Inside of a Small Thrift Shop

Why is it that the prices seem so high in Thrift Stores these days?  In the last couple of years, the major thrift stores (and some independent ones) that I visit from time to time have inched their prices up to a level that I don't feel compelled to buy anything.  I see racks and racks of clothing on display, and large bins full of clothes in the back storage area.  Some people are buying, but not as many as could be.  

It was always my understanding that thrift stores were for the benefit of people with limited means.  Either my long held perception was incorrect or there has been a shift in purpose for some of the thrift stores.  I recently learned that, in general, the non-profit thrift stores operate for the benefit of their programs, programs that ultimately benefit certain members of the community Their main goal is not to provide deep discount prices to people with limited means. Therefore, they are going to try to make as much money as they can from their thrift store sales so that they will have the proceeds to support these specific programs. 

Could part of the increase in prices be due to the current popularity of vintage items and online designer consignment shops?  Consumers are being encouraged to scour their local thrift stores/consignment shops and look for designer clothes to sell online for big bucks. I am constantly seeing "How-To" articles and blogs related to finding treasures at thrift stores to resell for a profit. Well, have the thrift stores caught on to the new trend and raised their prices accordingly, in this area anyway?  The group of people who could have benefited most from the "thrift" store probably shop now at the big discount stores, where they can buy new stuff for the same price as the thrift store's used stuff.  

If the thrift stores lowered their prices, they probably would sell more.  Then they would still be supporting their programs and helping those in the community on tight budgets.  I've come across more than one thrift store shopper complaining about the high prices.  

Who is the target market for the modern day thrift stores?  What is your experience?  

Please share with us, thanks!

February 24, 2017 — Virginia Horan

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