What is with these people

At the risk of sounding like the world biggest cry baby I am going to lay it out here. What is with these thrift stores and charity organizations asking higher than retail for there donated items! Take the Goodwill for example. There CEO is a very rich man. The people who are working there are always the same people, they never advance, they never “improve” their skills and they are kept at very low salaries. Year after year the same people work there and they never seem to advance. What job skills are they getting? Cash register experience? Yet all their items are way over priced and all the good stuff they ship out of auction houses. Hmmm how does that provide any real job skills? They spend a fortune on getting appraisal from professional just to make sure that they don’t undersell their items. But do they offer the workers training in becoming appraisers, gemologist, historians? No way.
I recently checked out the “Childcare’s Orthopedic Thrift Store” They had a Tiffany necklace priced at 350.00!. I asked if it gets marked down after sitting in the display box a while. The lady said no, never. It will just moved it around to different stores or put it up for an internet auction. So I am thinking to myself. “Wow how greedy can you get.” I priced out the same necklace and found that it was priced 20% above the going price on Ebay. Then my second thought was “Gee it is too bad that the sucker to donated the item does not get a piece of that profit”.
These charity outfits get all this stuff for free and they have the nerve not to offer the treasure hunters, shopper and dealer a good deal. That is just wrong. I am seriously thinking about wearing a sandwich sign and marching up and down the side walk in front of these places offer a fair cash price for donations to the people pulling up with their boxes and bags to “donate”.
As far as I can see these CEO’s of these non-profit organizations are more than profiting from the good intentions of people wanting to give to help out the poor. They certainly are not interested in providing ” shoppers” a bargain. Then they have pickers skim the good stuff off for themselves.

Anyway that is my gripe for year. Now I got it out of my system.
Anyone feel the same? Or should I be ashamed of myself for being a poor sport?

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  1. o.c.d.collectibles says:

    I totally “hear you” on this topic!LOL! You are most certainly not alone when complaining about pickers skimming off the top of charity thrift stores and also the bazaars, church sales, and estate sales! The thrifts are SUPPOSED to employ people and teach them skills. In some places employees are volunteers who raise money for an organization and keep themselves busy, such as Montgomery General Hospital’s thrift store, close to where I live, a great deal of my “finds” have come from there.

    But that’s only when Betty the Thief isn’t there that day!LOL! The weeks she was in traction in the hospital for her back, I found tons of great stuff, jewelry and other assorted “finds” that were exceptional. The other older ladies who work there are wonderful and appreciate just making sales to raise money for Medical Scholarships. Being a Nurse, I’m all FOR that too!

    But Goodwill…I’m sorry to say, has always had a bad reputation wherever it is, and it is getting worse and worse. Salvation Army, on the other hand, is a little bit better, and yes, they do employ and teach there. In the government clinic that I work in, one of our “patients” is now an assistant manager and he has a good number of responsibilities now. He looks so good and he is so happy! he loves the customers and the people he meets there, and he has great managerial skills, can open and close the store, and monitor the other workers there.Considering his status before he got well, I think he has done marvelously well, and we are all very proud of him as a community member and now taxpayer! he also steers me to some good deals at the store when I visit, and I tell him about things I sell too!He’s having a blast working there and learning from us visiting “pickers”.

    Now, the thrift I have been frequenting is in a Latino neighborhood, and employees are being taught English and retail skills,just by working there, and are also paying taxes. That’s a good thing! The store is called “unique” and it is affiliated with another few of it’s same kind of stores,and boy oh boy!! I buy TONS of great stuff now over there! I absolutely love the treasure hunt! They price some stuff very high that makes no sense at all, and some things are priced so low, I don’t know how I was ever so lucky to be the “finder” of the inexpensive treasures! All I can say is, you have to be there at the right time when it gets put out, and the stuff that’s priced ridiculously just sits there until they have a half price sale and clean out the whole place!

    I buy stuff for my son’s apartment there, like really nice new flannel sheets, as well as gorgeous old vintage linens, vintage clothing, handbags, and stuff like Nambe’ Limoges, and Fenton pieces. I even found some (8) sterling silver open salts in a little baggie with tiny spoons for $1.61!

    I guess it depends on who runs the specific store, and what place you are dealing with. It also has something to do with luck, because even pickers cannot be there 24/7 every day and watch every single item that passes through. They also don’t always see markings or know what an item is, and maybe don’t have the right knowledge to price the items.

    I am a frequent poster on yardsalequeen’s message boards, and I learned just about everything I know now, about selling online , especially ebay.But I stopped selling there thanks to their terrible business policy changes. I just joined Go and I am eager to chat with other Go sellers so I can figure out the ways to list, ie photo loading etc..

    I would LOVE to see a php type forum board made just for Go and Worthpoint members. This beta stuff doesn’t work as nicely, I don’t think? The php boards are more interactive than these boards are. Anyway, maybe someone who designs these group boards will take a look at yardsalequeen and the forum board that goes with the actual site. It is geared to keeping us pickers together and making money with great advice and tips!

    Are you a seller on GoAntiques? I’ve only met one so far and she is very busy. She sells on ebay and Tias, and has a gazillion listings on Go as well. She is very busy all the time so I didn’t want to bother her asking dumb questions,LOL!!!But she does well there, so that’s encouraging!LOL!!

    “A penny saved, is a penny earned..(another one of pop-pop’s proverbs)”

  2. Blonde Beagle says:

    Hey OCD, I am so happy. I did not expect a reply. I have posted stuff here and there but did it not generate any action. I have been to busy to check my post. It true that a watched post never boils.
    I want to see a GOA board. It is so long over due. We can compare notes. Plus we can gossip about newbee sellers who price there stuff unreasonably high.
    I appeared to me that GOA was making a push to get new recruits by with promises of riches. Then with Ebay Live auctions some sellers thought that they can load any type of junk on the live auctions and ask outrageous prices. Plus not really be dedicated to customer service. There was way too much bad feedback. I know the bidders can be unrealistic but some of the bad feedback made me cringe.

    I work in a medical facility as well. Are you a nurse or doc or what? I am just a medical assistant/ receptionist type of person. But I have been at the same clinic for 30 years. There are many patients who I have developed a great report with. My job has gone through many changes over the years. Now days it is not as fun. y position has been drafted in the the business side of things and further away for patient care. To make matters worse I am being transferred to a big call center type situation. How unappealing is that? The changes are stupid but there is nothing I can do about it. The doctors and nurses I have known 1/2 of my life really don’t even have a say in what goes on. I was thinking about leaving. However instead will soon be cutting my hours back to 1/2 time so that I can start doing more selling.

    When I think about the competition in the antiques world it disheartening.
    I can’t see how I can get stuff cheap enough to re-sell. I guess I will have to start getting up early in the morning to stand in long lines to hit those estate sales again.

    The main Goodwill in Seattle use to rock. I could get these fabulous bag of sterling jewelery and almost always there would be a real money making treasure inside. I would go there every day on my lunch hour and score. Word eventually got out to the rest of the dealers in town about the “junk bags” and people started fighting over them. Now they don’t even put any good jewelery out. Plus they will put 59.99 on some stupid ordinary sterling bracelet with damage in it. If you try to point out how outrageous the pricing is they treat you like you don’t care about their cause. BS !!! the only cause they have is making the CEO’s rich. The ladies that work there are slower than molasses and don’t speak English. They are the same ladies that were there over 15 year ago! They still don’t move any faster after all this time! Then they expected to run the register and show the stuff in the display case all alone. (the place than has the jewelry is sectioned off from the rest of the store and items from there have to be paid for there). I have been in the back where they load the online auctions. I have bid on then was able to pick up the stuff in person. It is depressing to see all of that stuff. I saw a huge squash blossom necklace. The guy there did not even know what it was until asked about it. I said “Wow,when are you going to list this squash blossom necklace!”. He said “Oh is that what that is”. I thought “dang” Plus I asked if I could buy it straight out and he said “no”.
    I tried to bid on it but it went too high. I think it was nickle silver anyway.
    Those people who do those auctions really don’t know anything. 3 times now they have actually lost my items! So they gave me my money back. I find it very strange that the items that I got a great deal on vanished. I think they decided not to let the reproduction travel poster print on canvas that they were trying to say it was a painting!

    I am thinking about changing my hunting habits. I a new months I will be going Guatemala . I think I will buy a bunch of textiles and primitive art to sell. I have done this before on a small scale. There is not any good jewelry to be found there. Things are really changing there are the Indians there are not too interested in keeping traditional weaving alive. Most of the men no longer dress traditional. The real beautiful hand woven items are getting expensive and harder to come by. We know people there that I can stay with. My husband and kids will be with me and they make it hard to shop freely. He gets impatient and does not want me to spend money. My kids get too fussy, tired, and hungry. Oh well, someday they will be helping me pick out things.

    Well I guess it is time to watch a TV show and then try to post some more goods.

    Get back to me and let me know how your sales are going. Have you loaded anything on Proxibid. That does not appear to be gong to well. Maybe next week sales will take off. Cross your fingers for good luck. I have to be able to make a bundle of cash in order to have a good shopping frenzy in Guatemala!

    Serendipity On Line Antique Sales.

    J’espère vous revoir bientôt

    Merci boucoup

    au revoir et salut


  3. ocdgirl2000 says:

    Elizabeth! I DID make a little forum. It’s kind of simple and stupid, but it could look cute with some work on the colors!LOL! I just called it http://ocdgirl2000.proboards.com/index.cgi? “GoAntiques Seller’s Forum” and it has like 3 topics and 2 photos that I posted to make it look a little colorful. I am terrible at this kind of thing, but I figured, well, maybe other members would be happy to take it over and make it look nice!hint hint!!Thanks for the response! You and Mary are the only ones who have noticed anything that I’ve posted! These boards hide the followup posts so you don’t know there is anything there unless you check them. I’m not sure anyone sees our posts either! Anyway, hope to see you very soon and chat/gossip/and support..I still haven’t listed anything, I’m scared I’ll make a mistake or it will look stupid, or I’ll list stuff that no one likes..I just want to be able to do it the way I did on ebay, and it’s so DIFFERENT!!

    Lynne “o.c.d.collectibles”

  4. Nolan Reents says:

    Great information :)

  5. I just stumbled upon your post and I have to say that I could not agree more. Great post. Thank you for writing what we all feel. Maybe some how the right people will see it and take action.

    As for me, over the last few year I have really seen an increase in prices across a majority of thrift stores throughout the nation. I know that there is inflation but come on, are we suppose to think that these employee’s working for these companies are getting raises while the rest of the employed population is at a standstill. To throw salt on the wound their has been a tremendous increase in secondhand shoppers. On any day of the week, I can stop at one of my favorite thrift stores in the middle of the day, and their will be 40+ shoppers sifting through the merchandise or waiting in a 10 deep line to pay for their secondhand goods.

    Are these thrift stores trying to say that their loosing money, well I beg to differ. If they think is supply and demand they need to think again, this merchandise is in a state of constant flow as well as constantly changing. There is definitely money in operating a thrift store otherwise we would not be seeing the influx of new stores opening at a rate that I have never seen in my 47 years.

    Now, if they really want to make money, train the employees to see which merchandise is not moving and reduce the price to make it move, this will allow new products to get on the shelves while still making a profit. Remember in most cases this merchandise is donated which means FREE. Their are many times I will visit a thrift store one week and come back a few weeks later only to find the same, obviously over priced item sitting in the same place it was when I first stumbled up it.

    Even though we complain about the over priced secondhand goods, what would we do without our beloved thrift stores. Thanks for being there but please get a grip on your prices, we really don’t like paying close to or over retail prices.


    Secondhand Answer Man

    P.S. I wrote a similar post regarding one specific Salvation Army thrift store. If you are interested in reading it go to http://www.secondhandanswerman.com and look for the post titled “My Salvation Wasn’t Granted by this Army”.