Mystery Resale Shopping Bus or aka Ultimate Resale Shopping Bus Tour is spearheaded by Patti Clark. “This the best way to see thrifting type stores that you might not even know are here in our community and the best part is that these Resale Shopping Bus Tours are so much fun!” said Clark.

These monthly scheduled and well-planned bus tours start up once again in December and the tours are so popular that there is a waiting list for each tour. A $60 bus ticket buys you a seat on a luxury air-conditioned tour bus, a catered lunch, door prizes, swag bags, contests, laughs, friendships and the best part is the added big discounts given to the Happy Thrifters at each stop.

During the tour, Happy Thrifters get to spend 45 minutes at each stop on the route; and along the way Clark reveals the stores, stop by stop, since the shops are not disclosed until you are on the bus, making the “Mystery” even more of a blast.

Thrifters armed with plastic wrist bands show each merchant that they are Happy Thrifters so that staff and volunteers know they get the special discounts while in the store. Clark works with each merchant months in advance to see if a huge motor coach bus can fit into the parking lot to safely drop off 60 shoppers and offers tips to the merchants on how to prepare for a resale shopping bus tour. Many merchants use the tip sheets on getting plenty of extra help on hand, opening up more registers, and offering beverages, goodies, gifts, contests for the 45 minutes of thrifting spending frenzy! The merchants on each trip have entertained us with fashion shows, talks about their mission, great contests and huge prizes.

Before boarding the bus, Clark encourages Happy Thrifters to bring a large re-use shopping bag with name attached, so that after each stop, each Happy Thrifter can find her bag(s) under the large bus bays. The bays of the bus are so large that large purchases such as furniture can be placed underneath. We have many repeat Happy Thrifters who now have forgone the re-use shopping bags in lieu of a large suitcase!

Last year over 360 Happy Thrifters visited 36 stops covering Sarasota, Venice, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers and Naples. The merchants were very happy with the Mystery Resale Shopping Bus Tour, and tell us that because of these tours, thrifters know where they are and they see repeat business.

The fall schedules includes Punta Gorda on Jan. 10.

For more information, email thehappythriftershopper@gmail.com, call 816-352-0975 or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thehappythriftershopper) for photos of past bus tours.

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