Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's Wrong With This Picture?

As with a lot of like-minded people, I LOVE thrift stores.  Or rather, I should say "loved."  I have been noticing a disturbing trend for a few years now. That being, that they are really getting mighty proud of their wares.  It's a THRIFT STORE, OK? But the prices are getting very, very, retail.

Yesterday, I stopped by my local store while running errands, since I was in the vicinity anyway.  With gas prices being what it is, I don't go anymore just for the pleasure of it.  It now has to be an afterthought if I'm driving around doing other things.  Anyhow, I stopped by, and noticed they had received a large shipment of candles. My guess is that the donation was from a business because they had a TON of these candles.

These candles were FREE, meaning Goodwill did not pay to get them.  The whole idea of a thrift store is for the store to take donated items and make some money for community outreach programs by selling them at steep discounts to consumers who are in need to save some money due to the economy or their current financial situation. But the marked price of the candles? Give me a break!  A tall scented candle in a glass jar was marked $7.99.  A jar half the height was $3.99.  I can buy them cheaper at Walmart or on sale at any store at the mall if I hit the right sales.  This is absolutely borderline insanity here! It's a THRIFT STORE! HELLOooooooooooooo?

OK, perhaps they are trying to make more money with the economy being what it is, and them needing to service more "customers" for their charitable programs.  But I think in reality, they are hurting their cause by jacking up the prices to retail levels like they have been doing.  Obviously, they don't know the first thing about how the economy works. It's like increasing taxes in anticipation of collecting more in tax revenues. In reality, when taxes are raised, revenue decreases. I just read an article the other day about a state here in the US which raised income taxes on the "rich" thinking they would get an additional $100 million in revenue.  But guess what? Tax revenue actually decreased by about $120 million because those "rich" people they were counting on either left the state altogether, or had second homes in other more tax friendly states where they could claim domicile.  Lesson: Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

My point is, we're not stupid.  I have a flinch point when shopping at thrift stores.  If the price is the same as retail, then I'm going to buy retail because the selections are much better.  Honestly, I think the management at these thrift stores need to wake up and smell the roses.  Because you know what? They are going to lose customers really quick if they keep this up. And who really loses? It's those people the charitable thrifts are trying to help.


  1. This is also a pet peeve of mine and I agree it has been years now that the thrift store prices have been way too high. Especially when you consider that a lot of the people (not all) shopping there are the same client group who use the outreach services. From that perspective alone, the steep prices make no sense at all. I too won't buy a lot of things there because why buy used when you can get something new for the same or a lesser price?

  2. I'm agree with you and Joyful too! The economy is getting bad and we the thrifty consumers are very 'sensitive' about price ... nobody going to 'cheat' our hard earn money easily. If not urgent stuff... I rather wait for on sale season!