Thrift store delusions

Thrift stores are becoming so delusional these days. They seem to have decided that since thrifting has become cool again they can jack up the prices to insane levels. EIGHT dollars for a 3″ ornament? The fast route to losing customers. I’ve seen a $25 tablecloth, a $250 fridge that was older than me and the smell when I opened the door….wowza. Thrifting is cool for a reason – it’s cheap. You can dress your kid for a whole season on $25 or furnish your living room for less than $100, asometimes because you have to. A kitchen table for $40? Perfect. I’d consider it if we had the space for it. But in March I nearly fainted when I saw in a thrift store a secondhand table and 4 chairs for $1200!! $800 just for the rather small table.

Incomplete vintage sampler

I have several $10 bookshelves. They are exactly what I would buy even if I could afford brand new ones. Our couches, queen size bed, glass topped coffee table, clothes rack, reclining embroidery chair and 29 inch TV were all FREE from friends or family. Not just because we’re tight with our money but because we don’t have any. We’re not getting our food from a food bank or anything and God willing, we never will but we choose to live consciously within a set income. No credit cards, no $3,000 fridge with an icemaker (although I love those so much!), no clothes dryer even. My child, when I have one, will be the most loved and cherished child ever born. And she/he will never go without the essentials plus extra. But he or she will also know that we don’t like buying a $2 toy because a person in China earned 2 cents making it. And that we buy things second hand because there are people so rich they throw out new and nearly new clothes and toys and that’s just crazy. And they’ll know that we don’t have cable TV because it means that we can afford to buy the more natural food without chemicals in it that cause early puberty and other problems. We’re looking at buying into a cow share scheme and getting raw milk each week. Because we’re not really into drinking cow hormones thank you very much. To be able to make this choice we have had to make the choice to do without a flat screen TV or a $800 dining table. So I get really pissed off when I go to the thrift store only to find insane prices. $25 for a small, ratty rocking horse. I can’t think why it hasn’t sold after 2 months.

Incomplete vintage sampler

If you’re still reading after my big long rant thank you!! It’s been annoying me for so long. I feel like these shops who sell donated goods for alarmingly inflated prices are losing sight of why some of us shop there – either because we have to or because it means that we can spend more in other parts of our lifestyle.

But I did find the unfinished sampler in the pictures for only $2.50 right next to that $25 tablecloth so it’s not all bad yet. I feel in love with it hard and was halfway through listing it in my etsy when I decided that even if I don’t cross stitch I can’t part with it after all and will just have to try harder at cross stitch to finish it. Because my Home Sweet Home would be even sweeter with a much loved second hand sampler that someone didn’t love enough to keep themselves.

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10 Comments

Filed under home, thrifting

10 responses to “Thrift store delusions

  1. hear hear! I’ve been thinking the same thing about the local thrift stores!

  2. I also agree with you. I love good deals and haven’t been able to find any lately.

  3. I’ve just gotten into thrifting. I have the same feeling. I went into a store that is part of a chain of thrift stores in Wisconsin. I love the wood furniture that they are selling, but the prices are ridiculous. They had a dresser for $1200 (what?). I thought I was mistaken, but there was a second sticker with the same price. I decided I wouldn’t drive 30 minutes for that store anymore because it was ridiculous. The dressers that I am lusting after are just too pricey when I can go to IKEA and buy it for 1/4 of the price brand new.

  4. Opp shopping can be a bit of a conundrum at times and each one often has a different mission statement as such. When I first started opp shopping it was the monthly second hand sale at the church over the fence from our flat. I loved picking up jerseys that kept me warm or a mere 50c. However, I was very conscious that I could afford a new jersey should I need one, and that quality left overs were being bagged up to be passed onto people who couldn’t even afford the 50c.

    Then there are the stores that are set up to raise money for the community that they serve. My husband worked in one for a while. The prices were set to raise money but also ensure that the goods didn’t hog the floor space. Sometimes it was gutting to see a beautiful angle poise lamp snapped up at $20 only to turn up in a dealers store at $125 a week later. However, in the time it took to sell the lamp at the higher price – it was still there 6 months later, the opp shop would have sold a number of items using the same floor space and raised more money.

    Some stores are there to clothe the community and some to fund it. Either way, it’s not always an easy task finding the balance. If I had a choice (only 2 family stores over here) I’d stick to the stores that stock the stuff I like and always have a smile for the customers.

  5. I have to agree…
    Hard to find good deals and price increase at local thrift stores here as well.
    Maybe ’cause the economy… someone at those thrift shops think they will benefit their pockets and find relieve to their own financial situation by increasing their prices !? … just a thought !
    (Btw… nice blog !!!)

  6. Carole

    I agree with all the comments about stores raising prices and thought I would share something I heard at a local thrift shop. Someone asked manager why prices were going up so high and reply was: I was a former manager of a Big Lots and that was what it would have sold for there. Excuse me, but thrift store is not a Big Lots and all items at thrift stores are donated and not purchased.

  7. i’ve noticed the higher prices in thrift stores lately too. Sometimes I can buy the same thing new for almost the same price!

  8. anna

    I’ve been an op shopper since I was a teenager and I find the inconsistency of pricing just as annoying as the big jump in pricing over the last few years. Over the years I must have donated thousands of dollars to them and attitude you get from the over priced ones really irritates me. To keep calm I always think of the charity shop ladies from League of Gentlemen!

  9. GAH dont even get me started on that craziness. Its happening all over the place here too.

    PS Cross stitch is easy.

  10. Exactly what I thought when I was in the UK. I would love to link to this post if you don’t mind! x

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