College students are broke. Between having to pay for tuition, housing, and meal plans there is no money left for anything. When students do have money to spend a lot of it goes to shopping.
The living cost in Hawaii is high because everything has to be imported. Specifically on Oahu, Waikiki is tourist central with jacked up prices. For college students this is not ideal place to live financially. With places like Ala Moana shopping center, one visit will leave any student in debt.
The best alternative to shopping at big expensive centers is Goodwill! With Goodwill available students won’t break their bank accounts. Many may not think so at first but after one visit their minds are easily changed. There are six Goodwill stores plus one giant surplus warehouse on Oahu alone.
Going into Goodwill one is able to walk in with 40 dollars and walk out with five or more items. If one were to go to Ala Moana and shop at one of their stores they would be lucky if they walked out with more than one thing.
“Goodwill is a poor man, or woman’s paradise. I am in heaven there”, said University of Hawaii at Manoa student Sarah Marten.
For some shoppers the idea of wearing others clothes is gross or unsanitary but at Goodwill many of their clothes are never worn and still have tags. Goodwill does not wash their donations, although they advise donators to wash their clothes before donating them. With brands such as Calvin Klein, Ann Taylor, Nike, and Reyn Spooner there are a wide variety for the classiest shoppers to choose from.
“I was surprised how many good quality clothes I found,” said University of Hawaii student Shane Rogers. “I found a few Nike shirts with tags still on them for only 4 dollars, I wasn’t expecting that.”
Also by donating to Goodwill, the proceeds go to different programs. Goodwill has mission, commercial, community, and employment services. So have purchase made will go towards one of the services.
“I think it’s a cool concept, I haven’t really heard of a charity helping people find jobs especially in this economy,” said Rogers “Charities are always helping animals or helping oversees.”
When first arriving at any Goodwill location there is a faint musty smell that lingers in Goodwill, but one shouldn’t be deterred. There is an array of items: clothes, kitchen appliances, handbags, and more. It can be completely overwhelming at first but there are tips that can make any Goodwill virgin a pro.
“You have to go at it with an open mind. Its crazy at first but once you learn how to conquer Goodwill then you’ll want to go all the time,” said Marten.
A few tips that Marten had for Goodwill virgins are to shop frequently, old high waisted pants are perfect for shorts, and just because its cheap doesn’t mean you should get it. Goodwill restocks clothes daily at all their locations and by shopping frequently its guaranteed there will be something new every time a location is visited.
“High waisted shorts are all the rage in the fashion world right now. I always get compliments on all my shorts I cut myself,” said Marten
One of the biggest mistakes any Goodwill virgin can make is buying items they really wouldn’t use just because it is so cheap.
“You buy a shirt you kind of like but deep down inside you know you would never wear it” said Marten, “That is the biggest mistake, you end up with so much random stuff in your closet and end up just donating it back to Goodwill”.
Taking old and used clothes and turning them into your own is the best part about Goodwill. Marten takes old high waisted jeans and makes them into cute high waisted shorts. She does this with different clothes and sells them on her online shop and makes profit off them.
“It’s a great way to save and make money all in one,” said Marten about selling her clothes online.
But what if students don’t have a car or don’t want to take the bus to Goodwill? Up behind the biomedical science buildings and tucked away from the rest of campus sits a quaint little thrift shop. Run by the Women’s Campus Club, this thrift store comprises of clothes, books, kitchen appliances and toys. Everything is priced from 50 cents to 10 dollars.
“It is really small and kind of stuffy. But its cool that the thrift store is on campus,” said Marten.
Although it is no Goodwill, it still provides students and residents with unique items. Students don’t need to go far in order to get a few household items and school supplies.
The Women’s Campus Club runs the on campus thrift shop. Leora Parmelee Dean started the Women’s Campus Club in 1907 for the women faculty and the faculty wives. The Women’s Campus Club purpose is stated by three words: scholarship, service, and fellowship. The club provides scholarships and grants.
Whether students decide to shop at Goodwill or take a walk up the road to the school thrift shop, there are many good finds for students to take advantage of while saving money for more important things like school and food.