The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Dayton, Ohio is something of a hidden gem in the area. Located near downtown, the neighborhood is less than desirable and it faces competition from several similar stores in the surrounding area. This one is one not to miss, especially if you live in Dayton.
From the outside, the store looks fairly small and doesn’t look like it can support very much business. As soon as you walk in the doors, you might be surprised at the sheer amount of stuff crammed in such a small space. I visited during Halloween, when the front held multiple Halloween decorations and a variety of costumes for kids.
The front half of the store is devoted primarily to clothing: men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. The store also had a large number of suitcases, more than I’ve seen in other thrift stores, and those were conveniently placed underneath clothing hung higher than usual, which gave you a better view of the suitcases.
Towards the back of the store is a low ramp and at the top of the ramp is home décor items, furniture, toys and random knickknacks. There we found some pretty low prices. I found an old-fashioned gumball dispenser for $2, a vintage leaded glass Santa Clause decoration for $1 a few pink aluminum molds for $.50 each.
This is also where the Salvation Army Thrift Store offers a large selection of bagged items. Many of the thrift stores once offered this type of selection. Random toys, kitchen items, cards and other things are placed in plastic bags and offered for a low price. I found a pink aluminum cookie press with all the pieces for $2, to replace one I lost in my last move. There were more things in this one department than you would have time to look at in an hour.
That’s not to say that everything in the store was great though. The furniture was priced relatively cheaply, especially in regards to the larger Salvation Army in south Dayton, but the selection was lacking. It was primarily broken down and used furniture that would look more at home in a city dump. We also spotted an old fish tank, which someone used for hamsters. We knew they used it for hamsters because it still had wood shavings and feces left behind. Of course it was complete with a, “as is” sticker.
I also had a bad experience at the store recently. Once of the workers was stocking shelves and seemingly cared little about the shoppers as he wheeled a large bin around. I was looking at books when he came up the ramp and tried to step out of the way, but he ran right into me with the bin. I hit my arm on a shelf and later discovered that it pulled off the skin and I was bleeding in two places. It was a minor scrape, but not something I look forward too.
When we went to the register to pay, we had a vintage baseball helmet that didn’t have a tag. The lost tag said $3, but another woman working sold it to us for less. The ladies working thanked us and gave us big smiles, which more than made up for the rundown by one of the male workers. All in all, I think this is my new favorite thrift store in Dayton.