I recently went to the St. Vincent de Paul in Burien. I had not been into that one since I became employed full-time.
When I was unemployed, I used to go into them, buy things (I put together lots of different items) and sold them on Ebay. I would fully take advantage of the sales: thrift stores have paper calendars by the register that tell you when the big half-off sale days are.
Anyway, I walked through noticing a lot of differences since the last time I was there. I found a couple of items that I wanted but was not sure of a couple of things I found on them-someone had written on the items in different locations with a permanent marker. One of the items I found was a collector teddy bear. (I knew the value of this item and was sad to see the tag written on because I felt that it was devalued now) I found the store manager and we talked about the markers on things. She informed me that this was the way they marked/priced their items now. I said that the items were being devalued because of that. She said that people were removing stickers from the items so it was the only way to keep the items priced. Again, I disagreed, saying that they were devalued with the writing on the tag of the items. She said that she had received complaints from others (people who made money from items purchased there) that had told her the same thing. I was told to get ahold of the corporate office if I disagreed with their policies, which I did immediately after I got home and have not received any response back yet.
I know I do not want to purchase any item that has been written on-kitchen, clothing or collectables that they have done this to devalue. (If you found a designer pair of jeans, shirt or jacket, how excited are you to pick it up at a good price? How would you feel to have it marked with permanent marker? It makes you feel not only that the item had been devalued but that it was a knock-off, right?)
I purchased the item, hoping to get the ink off the tag but I know that most are permanent. I can only keep my fingers crossed that it comes off!
I recently found this great site to help look up local thrift shops so I have attached a link to it for you:
My all time favorite thrift store story: 5 years ago I was unemployed, my job outsourced to another state. I went to a thrift store in Kent, (they moved a year later). It was a 50% off sale, so I walked through the store trying to find treasures that may catch my eye. I found a very old chenille bedspread (I remembered one just like it on my bed as a child). It was white with 2 different flower colors on it, the chenille in perfect condition, fluffy and with no rips or stains whatsoever-it looked brand new. The price tag was $5.00, which ment that it only cost me $2.50. I took it home, laundered it and looked at it some more. I decided that it was too light weight for my own personal bed so I put it up on Ebay for sale. The bids just started pouring in, people emailing me, (I have a contact that is very knowledgeable on these old bedspreads and she told me that people would go nuts for it) People telling me they will give me X amount right now for a buy it now, the people were going crazy over this bedspread. At auction end, this bedspread sold for $800.00! This was just one of many items that I have found shopping at thrift stores.
I have been a tremendous fan of shopping thrift stores for many years. I purchased items for my first apartment when I moved out and have been “Thrifting” ever since. I know I can find some great items there, and not have to pay full price for them.
I have no problem shopping there-if I spend 5.00 for a pair of jeans that you can find for 20 in the store is saving me money! I am a HUGE fan of thrift stores & garage sales because you can find some great things at very decent prices, which overall saves money!