Many years ago I donated all of my unsold collectibles, antiques and better household goods to Clearbrook’s Practically Perfect Resale Shop. That is until their prices became too high and many of my donated items never saw the light of day on the sales floor. While it is still possible to score a bargain now and then at this store, it is so cluttered with beat-up furniture and tightly arranged displays that browsing is difficult. I recently had a close call when I nearly impaled myself on a sharp clothing rack end that was in way too close proximity to the shoes. And as far as those shoes – it is refreshing to see that they dropped the price on shoes from $4.00 to $3.50, but the shoes have been disgusting and outdated of late. In the past I actually scored a pair of Finn Comfort shoes, really cool red and black cowboy boots, and several other nice pairs.
Compared to some other independent charity resale stores ( not the behemoths like Goodwill and the Salvation Army), this place has an overall shabby appearance. When they were located in downtown Arlington Heights, it was a much nicer, exclusive shop, but decidedly too small. When they first moved to this location I actually bought a great 1950s signed vinyl turquoise chair with wood frame for $5.00. The only furniture you are going to find nowadays is either decrepit or incredibly overpriced and sometimes both. Most of the wood pieces are pretty scratched and the upholstered pieces look like they have cooties. Do they really think anyone is going to buy couches that may have bed bugs, dust mites and who know what other surprises left from the previous owners – gross.
I wish Practically Perfect lived up to its name because Clearbrook is a great cause and provides terrific services for developmentally disabled people. Instead, like so many other charity resale shops, the greed bug has bitten. On occasion they get donations of new housewares and these are usually priced reasonably. During the summer they have tent sales where you can find bargains, but don’t expect to find pristine merchandise that is moderately priced. Nine times out of 10 you will find this shopping experience predictably imperfect.