How I hit a Jackpot in Vegas

How I hit a Jackpot in Vegas

I was in Las Vegas, aka Lost Wages for JAMZ Nationals, one of my daughter’s cheerleading competitions. While there for the weekend I did what most people do when they go to Vegas, I inhaled a carton of cigarettes and I don’t smoke, I ate like the food supply chain was about to end forever and put on about 10lbs in 2 days but the best thing I did and always do when in Vegas, try to hit a JACKPOT, and guess what, I did. I put in $6.00 and made somewhere between $100 and I’m guessing $300. The reason I’m a little unsure at the time of writing this is that I have not yet received my cash but I will be very soon, you see what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas unless you are me, that’s because I don’t go to the casinos, I go thrift store shopping.

I arrived at the airport early Saturday morning where I was quickly scooped up by my wife at the airports loading zone. We rushed back to the gym that my daughter’s team was practicing there cheer routine at because she knew that the minute practice was over that she had to rush to the car, we had a limited time and dozens of that’s right, THRIFT STORES to visit. My daughter Taylor was excited because she knew that there are quite a few SAVERS thrift stores in Vegas and those tend to be her favorites. She was looking for a haul for her swap meet booth that she was setting up the next month. Anyway off we went with our phone map honed in on ” Thrift stores”.

Vegas Thrift Store Map
Map of Thrift Stores in Vegas

First stop was a Goodwill just a few blocks away which was get this, right next door to a ReStore, you got to love Vegas.

Goodwill & Restore
Goodwill & ReStore, my two best friends

Anyway, we didn’t find anything we deemed of value there or at least anything we could stuff into our premeditated empty suitcase and get back on the plane. I will say this, that Goodwill had some nice furniture, that looked as though it came out of a casino. Next, we hit up SAVERS


which I like but find them a bit expensive. While there my daughter picked up a faux fur a few other clothing items that would barely fit in her suitcase, and that was only our third thrift store. We grabbed our bags and hopped back in the car and turned on the map which directed us to our next stop, a thrift store called “Opportunity Village Thrift Store

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Opportunity Village Thrift Store

that was not really to my daughters liking, but right up my alley. A lot of junk but if you really pay attention you can find a golden nugget and that was where I found my first nugget, a Carhartt Men’s Rutland Thermal Lined Hoodie which new run $69, not cheap for a hoodie and hard to find. I paid $4.00 for it while my wife and daughter rushed me to get out because we had so many more thrift stores to get too. After that we headed out to visit a location I had never been before and it was a treat, we had stopped in old Vegas which is known as the Fremont District. If you don’t know about the Fremont District you have got to check it out, its a bit seedy but at the same time ultra hip. I would call it the Hipster area of Vegas. A few years back Zappos, the online superpower run by Tony Hsieh, bought up most of the Fremont District and moved Zappos there. With the move, many artsy and talented people moved in and they are changing the landscape in the Fremont District, you have got to check it out. Anyway, we stopped at a Thrift Store that I had never been to before called “Las Vegas Rescue Mission“.

Las Vegas Rescue Mission

This place was awesome. We pulled up and were stopped in our tracks by the gatekeeper, literally the gatekeeper. You have to let them know where you are going and what you are doing before entering the parking lot. I guess it gets a few undesirable people at times so they are extremely cautious. Anyway, the signs say it all.

Las Vegas Rescue Mission 1
Las Vegas Rescue Mission 2

The Las Vegas Rescue Mission has from what I could see two separate buildings, one for clothes and small household items and the other for furniture and larger items. As we walked into the main building someone was hauling out a very large 50+ inch TV. When we entered the store we could tell it was done right, Everything in its place and organized but best of all the prices were what Thrift store prices should be, very reasonable. That’s where I picked up my second score, this time it was a CARHARTT WEATHERED CANVAS SHIRT JAC that looked like it had never been worn. It’s a nice denim shirt with a flannel lining. If you do not know anything about these, they are primarily worn by people in the construction or farming industries. New they are not cheap, around $59.99. They are extremely warm very durable. I rarely find them when thrifting. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it when I found it. I washed it and gave it to a friend for his birthday and I knew he would love it and get a lot of use out of it. He just sold his house in Los Angeles and bought 6 acres in the rolling hills of Atascadero California and will be building a tiny house and farming, so it was the perfect birthday gift for him. His text back to me read

“Dude this jacket is the bomb! Thank you so much, I love it”

I truly love giving secondhand gifts. I had picked that up for $6.00, SCORE!

My daughter picked up a second Faux Fur and a bunch of other awesome items and I was wondering how in the H E Double Hockey Sticks we were going to get all this in the suitcases. Anyway, back on the road. Our next stop was still in the Fremont District and it was at the coolest SAVERS I have ever seen.

Savers in the Fremont District
Savers in the Fremont District

That’s where it happened, I hit the jackpot. I came across this

Arcteryx Jacket
Arcteryx Jacket

Arc’teryx Beta AR jacket, when I saw it I knew exactly what it was and knew that new they are very expensive, somewhere around $500. I really would never buy one new but I sure would own a used one. I thought to myself that his one should go to someone that will use it and value it far more than I, that’s why I think I can sell it for somewhere between $100 and $350 on eBay, and that is a score to me, or shall I say a Jackpot! If you think about it, I would have lost far more money in the slots for sure, how about you?

Time had run out and we only stopped at I think 6 or 7 thrift stores. We headed back to our hotel lugging our finds proudly through the hotel-casino lobby, up the elevators, and into our rooms. Now the fun starts, how are we going to get all of this into our luggage. We will make it happen I’m sure.

When all is said and done I am a lucky man, when I met my wife that was the true Jackpot as I do not know too many people that usher there mates and children to thrift stores because they love doing it, most wives or husbands would far rather go to the glitz of Vegas and gawk at all the shiny lights that they haven’t realized that they have paid for with there hard earned money. Hopefully, it is not too late for them to hop on the Secondhand Answerman’s bandwagon.

I know that many of you reading this have hit an amazing secondhand jackpot, tell us about it in the comments section below. Maybe if we all tell people about our “secondhand jackpot” we can help others enjoy what we enjoy, a secondhand lifestyle. Tell you what, I’m going to have my family read your secondhand stories in the comment section below and have them choose what they think are the top three. I will send the top three stories a Secondhand Answerman Sticker. Good luck and I can’t wait to read about your secondhand Jackpot.