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Thread: Thrift store "police"

  1. #76
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    I almost shop exclusively at Thrift Stores in Knoxville. Knoxville has several large "chains" of thrift stores, and Goodwill is one of them. Another one is supposed to help feed the homeless, but their prices are too rich for my blood! On the other end of the spectrum, one store sells all their clothing for $1 a piece (children's clothes 3/$2). Their selection is hit-or-miss, but they have signs all over the store with rude signs. It was designed to make clothing affordable for "regular people", so some of the signs say, "No re-selling" (my husband jokes that he is going to tell them I'm a reseller). I understand where they are coming from, and I'd really hate to see them try to determine what could be sold for higher prices than other things.... However, I've been known to walk out of there with a large garbage bag full of men's shirts and giant-floral dresses, etc. Nobody is going to wear that XL Romper from 1988, so I'll spend the $1 for it!
    Goodwill... they have 1/2 price weekend once a month. Those are the only times I go there. Got my son a great wool sweater for $2 and figured if he didn't like it (who knows with him?!), I could make myself some awesome mittens. He liked it, so I'll have to wait until he grows out of it for my mittens!
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  2. #77
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    My thought is if they REALLY wanted the clothes to go to the homeless they would GIVE THEM TO THE HOMELESS. The thrift shops in our area are trying to raise cash to support their ministries one of which is to feed the homeless and the hungry. You can't do either of those things with four plaid skirts.

  3. #78
    Super Member karate lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    If she was that concerned about helping people who need clothing why isn't she giving it away??
    exactly..now I don't have to post it, you already did.....

  4. #79
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    Good reply...All they should care about is making money for their cause not what people do with what they buy....

  5. #80
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    At our local thrift shop the "good" stuff never gets on the shelves. Acc to reliable sources the workers sort through and take what they want and then stock the rest. One woman was taking lots and was selling it at her own private garage sale. She was caught. My daughter gets lots of her kids clothes there because they are growing so fast. I have found some really nice stuff for quilting and wearing. My fav was a wool jacket from Nordstrom (still had the tag on it) for $20. Original price was almost $250. I haven't noticed critical people, just indifference.

  6. #81
    Senior Member margie77072's Avatar
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    Have you noticed the price of some of their items? It's not so easy for those in need to afford some of their offerings.

  7. #82
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Who are 'those in need?'
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  8. #83
    Senior Member Barbshobbies's Avatar
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    Why feel bad about buying some thing at a shop like that? If you don`t buy it and use it for what every, some one else will. Once it is given to a thrift shop, it`s their duty to sell if for their income, not to find just the right person to have it.

  9. #84
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    Wow, limiting the amount you can buy? It hard to believe they would do that. Thank goodness the Goodwill I frequent does not do that. I have been getting fabric there for anything under a yard is .71 to $1.00. Over a yard is $1.00 to $2.00 for the whole piece. I got 5 yards of a tweed wool for $200 and 12% discount for senior day discount. It was not the only fabric I bought that day. I know they get a lot of trashy items they cannot sell and have to take it to the dump which costs them money to do. Our Goodwill is too cheap not to sell anything possible even if it stays on shelf for months.

  10. #85
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I bought a new doggie door today at the local Ace Hdwe store. The high schooler checking me out commented on how expensive the door was...$114.00. I gave her a huge smile and said "worth every penney"! Interesting when a sales clerk voices their opinion but since it was obvious that she was young, I let it roll off. Why make a stink? She is at least working a job. Havent we all blurted out something that may have sounded rude??

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  11. #86
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Can you imagine how it would be if someone like that worked at the grocery store? "So why are you buying ice cream when you are obviously overweight?" Or "You shouldn't eat those cookies..." (that I was buying for a kid's party.) Or, "You can't buy that much broccali - someone else might need it." Whatever. I wish we had a Salvation Army nearby as that is an organization that does much good. Have been to their stores in KS when visiting daughter. But our local family center thrift shop has adopted a new pricing policy that allows those in need to give whatever they can for items. Folks who have more tend to pay what they can to help make up the difference. The food shelf there does a lot of good, and this is a pretty good small town outfit.
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  12. #87
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I give to our City Habitat for Humanity. I use to give to ARC but one day when driving around the back to drop off good clothing, they were tossing bags into a 3/4 filled to the top huge truck. I didn' t want my clothing to be tossed in there. the bags and stuff were crushed like in a trash compactor. i know they go somewhere, but where? no one would want them after being so badly handled. I give what can be used. anything else goes into the trash.

  13. #88
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    A lot of times these charities are forced to throw stuff out, because it's simply not saleable. There are some people who just cannot throw things out. My grandparents lived through the Great Depression and my grandmother washes plastic silverware and Ziploc bags for reuse - she cannot bear to throw it out. My mother is the same way. She will bring over the most ridiculous things in hopes I can use or fix them. Small scraps of Christmas wrapping paper, half a tube of toothpaste, empty Hallmark envelopes with no matching card... stuff that's not worth the gas she used driving over. Imagine if there were 20 people like her who were donating items like this to charity every month, how much that charity would have to throw out.

  14. #89
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    There are wonderful things available at many thrift shops. I shop at GW occasionally, but it is more distant and their prices are higher than at other quality places. I have found great buys, some new with tags still on, at our hospital auxiliary and Hospice thrift shops, as well as at a church-related shop where I have seen migrant workers able to purchase full grocery bags of clothes for children and adults for $2 a bag.

    I don't buy just clothes. I have a growing wardrobe of watches I have purchased for $2 to $4. Add a battery from Walmart and they work just great.

    When I buy, I generally give an additional $5 or so because those charities do so much good in the community. That is where I donate clothing, as well.

    I have had clerks at these places admire something I have found to buy, but have never encountered a comment I would consider inappropriate.

  15. #90
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    Oh, Chasing Hawk! I'm sitting here watching a football game and laughing out loud at your response. My husband looks up at me and thinks I'm laughing at football when he is yelling mad at them. That is the best response I've heard. Good for you.LOL

  16. #91
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    I would have asked her why they were selling the skirts instead of giving them to people who needed them.

  17. #92
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    that one of the "employees" wanted it. I have stopped donating to anything except one non-profit place here that supports a church. If someone is really in need they are given the item, not charged for it. I donated some furniture to a mission store in a nearby town, & was told later by an employee I knew that it never made it out of the back room - the manager had it set aside for herself. I did complain about that to the b.o.d. but it did no good. I've been told that most thrift stores are like that - first pic (& the best items go to those who work there), usually at no cost.[/QUOTE]

    I'm pretty sure that was happening at the Goodwill store near where we live. We would take boxes of clothes and household items and even some furniture to donate. I have never seen any of it put out on the sales floor. I refuse to donate anything to Goodwill any more. I donate to Community Services. They let people come in and pick out what they need and don't charge them anything. There is also a local church that has a clothing closet.

  18. #93
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    That is such a crock! In our throw away society, there are way more discarded clothes than people to wear them. Our local thrift store takes 95% of the clothing donations and tosses them into a baler machine that binds them into a gigantic bale, like cotton used to be sold in. Then they ship it to foreign countries, and not for free, either. They are paid for it. Very little of the donations ever is hung up for sale in the shop. If there are homeless people who need the clothes they should be giving them first pick.
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  19. #94
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    We have a "store" in my little town that is called the "FREE STORE". Everything in the store is free. The churches in town have donated money to run this "store" - for the rent, utilities, etc. It is run by volunteers. They get their items from community donations. So, if we have anything we do not want, we take it to the free store. They then give things to people in need. They are only open three days a week. ANYBODY can go in there and take anything that they truly need. I am sure that some people that take things, do not really NEED the things. But, I feel good that the things that I donate, stay in the community. I used to take a gal that I met to get things once in awhile. They could not afford the insurance on their car so they parked it. So, I would take her and she would come out with loads of things for her kids, etc. Mostly garage sale leftover types of things. Not new, but still usable.
    Nikki in MO

  20. #95
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    People are strange..... I tell 'em if I don't wear it...I quilt it! Works for me....and I don't care a jot if they think I'm crazy

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandygirl View Post
    Haven't we all blurted out something that may have sounded rude??
    Yes, we ALL have.
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  22. #97
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    Wow! I didn't realize there were so types of 'police'. If I buy something from a thrift store it means money in their cash register and that's all they should worry about. I don't know where these opiniated cashiers come from.

  23. #98
    Super Member bluteddi's Avatar
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    when shopping for items to repurpose and things are in a variety of sizes.... if ppl comment on the variety of sizes... I just smile and state" My family are a variety of sizes" which IS true... altho it may or may not have anything to do with the items I'm purchaseing
    I see no reason to explain my reasons for purchases

  24. #99
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    I don't shop GW much anymore in our area. The GW's are regionally operated. Our prices here are much higher than in the Upstate of SC, like Columbia and Greenville/Spartanburg areas. They have dollar days up there but I have never seen a dollar day in the Charleston areas. In the past few years in our area, GW purchased land and built huge new buildings for their stores. On or about that time, a rich lady in this area died and left GW huge amounts of money to be used for land and buildings! Just think, everything is given to them, they don't have trucks that send and deliver items, they pay very low wages on the guise they are educating/training people and there is generally only 3-4 people working in the whole store. They don't market and occasionally have a commercial on TV about their education/training programs.

    I wrote the GW corporate a letter about their huge increase in prices about 2-3 years ago and asked them to explain what their big overheads are. It certainly isn't buildings, land or rent. It must be utilities? GW is definitely a fat-catting, huge corporate enterprise to say the least and the fat-cats are at the top. I never got a response.
    Most of the time the clerks are excellent and friendly, some stoic, some in another world pretty much like any other big corporate place including top brand stores.
    No one has ever been rude to me at a GW and I do go there occasionally especially when I visit my sister in Spartanburg.
    I prefer the Kidney Foundation Community Thrift store in Summerville. I donate lots of things. I had a sofa that was in good condition (not dirty, smelly, or stained) and took it them. I shopped around in the store for a while and went over to the furniture section and there was the sofa! I sold almost immediately. None of their employees are allowed to purchase there. I guess they could have someone come in a purchase it for them but I think the policy is very strict. A couple of times I talked with some of them and they had worked for GW and said the people at GW put things aside when it comes in and hold things for friends and relatives. GW has reached the corporate greed state, imho...

  25. #100
    Junior Member Rowena101's Avatar
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    The "Goodwill" stores are a privet enterprise. They are owned by a very wealthy man. You & I donate our things & they are sold for his profit. They pay there help minimal wages. Rowena101

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