Thrift Stores Ceasing to be a Bargain

The whole point of going to a thrift store is to pay less than the retail price, not the same amount

photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons License

  Just a few hours ago, I was at my local Goodwill Boutique (yes, a Goodwill “boutique” exists, despite the obvious irony), and when I went to check out, they asked me if I would be willing to donate an extra $1 to support their cause. Note that this is after already having spent over $30… On just two items.

  Before I go on, I want to make it clear that yes, I know that Goodwill donates over 80% of their profits to charity groups or people in need. However, if they are trying to be considerate of the people in need, why have they been steadily increasing their prices in recent years?

  A large percentage of the thrift shopper demographic in general consists of people who are looking to save money, many who simply cannot afford to constantly by new clothes or items. Thrift stores need to focus on not only who they’re donating to, but who they are selling to as well — something that seems to be very difficult for them.

  It’s not like they have to pay for the items they sell, everything is donated to them. Even then, 13 million tons of textiles are thrown out every year (according to, and thrift stores definitely play a large part in that. Not everything that people donate makes it to the racks, a lot of items get thrown out. This begs the question, why would an organization aimed to help the needy throw away clothes that could be given away to people who can’t afford to buy clothes?

  There are so many questions, and very few answers provided by major thrift store companies. However, regardless of what’s going on, one thing is certain: it’s ridiculous for thrift stores to continue to raise the price of their items when they get them for no price at all, and aim to sell said items to people on a budget. Do some research and support local thrift stores that help the community.

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