I have been thrifting for a while now. I have almost three years of dedicated second-hand shopping under my (thrifted) belt. I have shopped at small thrift stores, big thrift stores, consignment and even Kijiji. The price of thrifted items varies, but in my experience, smaller community or non-profit thrift stores tend to have the lowest prices – though often the smallest selection. Some stores like Goodwill have set prices for standard pieces and if you hit a colour tag sale, you can get amazing deals like Miz Mooz boots for $7.50 or an awesome black dress for $3.50. I firmly believe that you can find great thrift scores no matter where you shop second-hand and that is part of the allure of thrifting! The chance to get a great deal on a great piece is fun and motivating!
In the past several months, I have noticed a trend towards higher prices in my grassroots thrift store, Value Village. That was where I started my thrifting journey and I will no doubt continue to shop there, but after my stop in the Red Deer Value Village today, I must admit I am disappointed. I tend to be easy-going in the controversy about thrift pricing; I know that shopping second-hand benefits Value Village’s non-profit partners in addition to all the other great reasons to thrift, so I don’t mind paying a little higher price for good pieces. It’s not only about the bottom line. Today, though, I found several pieces that were overpriced and I did something I’ve never done before – I asked for the price to be reconsidered on a Fossil bag… and I was shut down. It was a nice black cross-body leather bag in great condition priced at $40… I was carrying a nice pink cross-body leather Fossil bag that I got from the Fossil outlet store on sale for $40. PLUS I had photo evidence of a friend who scored a Fossil cross-body leather bag in great condition from Value Village TODAY for $10. Still nothing. I was so disappointed I neglected to get a photo of the bag in question, but here are some other pricey examples from my road-thrift-stop today:
There was more but it was just getting too depressing. I put back some running shoes for my son because they were priced at $20 – they were Skechers but in poor shape AND SECOND-HAND CHILDREN’S FOOTWEAR. C’mon. I get that well-known labels might be priced a bit higher, and like I said, I’m okay with that but IMHO, these examples are not reasonably priced. Having said that, I don’t exactly know what to do about it aside from saying no to overpriced thrifting. I will purchase what is reasonably priced and still regale in my great finds, and I will never go back to regular retail, BUT I hope that these high prices are mere blips on the thrifting radar. To comfort myself, I did snag a few things at fair prices using a filled 30% off sticker card!
There were also some reasonably priced pieces that I left behind…
Ultimately, my thrift stop was successful and I left happy with my purchases. Still. Overpriced thrifting sours the experience and I hope that thrift shops will pay attention to the concerns of loyal customers and consistently price items reasonably. The end.