Friday, November 15, 2013

Fabric by the Pound

We are supposed to be sightseeing this week, but the girls left us alone for a day or two ...

So I start googling best thrift shops in Austin. The one I wrote about a few days ago, Uncommon Objects, popped up first on that list (no surprise). I read that there are 25 Goodwills in the Austin area and the queen of them all is called the Blue Hangar. It was called legendary: "a south-east Austin warehouse, this is where excess clothing from the surrounding Goodwill locations comes to its final resting place before being swept away into your arms." It mentioned competition and a price of $1.39 PER POUND. And it warned: "This place is for the most hardened of treasure hunters or newbie thrill seekers."

We were off!

Here's how it works: you enter a large warehouse space with many windows. Shopping carts are available. Aisles are created between large, shallow plastic wheeled bins. As new goods are wheeled onto the floor, they are lined up in a new area that is off-limits. Crowds line up at the edge (the regulars know the rules) and when a sign is given (i missed who gives the signal), people race into the area! Swarm!! You quickly notice there are serious regulars who are not to be messed with. I did notice snatching, but mostly fairly civilized behavior.

When the cart is full (my sign to stop), you head for the checkout. There is a scale in the floor - you transfer your goods into a cart on it, and voila! It is weighed.

I was grateful we were there on a weekday afternoon. I shudder to think how nuts this place could be on a weekend. I'll post the news of what I found there in a future blog ...


  1. How much did that load weigh? It's probably a great way to get zippers and buttons too!

  2. aiyee, that place is huge. I went to a similar Goodwill, but it was not nearly this size.

  3. I want to find such an opportunity near to me and participate. Eager to see what you got and what you ended up paying. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh my gosh I wish I were there! How I loved Austin thrift shops! My favorite was the Junior League Thrift Store, opened Wed. mornings I think at 10, with a line. Always the greatest stuff! I know how much fun you had, Deb!!!