Shopping Amazon Prime? Try Amazon Smile

Amazon Prime days are coming next week on July 15 and 16! Sales, specials, and discounts! We KNOW most of you will be shopping on Amazon on those days.  They carry way, way, way more items than we can fit in our 1,350 square foot thrift shop. But if you’re buying on Prrime days, there’s a way the ALI thrift shop can benefit from your shopping.

“Amazon Smile” is a program where Amazon will donate a portion of your sale to a charity of your choice.  OF COURSE, that’s going to be ALI.  Here’s how it works.  Go to http://www.smile.amazon.com, instead of the main Amazon site.  Log in with your Amazon password, and start shopping.  When you check out, you’ll be asked for the name of the charity you’d like to support.  Pick “Assistance League of Irvine.”  That’s all there is to it!

Every quarter, AmazonSmile sends us a check based on how much our AmazonSmile donors have spent.  You don’t have to do anything else.  All you have to do is – shop!

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LOOKING BACK ON THE 4TH

Back in June, 1776, nobody was thinking about the 4th of July except the Continental Congress.  And THEY (especially Thomas Jefferson) were thinking about the Declaration of Independence.  They weren’t thinking about parades, patriotic ceremonies, or who’s going to make the potato salad for the picnic – all the things that the Declaration of Independence has allowed us to enjoy for the past 243 years.

On this 4th of July, let’s all take a moment to remember our founding fathers.  They weren’t perfect men or even brilliant men.  They had the usual prejudices and limitations of their time (no women in the Continental Congress!).  But somehow they articulated an idea of freedom that has lived on through the years and become an inspiration for all mankind.

(Meanwhile, if you need a new outfit for that picnic, visit the ALI thrift shop.  We can fix you up with a new outfit for every picnic you’ll go to all summer.)

Happy 4th of July to all our readers!

Time to BROWN BAG it!

Do you remember how we used to “brown bag it” and take our lunches to work? (This, of course, was back in the days before everyone had designer lunch bags with matching water bottles.) You could fit a sandwich, an apple, some carrot sticks, and a cookie in the bag.  It was (and still is) a great way to save money.  All it took was a little extra effort.

ALI shoppers, it’s BROWN BAGGING TIME AGAIN! On Wednesday, May 29 and Thursday, May 30, we’re having a BROWN BAG SALE.  These are our FINAL TWO DAYS BEFORE WE CLOSE FOR INVENTORY, so we want to clear out as much of our stock as we can.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:  You’ll shop as you normally would, then bring your purchases to the register to check out.  WE’LL PACK everything into a brown bag (you could end up with several brown bags).  EACH BROWN BAG is $5, total.  If something doesn’t fit in the bag (for example, a painting), it’s 75% off the marked price.

Now this won’t be a lunch-sized brown bag – it’s going to be a grocery-sized brown bag.  Just think of how many tops, pants, vases, cooking utensils, books, etc. you can fit in your brown bag.

Be at the thrift shop when we open at 10 am on Wednesday, May 29 when our Brown Bag Sale starts.  You could save enough money to be able to go OUT to lunch instead of brown bagging!

A month of sales!

If you’re a long-time customer of the ALI thrift shop, you’ll remember that we take inventory every year at the end of May.  That’s right – we count every single item in the shop, BY HAND.  And what does that mean for you? It means – your favorite month is here! May! THE MONTH OF SALES!

All month long, we’re going to have sale after sale, because we DON’T LIKE COUNTING.  We want everything in the shop to find a home with some happy customer, LIKE YOU.  Because if it’s sold, we don’t have to count it!

The sales will change week to week, but they’ll be GREAT! You’ll want to stop in every week, maybe even two or three times. And YOU’LL be counting up the dollars you saved!

PROUD TO BE WEARING USED CLOTHING!

We know all you readers shop at the ALI thrift store because we have fantastic merchandise at great prices, a friendly and welcoming volunteer staff, and a convenient location in Irvine! But there’s another reason:  everything you buy from us reduces the amount of waste going into a landfill somewhere.

Take a look at the website thredUp.com, which promotes wearing used clothing.  The statistics are staggering:  32 billion garments are produced for the U.S. fashion market every year, and 64% end up in a landfill.  Fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry after oil!

We know that buying three pairs of jeans from our thrift store, instead of heading to the mall, doesn’t seem to make much difference.  But think of all the people in the country who shop at  thrift stores.  It all adds up.  (Think of all that stuff in your recycling bin that you used to just put in the trash!)

Wear your thrift shop clothing proudly! You’re showing your fashion savvy, your expert budgeting, your support of your Irvine community – and you’re doing your part to save the planet!

YOU’VE EARNED THIS REWARD

It’s been a long, cold, rainy winter here in southern California.  We’re not ungrateful.  We know it’s nothing to complain about, when we see the weather reports for the rest of the country.  But shouldn’t we get SOME kind of a reward for living through the coldest February in Los Angeles in 60 years?

Yes, we DO deserve a reward – and that’s why the ALI thrift shop is filled from wall to wall with incredible spring merchandise.  Gold stars and blue ribbons just won’t be enough.  You need to head over to the thrift shop for something bright, light, and spring-like to add to your wardrobe.   You can find something for work, play, the garden, or the beach, with shoes, purses, and jewelry to match.  We have plenty of men’s and kids’ clothes, too!

 

And, best of all, a new spring outfit from the thrift shop is WAY less expensive than most of the other rewards we can think of (a new car, a week at a spa, a trip to Bali . . .).  Which means that you can reward yourself more than once!

If you see something, buy something!

We often have customers ask us if we have anything else for sale, either upstairs or in our back room.  Or if we have an item in a different size.  And the answer is “no.”  We have a lot of items that WILL BE FOR SALE EVENTUALLY in both places, but if it’s not sitting out there on the sales floor with a price tag on it, it’s not available.  Except in rare cases (someone donated five pairs of pants in the same size and color), all our merchandise is one-of-a-kind.  We’re not like a department store, where, if someone buys the size 10 pink sweater, a sales clerk will bring out another one from the stockroom.

And this means:  IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, BUY SOMETHING.  That T-shirt, or jeans, or set of dishes that you like can’t be replenished from a central warehouse somewhere.  Once it’s sold, it’s gone.

We’ve all had the experience of looking back and thinking, “I wish I’d bought that purple dress,” or “that crockpot,” or “that green bracelet.”  (“I wish I’d bought a second house twenty years ago when prices were lower,” is a whole different category.)  Don’t regret the things you really want at the ALI thrift shop.  If you SEE something, BUY it!