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A Review of the New Arc Thrift Store on North Academy

Last Saturday, my baby and I I had a few hours to ourselves so I decided to check out the new Arc Thrift Store on North Academy. It’s in the old Ultimate Electronics building, next to Family Christian and just north of the Woodmen/Academy intersection on the east side.

This is by far the nicest, cleanest, and most well-organized Arc in Colorado Springs! As you can tell by the balloons, they were still sort of celebrating their grand opening.

The aisles had lots of room and everything was very neat and organized.

Shoes were organized by size, even! Now, of course, take that with a grain of salt, as we are still talking about a thrift store, not Nordstrom’s. :) I found an 8 1/2 sized shoe in the 7-7 1/2 section, but still, it’s nice to be able to go to a sized section if you’re short on time.

This little plate ($4.99) was lovely; just couldn’t figured out a place to put it so it stayed on the shelf.

I carried this candleholder-thing around for awhile until I asked what tags were excluded from their 50% off sale and yellow was one of them. Man, all the good stuff was yellow. (Duh! ;)

A casino must have donated a collection of poker chips!

I loved this bureau. Loved it. Could totally see redoing it with some nice chalk paint. It was huge, and look at all that storage! I have no need for it, though, and at $120, I just couldn’t make a place to put it in my home.

They also had a great book section with lots of children’s books, especially. I was very impressed with that!

The only thing that I didn’t like about this store is the prices. Arc prices their stuff at a point where I sometimes feel like I’m in a consignment shop, not a thrift store. Unlike the other Arc store I’ve reviewed, I did find some really nice stuff here, but often at prices that I felt like I could beat at Target or Hobby Lobby.

Not that you can tell by the look on my face, but I sort of liked this jacket, just couldn’t bring myself to spend $9.99 at a thrift store, even if it was new with tags.

OK, so $10 for a new-with-tags, fancy-schmancy brand jacket was probably still a good deal. (And looking at that picture, I think I really did like it. Shoulda bought it.)

I wouldn’t spend $2.99 for a pair of generic flip flops when Old Navy sells them two for $5.00 every day.

Six dollars is too much for a pair of Faded Glory girl’s jeans, at least for me. However, I will say that they did seem to have a nicer selection than some of the other thrift stores.

So, obviously, I think their prices are too high for a thrift store. However, this Arc had a really nice selection – I daresay even the best in town – so let’s hope it stays that way, and I will be back!

I ended up buying a shirt, book, boy’s sweatshirt, and my score of the day, a Saladmaster stainless steel griddle ($5.99)! You know how a thrift store gets a special place in your heart when you find one amazing deal? That griddle did it for me. I’ll forever remember this store for that amazing find. :)

Have you been to the new Arc Thrift on north Academy in Colorado Springs? What did you think of it?

You can find more Colorado Springs thrift store reviews here.

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  1. I went in there about a month ago, and I was not impressed. I have shopped at thrift stores since I was a teenager and know a good deal when I find one. I could not find one good deal in there – everything was overpriced, even things that I didn’t think looked nice. Granted, I did not go on a Saturday when things are half price. They did have a huge selection of kids books, but again, I couldn’t find even one that was worth their everyday price. I would rather shop Goodwill any day of the week. While GW may sell items that don’t look brand new, at least their prices are reasonable. If I am interested in an item in perfect condition, I buy it new. I expect things in a thrift store to be used, just not worn out. But, I feel the more used an item is, the lower the price should be. It’s kind of gotten to where ARC prices every item in a category the same high price, whether it’s in perfect condition or whether it only has one or two ‘wears’ left in it (like, all little girls dresses are 5.99, etc.). Very frustrating.

  2. I have not been to that ARC store, but I do understand your sentiments on the prices; I feel the same way with most of the prices in the other stores. Some things you can get for some great prices ( I got a Lakeside baby enclossure activity pad for $7.00 before) but their prices on some things are just way off (like the flip flops). I have found myself looking for more clothes at Ross than at arc…

  3. I’m with you and the other commenters…I think the Arc is WAY overpriced. Seems like most everything is priced at a retail “sale” price. There are some fun vintage finds that I’ll pay a little more for, but I think I’ll stick to Goodwill for my thrifting. :)

  4. We went in a few weeks ago, and I definitely enjoyed the space and that it felt a little cleaner than some thrift stores can. (Though who knows how long that will last!) We were looking specifically for a child’s baseball glove for our toddler to play with and found 3 to choose from. They were all obviously used, but at only $1.50 after 50% it was perfect for us. After visiting Play it Again sports today for something else, I would definitely return to the Arc if I wanted sports equipment for a young child.

  5. I found an AMAZING silk and cotton jersey tank at the new ARC shortly after it opened. I came home and Googled the name on the tag, and discovered that it’s from a little limited run label in Denver. I think I paid between $4-$6 for it. I bought a few other things that day, too, all from high-end labels. They were well worth it. It seems like donations skew pretty expensive — or at least, the things that interested me that day were. While I think ARC prices might be a bit high for mall brands, finding expensive department store and private label stuff made it totally worth it.

  6. I went to the one on south academy once and they had an empty pickle jar for sale for $2.99 – haha!

  7. I am a big thrifter and kind of go every week… (a little addictive)… I too prefer Goodwill as my favorite because of the pricing. I think the Arc prices their stuff high because they count on things going for half the price… Have you ever been in the arc on a Saturday (Crazy 4 color off day)… Hahaha… I too will not miss a Sat. at the Arc though…

  8. Michelle says:

    I have been there recently, and to all the other ones, for that matter. Yes,I agree, it is the cleanest, and most organized…for now. I am a bargain shopper, and frequent Arc, Goodwill, and Salvation Army. They all have their selective regular half price days, and post them at the front of the store. I used to have then all written down. Now, as for the Arc…omitted colors change every Wednesday. They rotate. Green, is never on sale. Their colors are pink, white, yellow, orange and blue. So on a half price day, they post at the front and throughout the store the colors on sale. The color that is not on sale that day, the following Wednesday will change, so on the next half off day, it will be on sale…if it is still there, lol. Now, you can sign up on their website, and they alert you of upcoming extra sales, and give you coupons for special customers only, like $5 off of $20, etc. Also, they are very overpriced on their stuff, for sure. Things like curtains, etc., are so much more reasonable at Goodwill. I have been in the Arc shopping when the staff is instructing workers with carts, on half price days, to take out certain colors, put them in the back, and bring out the colors that are not on sale! Hence the reason you see so many of the color that it’s not on sale!!! Whew.. I’m done now, lol! :)

  9. We Love the Salvation Army store off of Tutt near Security Svc Field! Quite often, they have 50% off EVERYTHING! We have purchased clothes, furniture, and even a large standing freezer for $40!!!! 2 yrs later, it still runs perfectly!

  10. Michelle says:

    I was actually in there this past weekend. I agree, the stuff is in better condition and the store itself is very clean for a thriftstore. Though, I agree that the prices were higher than they should have been. I found so many neat items but I was unwilling to pay the price – even on some of the 50% off tags. I walked out of there with a book, a couple of t-shirts, and a toybox that I probably could have paid less for elsewhere. All in all I think I will go back, mostly for the quality of items.

  11. As an avid ARC shopper for over twenty years, I have always found the key to success at ARC is hitting the Saturdays “50 percent off most color tags” deal. I feel like if you are shopping on a non-sale day, at regular prices, Goodwill beats ARC handsdown. I do admit I have found fabulous things over the years at ARC and consider myself a life-long ARC shopper – but not likely the newest ARC in town on North Academy – - my least favorite of all thrift stores because of the prices – just as you mentioned.

  12. I thought everything was a bit too pricey…especially since Goodwill is right down the road with prices that blow them away. It was a nice store, but the prices are just too high to compel me to shop there. As a thrift store junkie, I go where the deals are…it’s not at this ARC.

  13. Deb Howell says:

    Way to pricey for thrift store — even on 50% off day. The stuff is used, they get it FREE — common on now —-price the stuff right!!!

  14. I went in there last night and was looking for a comforter. I found one in ok condition and then looked at the price and my jaw literally dropped! They wanted $49.99. Now come on…the things you are selling were donated! Who the he__ are you to price things so high? I can get a brand new one for less than that at a few other stores that I can think of. You have forever lost a very good customer! I will NEVER shop in one of your stores again!

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