Find treasures at local thrift stores


The closest activity to treasure hunting that an average college can experience (and afford) is thrifting, or thrift-store-shopping. You’re not guaranteed to uncover a collectable worth hundreds of dollars, but your find can be just as rewarding if you know where and how to look.
Thrift stores receive a lot of donations per day, so the stores price items low enough to keep circulation high. Thrift store employees must rush to get donations sorted, priced and on shelves to keep up with demand. This means the display shelves in thrift stores are utter chaos compared to conventional stores.
Just imagine yourself on History Channel’s American Pickers. Digging through the crap on overcrowded shelves to find the diamond in the rough is a quintessential part of the thrift store experience.
I highly recommend that students shop at thrift stores with money to burn with no end game. Thrifting also makes for a more rewarding experience if you bring friends.
If you are looking for a particular item, you should check as many stores as possible as often as possible because inventories change daily.
Goodwill Industries has arguably the largest thrift store presence in Macon. Goodwill is a globally-recognized philanthropic organization which earns the company bulk donations of brand-new items from overstocked retail stores.
Goodwill has two stores in the Macon area: a warehouse on Eisenhower and a storefront on Zebulon. The Eisenhower location is the larger of the two and has the largest selection of clothes out of any thrift store in Macon. The Eisenhower location also has a decent-sized home goods (flatware, lighting, toys, electronics, books) section.
I’m particularly proud of my finds at the Eisenhower Goodwill Store: two original Nintendo games (Dr. Mario and Tetris, 50 cents each), an original Nintendo controller ($3), a strobe light ($2, for late night raves) and an HD computer monitor that retails for $130 (bought for $35). These low-ball prices are sweetened all the more by Goodwill’s 10% student discount on Tuesdays.
The Goodwill store on Zebulon Road and the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Mercer University Dr. stock mostly clothes and accessories and are about the same size. The Salvation Army thrift store is the closest store to campus, making it the best option for “emergency thrifting.”
Obviously, I frequent the “mainstream” thrift stores in Macon: Goodwill and Salvation Army. However, a cursory Google search will reveal four more thrift stores within Macon’s city limits.
The Macon Rescue Mission Thrift on Napier Ave. is located in a small building–probably a former grocery store. Half the store is dedicated to standard color-coded clothing racks. All clothes range between $1 and $10 depending on the quality of each article. The other half is dedicated to furniture and home goods. I found that Macon Rescue Mission Thrift has the lowest prices of home goods among the stores I visited; most small items are priced below $1.
The Habitat for Humanity Restore is an engineer’s paradise. The Restore is primarily a thrift-hardware store. Local construction contractors donate pallets of extra supplies, and individuals donate specialized equipment and appliances. Like all thrift stores, the inventory varies from day to day. Had I not run out of money from my Goodwill stop, I would have purchased a lot of foam insulation for my house at 75 cents each.
The last two stores on my list are the Methodist Thrift Store and the Arc Thrift Store. I honestly could not find the Methodist Thrift Store, which is a shame because it was the only store within walking distance of a trolley stop. I discarded my search for the Arc Thrift Store because it is the farthest thrift store from Mercer’s campus and is only open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.–impossible hours for the average college student.