Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thrift Shopping in Kingsport, Tennessee, and Gate City, Virginia

Here's another article that needs to be on the Net and is no longer available through Yahoo, revised and updated...and for anybody who wants to meet Priscilla King or Gena Greene in real life, during December 2011 only, check out option #3.

Going Green is fashionable now, and reusing things is a Green choice, so thrift stores are really the coolest places to shop these days. Here's a short list of places to look for gently used items in and around Kingsport, Tennessee:
Thrift Store in Kingsport, Tennessee, #1. Salvation Army
Salvation Army Thrift Store
1409 East Stone Drive
Kingsport, TN 37660
423-247-8154
This store has been around for a while, and despite staffing problems, it enjoys a good reputation as a place where smart business owners and retirees look for red-hot bargains. No need to be embarrassed about looking for work clothes here...unless your boss happens to see you snapping up the bargain he or she was looking for! It's all in a good cause, and people who can afford to pay retail when they have to, but are thrifty enough to buy gently used items when they can, can always relieve their consciences by donating their nearly-new items and becoming part of a swapping community.
If you're accustomed to shopping in other cities where other thrift stores, including chains that are primarily for profit, have better selections than the Salvation Army stores there, you may be surprised to discover that in Kingsport the Salvation Army has the biggest and best selections available during the week. The store is fully wheelchair-accessible, and if they don't have what you need, they'll advertise the need and help look for a person who is willing to sell or donate the item.
Salvation Army stores need donations of gently used, good quality merchandise too. Kingsport isn't in quite as dire straits as this Mississippi store, but if you are spring cleaning and want to clear out storage space, send any perfectly good stuff you are tired of dusting off or looking at to your local Salvation Army store.
Thrift Store in Kingsport, Tennessee, #2. Goodwill
Goodwill Retail
319 Broad Street
Kingsport, TN 37660
423-245-3271
Goodwill has been a major thrift store network in the area for a long time. Store locations change frequently; some years there's been a Broad Street location, some years there's not. The last time I found a Goodwill store in Kingsport, it was out on Brookside, but since Broad Street is the scenic, historic, and cultural heart of Kingsport, let's use that address first.
The Goodwill organization now maintains a web page where you can locate stores, and also Goodwill Industries locations, by zip code. Click here to find places to buy or donate Goodwill items wherever you may be.
I can't give this store full points on either price range or selection, but they do try to maintain reasonable supplies of decent-quality merchandise, especially recent clothing.
Thrift Store in Kingsport, Tennessee, #3. Traders Village
Traders Village Mall
2745 East Stone Drive
Kingsport, TN 37660
423-288-8204
This one is not a charity; it supports the cause of helping local entrepreneurs "grow" from flea market to full-scale retail businesses. Open only on weekends except during the week before Christmas, this indoor flea market offers a mix of discounted new merchandise, antiques, handcrafts, and used items. Each vendor has rented space for a separate business. There's no guarantee that merchandise in any category will always be offered, but prices are usually lower than regular retail prices.
Traders Village once had its own web page, but the web page has been closed for a year. The mall hasn't changed. It's a fairly long walk or drive from downtown, but is close to a KATS bus route.

Anyone who wants to discuss this blog face to face may look for the real persons known to cyberspace as Priscilla King or Gena Greene (one at a time) at the Greensleeves Crafts Plus booth, #34 in building C (facing the door as you come in from the parking lot). For security reasons, this blog will not disclose who will be where when. The booth is stocked mainly with hand knits, but does contain a few Books You Can Buy From Me, including some that have and haven't been reviewed here; look for previously undiscussed titles by Jimmy Carter, Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey, Margaret Sidney, Russell Targ, and more of the wonderfully mixed and obscure selection you've seen further down this page.

And if you want to get into a lively discussion of Rand Paul's Tea Party Goes to Washington, Laura Ingraham's Hillary Trap, Shut Up and Sing, Obama Diaries, or Of Thee I Zing, Glenn Beck's Broke or Arguing with Idiots, or various titles by Bill O'Reilly, check out the O'Foxy's booth almost directly behind ours. (Sorry there wasn't time to link to each individual title; you can buy each title from Amazon at the author links in this paragraph.) It will be hard for me, Priscilla King, to discuss these books with you at the same time that O'Foxy does, since neither she nor I is inclined to scream across the whole building, but we will do our very best.
Thrift Store Near Kingsport, Tennessee, #4. Dan Paul Closet
Dan Paul Closet
119 Municipal Avenue
Gate City, Virginia 24251
276-386-7143
This one is not in Kingsport, and it's not a huge store with a huge selection of anything, but you have to love it. It supports Hope House, a shelter for abused women and children. State funding for the shelter is never adequate and sometimes threatened by budget cuts. The more we support the shelter's effort to fund itself, the better off everyone is. And the store also helps victims of fires and other emergencies. Click here to find out more about other things this little store may be able to do with your donations of clothes, furniture, school supplies, etc.
If you're from out of town, the look of Municipal Avenue may surprise you. I lived here before every side street was given a name, and the choice of this name surprised me! It's a short, steep, narrow back street...but parking is usually available.
Thrift Store Near Kingsport, Tennessee, #5. Local Flea Markets
Friday Market on Kane Street in Gate City, Virginia
Saturday Market on Stone Drive in Kingsport, Tennessee
Weber City Flea Market on Legion Street in Weber City, Virginia (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
These aren't charities, either; they also support local entrepreneurs trying to build businesses from the ground up and local people trying to meet emergency needs. The selection of gently used, good quality merchandise in each location varies from day to day; the Friday and Saturday markets are outdoors, and subject to weather conditions. However, these are good places to find clothes, furniture, books, antiques, jewelry, handcrafts, home medical supplies, electronic gadgets, farm and woodworking tools, soap and toiletries, even packaged snacks, in good condition, for rock-bottom prices.