope you don't get the Readers Digest books or Encyclopedias). My mom and I went through them in the garage and I seperated stuff into keep, garage sale, Ebay and trash. I think I liked the books boxes better. There was a wide variety of the good - DK State Atlas, Syd Hoff, James Marshall, paperback fiction, vintage books - and the very bad - missing covers and a really funky stench. The housewares was a total lottery. The good - vintage full leather suitcase. The bad - homemade ceramics and tacky plastic martini glasses. Then there was the bizarre - an Aircast foam walking cast and diving weights. At least we figured out why the boxes were so heavy. As I told my husband, if I can sell even one of those items on Ebay for $10, then I made money off the boxes. Of course it means I need to get around to listing it....

I highly recommend this thrift store for it's variety, prices and kid friendly carts and aisle spacing.
Some prices:
Kids "flimsy" books $.25
Other kids and all paperbacks $.50
Hardcover adult books $2.00
Safety 1st Booster Seat $5.00
1970s art on piece of wood $2.00
Cute mini teapots $2.00-$5.00
Kids shirts, onesies, shorts and skirts $1.00
Womens sweaters $4.00
VHS, CDs $1.00
Silver Turquoise bracelet $4.00 on sale


Anonymous said...

WE had a wonderful experience shopping here. The people working here are so kind and lovely, willing to answer questions and give you a big ol' smile. Most stores of this type, the workers seem to be miserable. I bought clothes and three bags of popular hardback biography and autoboigraphical books. I have been reading happily ever since. We don't need Barnes and Noble...NAM THift is the p[lace for us . We'll be back soon ! said...

Great Review on this store! I LOVE thrifting and when I am in the area I do stop by this location. pippa