Took Some Items To The Thrift Shop Yesterday - Issue

Discussion in 'Shopping & Sales' started by Kitty Carmel, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    I hope it's OK to put this here. It's not shopping, it's donating.

    Yesterday I took some items to PAWS thrift shop. Mostly some books, yarn and a baggie with jewelry I just don't wear anymore. I told the volunteer attendant (who took too long to acknowledge me while I stood there holding two bags while she was talking to someone) that some of the jewelry was sterling silver and to please not sell it for costume jewelry prices. She said they have someone there who goes through all the jewelry and prices it and would recognize the sterling.

    As I went out the door I heard the woman who was talking to the volunteer say "can I look through that jewelry" After I got in my car and was driving I thought "wait a minute, I donated that for the animals not so some woman (actually I thought some b-word) can get first dibs because she happened to be standing there when I bought my stuff in"

    I didn't want to go back and say anything but later that afternoon I called and spoke to one of the afternoon volunteers. I explained what happened and she assured me that they have strict rules regarding anything being sold before it is priced in the back. She stated that even if they see something come in they may want, it has to be priced by the people who do the pricing before they could even purchase it.

    She further stated she would mention this next week to the AM volunteers. This did bother me. I only donate to PAWS and I do so for the animals, mainly the cats they help. I just hope everything I donated got to the back to be priced. There was a second volunteer there, but she seemed to be talking on her cell phone. These two didn't seem to be their best volunteers.
     
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  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I do not know about PAWS; but many years ago, I worked at a thrift store called Value Village, and they had the same rules. Anything that came in had to go into the back and be prices and then put out on the proper shelf or rack.
    As an employee, I got a discount on anything that I purchased, but even then, I had to wait a day before I could get the discount, so that the item had a chance to be sold for full price before an employee could buy it at their discount. We could buy something as soon as it was put out on the shelf/rack; but we had to pay full price just like everyone else when we did that, and even as an employee, we could not go through anything that came in before it was priced and put out for sale.
    I knew someone who worked for one thrift store, and he helped with the donation trucks that went to houses and picked up items. He said that sometimes the drivers went through the items on the truck and took things; but they were defintely NOT supposed to be doing that .
     
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  3. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    You did the right thing @Kitty Carmel by donating things you no longer needed to help a cause you believe in. Now the best thing you can do is believe the people who received those donations are doing the right thing too...even if your impression while you were there was that they might not be doing that right thing.
     
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  4. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for your replies ladies. I've donated a lot to our PAWS. (it's a single store started probably about 2005. Benefits low cost spay/neuter and trap/spay/neuter and release of monitored cat colonies. They also find homes for any kittens still young enough to be socialized that they have trapped) It's 100% volunteer run and I personally do know one of the women who started the shop though she is no longer involved.

    Some of the volunteers are more familiar and I had never seen this particular woman volunteer before. I've made a note to self not to take anything in on a Wednesday morning again. I don't know if the volunteer had any personal relationship with the woman who wanted to see the jewelry or if they were just talking.

    I have to trust that all the items will be priced and sold for the animals.

    @Yvonne Smith OT but when I was probably 19 I applied to work at the Goodwill in Santa Cruz. No "experience in retail" No hire. So when I go to these larger thrift stores, which I don't too often, I'll laugh my butt off when I can get something they didn't recognize. Like the large Native American sterling snowflake obsidian bracelet that I got for 15 dollars. It was completely black and polished up without a blemish. Had it been turquoise, it probably would have been recognized but with that stone it wasn't. It would never have got past me that is for sure.
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I really like it when I find a good bargain at the thrift stores, too, @Kitty Carmel !
    It seems like a lot of the time that the items are more likely to be overpriced when the pricing clerk does not know the value of the item, but now and then, you can get some really awesome buys there.
    This is how I found my Franciscan Desert Rose teapot for only $6. Some of these sell on ebay for over $100 if they are the old ones made in California or England.
    My last great find was a blender, and it was also about $6, which seems to be about a right price for a regular blender. However, this blender was an older Vitamix 5200 series; so you know I grabbed it and took it right up to the checkout counter and bought it.
    After checking it out and making sure that it worked fine (they come with a lifetime warranty, so there was a good chance that it would still be working right), I listed it on Craigslist and also on the local Facebook yardsale group.
    I sold it for $100, and probably could have gotten more if I had wanted to wait longer; but that was a good return on my investment, and a good deal for the people who bought it as well.
    739D4FBD-229B-4881-9CD1-620926886AF8.jpeg
     
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  6. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I enjoy shopping thrift stores, although I seldom do it. I do know that many of the folks who "volunteer" in them consider it a benefit that they can go through the stuff and pick out the best stuff. I doubt the folks at Value Village do it, though, since many of them are paid and it is a large commercial venture, but the smaller charity-run and church-run places do it. It seems to me that an employee discount would be fair to volunteers, but not before it has been on the shelf for a defined amount of time. My neighbor supposedly manages a thrift store somewhere and her yard is full of all kinds of stuff that she has brought home. My wife worked at a church-run thrift store for several years, and some of the employee-volunteers even raided the till to pay for their lunch, etc.
     
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  7. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Depends on the store I guess Kitty
    As far as I know, items that are liked by volunteers still have to be paid for but I guess you will always get
    the dishonest ones :( You did well to voice your concerns
     
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  8. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Volunteers in Charity shops here are entitled to buy anything that comes into the store..usually with a 20% discount. Some stores insist on the item being put on the shelf for a set amount of days before a Volunteer can buy it, but others not..and also if a volunteer is prepared to pay the full price for an item then it needn't go out on the shop floor.

    However without doubt there are many unscrupulous Managers and volunteers alike, and some items end up on online auction sites having never seen a penny go in the till for it at the store.. .
     
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