Many explore secondhand stores as inflation pains the pocket

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As prices for necessities continue to rise, some people are getting creative with how to make a little extra cash.

Some are getting second and third jobs, and others are using what they already own to make money.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, many people were wary to go shopping or spending too much money.

“We struggled. A lot of people weren’t comfortable coming in, and we had to rebuild our customer base who weren’t used to coming. People were really watching their money at that time,” said Debbie Wiseman, owner and manager of Style Encore in Harrisonburg.

Style Encore is a resell store that allows people to sell or trade gently used clothing. Wiseman said the opportunity for a little extra cash and a good deal has brought out new customers.

“Our customers seem to love that you get paid cash on the spot. You need a little extra money for a vacation or whatever, you come in, sell some of your items, get cash in like a half-hour,” she said.

In fact, Wiseman said it’s not uncommon for people to travel in from out of town to sell or take advantage of the deals.

“People coming from D.C. or visitors from Massanutten coming in, and they seem to love what we’re all about,” she said.

Wiseman also said many strive to reuse clothing rather than buy new.

“It’s no longer like I have to wear hand-me-downs to work or school. I actually think people view it as a positive measure of reusing something that’s still perfectly fine. 98% of textiles can actually be recycled,” she said.

Wiseman said Style Encore has about 5,000 customers in its database, and new people open an account every day.

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