Thrift Store Review: Colorado Springs Salvation Army

Time for another Colorado Springs thrift store review… After being in Old Colorado City at Bargain Mart, Recess, This N That, and Goodwill, for the next two weeks we’ll be on the northeast side of town for the Salvation Army Family Store and the Powers Goodwill Store (review coming next week!).

The Salvation Army Family Store opened in 2009 and is now the only Salvation Army thrift store in Colorado Springs. It’s on Tutt Blvd, just north of North Carefree, and about a mile north of the Goodwill Store on Waynoka Place.  So, with that in mind, I tend to compare these two to each other, and have some obvious preferences. ;)
The Salvation Army store is in a brand-new building and is very clean and bright.  And, it’s quite big, too!  I’m thinking it may be the biggest thrift store in the Springs, though I can’t find any square footage data (the Goodwill on Circle might be bigger).

If you’re looking for furniture, this is the place to go: about half of the store is full of furniture!  When it first opened, it was more like 1/4 of the store was furniture, but they’ve expanded this section and have quite a lot available!  This is definitely a strength of this store – head here first if you need chairs or tables.

They’ve got a pretty typical selection of housewares, but their book selection is pretty small – just a few shelves of books available.

This store has lots of clothing, and one thing I really like: clothing is organized by size!  This is a huge advantage over other stores, and definitely something that’s really nice if you are short on time and need to find a specific item without browsing through all the racks.

Obviously, they have lots of different brands, and one brand’s size 8 may be totally different than another brands.  So, you’ll probably want to look at the racks for a size up and a size down to make sure you don’t miss anything.   Their children’s clothing is well-organized, too – moreso by type of clothing (dresses are separate from pants, for example) than size, but they do seem to separate infant/toddler/kid.

But, for me, the big drawback to this store is that (I think) their prices are high.  Women’s pants (jeans and dress slacks) are $6.50 to $8.50, a price I am not willing to pay for 90% of used clothing, even if it is organized by size.  Children’s clothing ranges from $1 to around $4, and in my opinion, a lot of the stuff that’s price at $4 is not worth it.

Now, they do hold 50% off sales on occasion – in fact, I think that’s the only time I’ve ever purchased anything here.  Their clothing is affordable at 50% off, but unfortunately, their only sale advertisement seems to be the small yellow banner they put outside the store, so you never know when they’re running a sale unless you happen to be driving by.

Last time I was in, they had a signup for their email list and had a sign promising to do a better job about announcing sale events – I hope they do, because I’d love to let you know when they do their 50% off sales!

One thing that’s nice about their sales is that when they run them, they don’t usually exclude the newest items.  Goodwill keeps their items at full price for 2 weeks, then it goes to 30% off and then 50% off.  So, by the time it hits 50% off at Goodwill, it’s pretty picked over.  But, then again, Goodwill’s regular prices, at least on apparel, are roughly equivalent to 50% off at Salvation Army.

(Arc Thrift Stores run 50% off every Saturday, but exclude the newest items.)

A couple of other things I noted: all sales are final, there are absolutely no returns.  Not a huge drawback to me, but since I can’t stop comparing this store to Goodwill, Goodwill does allow returns on most items.

And, finally: I really think their shopping carts are unsafe and nearly unusable with a child in the child seat.  They tend to push side-to-side instead of forwards and backwards, and they always seem as if they’re on the verge of tipping over if you bump them just right.  The

y honestly remind me a lot of toy shopping carts!

I could really love this store if they did a better job of advertising their sales – they’ve definitely got some great things like a large furniture selection and clothing organized by size!  I’d love to hear what you think about this store in the comments!

Store Info

Address: 3955 Tutt Blvd.; Colorado Springs

Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 8 PM; closed Sundays

Contact: 719.574.4335

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6 Comments
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Comments

  1. One day, you posted that they had $1 items until noon. We scurried over there and got alot of kids clothes. When I was at the checkout, I was trying to get any kind of definitive times that they had sales from the sales clerk. The clerk said that they don’t know until the day of the sale when their sales are. They seem to get their sales information from Denver, which is why they are so sketchy on their advertising. We scored on their $1 day, thanks to you. But like you said above, we may go in and look at their items, but rarely buy because of their prices.

  2. I was there this week and they will have a $1 sale tomorrow. According to the flyer, most clothing will be $1 from 9a-12p on Saturday, January 22nd…..

  3. I really like this Salvation Army (perhaps partly because I live so close and can check there often). They have always had sales on Friday–that’s their big day (like Saturday for ARC). Sometimes it’s buy one, get one free and other times it’s 50 percent off the whole store. When they first opened, I asked if this was something they would always do on Fridays and they said definitely not, but I’ve checked nearly every Friday since they opened and there has ALWAYS been a sale. :) I’ve never paid full price because I’ve never been in the store when there wasn’t a sale (in fact, they were giving 15 percent off coupons for donating when they first opened, and I haven’t used it because I’ve never bought a full-price item!). So, I think that’s why their prices are high (and they are much higher, in my opinion, then they were just a few months ago, perhaps even since Christmas) is that they anticipate giving you half off. And I can almost always find a nice item or two, usually with tags or nwot, for someone in my family. I scored some really nice, like new dishes not too long ago–8 piece set for about $15 (half off). :)

  4. ALL SALES ARE NOT FINAL at the Salvation Army. You have 7 days to return the clothes and get a store credit, 30 days large appliances and 2 days electronics. People in the community have been vary generous with there donations as have been the people who shop the store.

  5. I gotta say the furniture is a great there, but WOW! Over priced!
    I went to another thrift store and same great selection but a whole lot less expensive!

  6. Lori Bautista says:

    This comment is in regards to their 50% off sales. I noticed its always on holiday weekends. When the holiday falls during the week it’s either the weekend before or after. Hopefully this helps give more of an idea of when you can save your family some money. Happy shopping!

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