Has the market meltdown taken some of the fizz out of your holiday spirit?
If you want to save money on one-of-a-kind gifts and sparkly new outfits, think resale. Here are three local stores where smart shoppers can snag stunning bargains:
Carolyn's Designer Resale
1310 Camino del Mar, Del Mar
Carolyn's has been the go-to spot for style-savvy locals for a dozen years.
"I started out in Rancho Santa Fe in the 1980s and at one time I owned five stores," said owner Carolyn Lancaster. "Del Mar is the best of them all."
Carolyn's specializes in high-end eveningwear.
Around holiday time, this is often the busiest shop in town.
200 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach
If you're looking for vintage clothes, household goods and costume jewelry at thrift store prices, this shop is your kind of place. Sales benefit Scripps-Encinitas Hospital and all the workers are volunteers. Sophie Shefrin, who formerly owned her own antique business, has been one of them for nearly a decade.
"I retired and immediately realized: this is not for me," she said. "So I went to the hospital and offered my services. I thought my experience with collectibles might be helpful to them."
For lovers of antique buttons, Good Things has a fine collection, donated by an antique button club. And if you'd rather give than purchase, they welcome donations.
7655 Girard Ave., La Jolla
Probably the highest of the high-end resale stores is Encore, which is also the largest, occupying the old I. Magnin department store site on Girard. They recently celebrated their 17th anniversary, and most of their salespeople have been working here since day one.
Deborah Williams took over the shop in April. Originally from Northern California, she was looking for a business to buy in the San Diego area and fell in love with Encore.
"When I first walked in, I couldn't believe this wasn't all new clothing," she said.
After 30 years of working for Hewlett-Packard, owning Encore is a new experience for Williams.
"It's been a fun education," she said. "I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner."
She also has designer clothes, bags, shoes and jewelry, from the most famous names in fashion. There's a whole room of men's clothing too. Everything's a fraction of its original cost and many pieces are virtually unworn. For storewide reductions, come in the day after Christmas for Encore's Semi-Annual Clearance Sale.
But, wait, there's more!
La Jolla is a haven for upscale resale. Here are two more spots to check out:
7556 Fay Ave.
920 Kline St.