Thrift Store Prices

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
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This letter is a long overdue statement on the excessive prices of the merchandise in many of Santa Barbara’s thrift stores. I have enjoyed shopping at thrift stores since I was a teenager, and many of my favorite clothes come from them. The problem is, the prices of goods at thrift stores have been so dramatically and unreasonably high that it is of no use to shop there anymore. Thrift stores were designed to aid communities by providing inexpensive and valuable items at cheap prices so that poor people could afford to dress with dignity and style. They were also, of course, designed to aid charities with revenues and donors with tax incentives. Nowadays, donated, well-worn jeans are regularly marked at prices like $15. Many shirts are marked in the $10 range. Why so much for donated, second-hand apparel? Many people who would shop at thrift stores cannot afford these prices. In addition, retailers like Ross, Forever 21, and Marshall’s offer brand new items for the same (and often lower) prices.

I think it is time for the managers of the thrift stores to get back to their original purpose, which is to offer inexpensive clothes at cheap prices. I am sure that their business would pick up and they would be even more of an asset to their communities.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

While some shops are trying to meet exorbitant rents, I too agree that in general many thrift store prices borderline on gouging for what is a donated item in the first place. Often times it's the clerk's fantasy that "Made in China" means more expensive.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 2:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thrift store prices seem to have jumped just in the past year. Even the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store in Goleta seems to be asking substantially more for donated items.

Moonrunner (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Are some of the thrift shops here for-profit companies, or are they all like Goodwill?

johnvasi (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 11:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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