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A Little Bit of Sanity and A Lot of Chaos: A little Thrifty venting session...

Friday, March 19, 2010

A little Thrifty venting session...

Okay. I've got to vent. Get this. I stopped at one of the THRIFT stores that I go to once in awhile. Sometimes things at this place are a little over priced. But sometimes I find things at great prices. It's hit or miss.

Like this:

And this:

Today I went and I saw this great entry table. It had all sorts of hideous painting on it, but it was gorgeous and I really wanted it. But, then I saw the tag. I wish I would have taken a picture for you all.

The tag. 

The price tag. 

It said $84.99. 

Seriously. OMG. There is absolutely no way I would spend that much at a second hand store on a tiny little table. Unless I knew it was in great shape AND was brought over on the Mayflower by Columbus himself.

So, because I was so annoyed with the variation in prices I talked to "The Guy". The guy in charge of pricing.

I asked him how he decides on prices and do you know what he told me? 

Do you want to know?


He told me that it depends on the condition of the piece. Okay. I can deal with that. He told me it depends on how much furniture he has available. Umm...okay I can deal with that too.


He said he has people making deals on items and then when they drive around to pick it up they show up in a Mercedes. 

So? What's wrong with someone that drives a Mercedes trying to get a good deal? 

That's how they can drive a Mercedes!


Then he said he prices some pieces higher because he has antique dealers coming in for pieces. 

Umm....what? So? 

So, the rest of us have to suffer because you don't want an antique dealer to get a good deal? 

Are you kidding me?

First of all. You are a THRIFT STORE. People drop off their unwanted items to help the community. The money that you make goes to help charity. And the items you sell....well, lots of those things go to people that NEED them. Single mothers and fathers, people who have nothing, people trying to furnish their house on a budget.

I was fuming. Now I'm calm.

It's like he's playing 'God of All Things Thrifty'.

I drop things off at thrift stores to help others. If I wanted to I could sell the stuff myself and make some cash. But I don't. I'm also trying to pay it forward by donating items I no longer need. I don't want to go to a thrift store and see my item for sale for more than what I paid for it new.

There are a few things that make my blood boil. Eg...Tom talking about getting a full sized van. Car problems and what they charge to fix them. Car washes. (I know, weird). Lots of others too, but my brain is fogged and my blood is boiling over my new blood boiling thing - thrift stores that over charge. Boo. I'm angry.

Needless to say, I will not be going to that store any more. Just to spite them.

Is that too mean. Am I being harsh? Does anyone else feel this way? I've just taken a stand. On my blog. I'm the biggest fence rider I know. I just took a stand. Talk to me.....

What is the most expensive thing you've seen at a thrift store?



Blogger aahadley said...

I am so with you on this! I was at GW yesterday going to see if the ugly orange chairs were still there, they were not :( but came upon a hutch. A beat up, scratched up, door falling off, not an antique, hutch. Hmmmm, I say to myself. I walk over and it's $159! $159!! I thought the same thing about taking a picture of it. And it was pretty packed with stuff too. If they would lower their prices things would rotate in and out of there more quickly wouldn't they? Just irks me!

March 19, 2010 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Low Tide High Style said...

Ok, so let me try and wrap my feeble brain around this. The guy doing the pricing at the Thrift Store has decided that the best way to deter the "rich" people and the antique dealers from taking things away from those who need the furniture and can't afford high prices is to jack up the prices on his furniture? Did I get that right?! I love his logic! So does that mean that if you don't drive whatever type of vehicle he deems to be a "rich" person car that you get deep discounts or do those who really need the furnishings at good prices simply walk away thinking they can't afford shopping at a Thrift Store? Ridiculous!

Kat :)

March 19, 2010 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger pixie said...

Wow, I could of written that post. Oh boy, I've wanted to vent about this, but don't yet have my own blog. I am so angry with the actions that our local thrift stores (Value Village) have taken. I have seen the prices skyrocketed over the last 2 months ... 49.99 for a crystal dish, 39.99 for a piece of hoosier glass and $149 for a oak table that had a cracked leg! If it looks like an antique and smells like one instantly a $$$. Not only that but the clothes ... if they have a brand name label on them they mark them 9.99, 14.99 and sometimes a dress will be 39.99. Doesn't matter if the gap shirt is from 15 years ago, its still expensive. PLEASE!

Now doing a little research I found out that the Value Village here (Savers, I think its called in USA) brag that they donate "their proceeds" to the local Diabetes charity. ummmm...ya, only 3% of the proceeds which is the minimum a non-profit organization has to. The rest goes to two rich American Brothers. I'm pretty certain staff aren't paid much more than minimum wage here either. I used to donate boxes of stuff to VV, but not anymore ... I take it to Salvation Army, which isn't as bad, but seems to be headed in that direction too.

I have an addiction to shopping at thrift stores so I won't stop. I just give my head a little shake when I see some of the tags. Next time I'll take my camera so I can take some pictures of the ridiculous pricing.

March 19, 2010 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

I feel the same way with most of the thrift stores here, especially the Goodwills. Every-once-in-a-while, fantastic steals, but a lot of overpriced stuff. I saw one of those octagonal side tables from the 70's. I'm pretty sure it wasn't even real wood, but it had interesting "carving", so I went over, and the tag said $49.99!! I was blown away! But they must be doing well, because I don't see these things sitting around from week to week. They have very slim pickin's on furniture these days.

March 19, 2010 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Syndy The Queen of Thrift said...

Amen to all of that! I recently saw an entertainment center at our local thrift store for $199... I wouldn't pay that for a brand new one! (and it wasn't that cute) But...then there's the day that I'll pay 99 cents for an entire set of the ca-utest dessert plates...go figure!

March 19, 2010 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Get Your Martha On said...

The Goodwills in my area are like that. Overpriced furniture galore. T-shirts for $3.99. For a scuzzy old T-SHIRT.

I've never asked about their approach to pricing, but now I'm curious. I'd mutter the word "Socialists" under my breath, but then I'd sound like my husband ... ;)

March 19, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I couldn't agree more. I've been surfing yard sales and thrift stores for over 20 years, and I find the prices of some pieces of furniture are just ridiculous.

I haven't had too many occasions that I regret walking away from a store. You aren't being mean; you're just a customer who is ticked off.

Best wishes~ T

March 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

LOL! Yes this is so true. I get some great bargains, but sometimes I see something that came from Dollar Tree marked at $4.99.
I too give a lot to these places sometimes it is interesting to see something I've donated and how much they are asking for it.

March 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Knoess said...

I am so glad that you wrote this post. I thought I was the only person who felt this way. Hey, most thrift stores that I visit benefit a charity, which means that they are non-profit organizations! I don't intend to spend top dollar for used and worn-out items, because if I did, I wouldn't be shopping in a thrift store! The most ridiculous price I have ever seen in a thrift store was a dining room chair for $200.

March 19, 2010 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Miss Mustard Seed said...

Ha! I am totally with you, there. I've seen pieces for over $200 before in thrift stores. They were lovely pieces, but still in distress and not worth that much.

I said something about increased prices at a thrift store I frequent and the guy shrugged his shoulders and gave me a "shop somewhere else" look. I was fuming. I mean, ugly laminate 1970's tables were $25.

March 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Our thrift stores are way overpriced too. Ridiculous! The Salvation Army has an armoire (In BAD condition) marked $149.99 since BEFORE CHRISTMAS. And it's still there, still marked that. Crazy!

March 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Kari said...

I don't know what the most expensive item that I've seen is, but I definatly agree that GW is way, Way, WAY overpriced. Call me crazy, but I was excited when St. VdP moved into town not to far back. At first I wasn't too excited, it is in more of an "upscale" part of town, but then I realized how "snooty" of me that is. I went in there and found a piece that I needed, and the place was WAY better than GW. Guess I know where I'll be dropping my stuff from now on. Thanks for the post, Kirsty.

BTW, would you mind sharing what the font is that you use for your date stamp and Blog post titles? It is to die for! I so, So, SO love it!

March 19, 2010 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Rita said...

I hit a new thrift store in my area the other day and went straight to their furniture. I found this small backless chair that obviously needed work but I liked the legs so inquired about it. The lady said it was an antique and she coudn't take less than $50.00. I was like "It's not even a whole chair!" She said " but it's old". So I asked her how old? She said she didn't know but old. So I left and will not go back.
I totally feel your pain.

March 19, 2010 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Amy@TheLemonCottage said...

You read my mind!
Our GW has gotten totally out of hand. I always try to go when the trucks are coming in and look while stuff is being priced and set out. Someone in our GW has gotten... fancy... if it looks old, bam- higher price. They have even gone so far as making secluded sections in the store for the 'high ticket' items. GRRR!!!

I cannot wait for garage sale season!


March 19, 2010 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Magic Brush said...

I haven't stepped in our Goodwill for a lonnnnnng while because its gotten so expensive. Then on a whim last week I stopped and got a radio cabinet for $9.99. I thought it was mismarked!!!!!!!!! There is a pic on this post:


I just think they are terribly inconsistent.

Bummer dude.

March 19, 2010 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger AutumnBrooke said...

Oh man, I could have written this post as well! I'm constantly shaking my head at the prices of things. What I find funny is that sometimes when those items that are priced too high don't sell, I'll come back later in the week and it will be drastically marked down (to the price it should have been in the first place) People aren't falling for it, so I don't know why they try. I have a strange addiction to milk glass and I found a cute vase at the GW that was marked $8.99. Seriously? I came back 2 days later and it was marked $.99. I bought it. lol I don't get their logic either.


March 19, 2010 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Kirsty said...

Dear St. Vincent DePaul:

Please stop overcharging your customers because you don't think it is fair that rich people and antique dealers get a good price on items.


A thrift store shopper.

March 19, 2010 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

I'd write in to the local newspaper's editorial column and vent. That's so screwed up. I'd balk at a table marked $20 or more for a side table. At $85, I'd loudly make remarks about how this was obviously NOT the store for my budget, and walk out.

March 19, 2010 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Amanda Hervey said...

Amen, sister! I was at a thrift store the other day and I picked up a small basket. Next to the $4 price tag was a sticker (probably from a yard sale) for fifty cents! You would think they would have pulled that off before trying to charge me $4!

March 19, 2010 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger aahadley said...

I too have a strange addiction to milk glass! Only our GW never never goes down like that in price! I saw one the other day, completely stained inside for 6.99. Wasn't sure I could get it clean.

March 19, 2010 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

Looks like you have hit a nerve with this post. Our local goodwills charge more than the new retail price on a lot of items. I see Dollar Tree items still with $1.00 tags marked $3.29! I showed this to an employee and they said that the stores policy was nothing in the store would be marked less than $3.29. It is a shame that they over price things & they do not sell. They are then sent to an GW outlet where they are sold by the pound for pennies.

March 19, 2010 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

I could have written this! I am always amazed when I see blog posts about thrift store furniture- cute stuff for just a few dollars. That never happens here! Junky laminate cabinets for $60, completely trashed upholstered chairs fir $40. It's insane. Makes me want to stop donating. It's like they don't realize people GAVE th this stuff for FREE so ANY price they get is a 100% profit. Ridiculous.

March 19, 2010 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Kolein said...

I'm moving onto flea markets. Goodwill, ABVI, that is has Target "hand me downs" at near retail cost. Who wants to buy Target there? No I. There are brand new items, clothing, household, pet, etc.Something has changed. I believe these types of stores are cashing in on the "mentality" that our country and all its people are in a huge recession in spirit and in truth. It's too bad. Even the consignment shops are like that here.

I'm just waiting for yard/garage sale season to start. So I can dance around all my wonderful finds.

We have a new thrift store here. AMVET. Just opened. It's what a thrift store sb. Wingback chair $19.96
Round wooden table/steal funky lookin' legs $8.96

I was so happy!

Thanks for venting. It seems like you're not alone.

March 20, 2010 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Amy Lynne said...

Our GW is charging more for the Target leftovers than what Target was trying to sell them for in their store. It totally blows me away! My hubby likes garage sales so much better just for that reason. I totally feel your pain!

March 20, 2010 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger SarahLynne said...

Funny you bring this up... I was at Goodwill today and get mad every time I'm at this particular store because of their stupid high prices. Even clothes are outrageous.

Totally OT...I've been a subscriber to your blog for a while now...and really enjoy your writing style! Thanks for sharing all your COOL projects!

March 20, 2010 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Siggy Spice said...

I am so with you! We just moved to Raleigh, NC and I was looking forward to going to some thrift stores and get some good finds to revamp. Fist off, there are hardly any here and 2nd, they are freaking expensive!!! Frames, with no glass, for $8?!?! Seriously?!?! I know it is a college town so they probably can chage that much but give me a freaking break. Ok, done venting!

March 22, 2010 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

It's the same in England too - many of our charity shops (as we call them here) charge crazy prices for items, especially clothes, sometimes even more than they cost brand new. It's becoming harder and harder to find a genuine bargain. I was told they have antique "advisors" now who come in and take away anything genuinely valuable for sale at auction but even little vintage pieces from the 50's-70's are becoming badly overpriced. I have never asked for a piece to be discounted in a charity shop but I dearly hope they do this for those who are genuinely in need.

June 18, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

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