Front of Small Thrift Shop

I have heard a lot these days about consumer expectations - they are high.  Consumers expect businesses to have a website, the websites be modern and have quality content that is updated frequently, participate in social media, have customer service available 24 hours a day, etc.  Consumers have expectations regarding brick and mortar stores too. They expect the stores to be clean and bright with modern displays, helpful staff, good flooring and decoration, etc.  Apparently these expectations apply to the thrift and consignment stores as well.

The consumers expect thrift stores and consignment shops to have beautifully decorated physical stores, exciting ever changing websites, in style ever changing inventory, helpful round the clock staff and still sell their goods for the price of a cup of coffee.  Really??!! Are the consumers expecting a bit too much?  We are talking about a thrift store, a store that generally has donated used inventory, volunteer employees and overhead expenses similar to a for profit business.  They don't have extra money for fancy in store displays or to pay a web designer.

In a previous blog I wrote about the increasing prices being seen at thrift stores these days, Thrift Stores - A Misunderstanding. Maybe the increases being seen in thrift store pricing is to enable them to keep up with the consumer expectations of nice websites, nice modern stores and current in style inventory.  However, they are selling secondhand goods and there is just so much that consumers are going to pay for used goods.  

Why can't we consumers leave the thrift stores and consignment stores be what they are supposed to be and stop expecting them to be what they are not.  We need to patronize these businesses whether they are freshly painted and have new carpeting or haven't had their carpet cleaned since the turn of the 19th century.  And for their part, the thrift stores and consignment shops need to work on lowering their prices.

March 06, 2017 — Virginia Horan

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.