Has the “thrift” Gone Out of Thrift Stores?

I used to be a die-hard thrift store shopper, but over the last year or so, I’ve discovered that unless you are looking for used clothes, paperback books or ugly dishes, thrift stores are starting to hike up the prices on many things.  Normally you expect to pay more at thrift stores than you would at a garage sale, but he prices were still very reasonable and affordable, but isn’t always the case these days.

For example I used to buy vintage books for about $1 each, but lately our local stores have raised the prices anywhere from $5 to $20 each!  Those are antique store prices, in my opinion, not thrift store prices, and what’s really frustrating is that everything in these thrift stores were donated to them.  They aren’t consignment stores that have to split the profit with anyone.

I asked the manager about it one day, and she responded that they are listed on Etsy for those prices.

Well,they may be listed for that much, but that doesn’t mean the items actually SOLD.  There’s also a big difference between what someone in the Midwest will pay for something vintage,and what someone in New York will pay.  Etsy can reach shoppers across the whole country andd world – a local thrift store can’t, and shouldn’t expect to get those same prices, in my opinion.  I’ve seen things stay on the thrift store shelves for weeks and weeks, unsold, which someone like me would snatch up if the prices weren’t so high.   

And if the thrift shop gets something antique donated to them – forget it – they often charge even more than an antique store would!

I’m curious, are thrift shops becoming less thrifty in your area too?

Okay, enough griping from me! 🙂

About a year ago, I found a stack of these student size  chalkboards at a thrift store, and I think they may be the last good deal I’ve found, and I bought 5 of them.

I finally pulled them out this week, and realized it would be really easy to frame them up to look like vintage school chalkboards.

green vintage chalkboards

I rummaged through my scrap wood  and found these pieces.  I don’t remember what we removed them from, but they still have parts of old nails in them.  Whenever my husband cuts apart pallets or anything wood, I always ask him to cut through the back of the nails, rather than pry them out, because the old nails look better than having a hole in the wood.

salvaged wood

He also cut a piece of scrap board for me – just a little larger than the chalkboards.

scrap wood

I drilled pilot holes, then just screwed the wood pieces through the chalkboard and into the scrap board, and it was done!

chalkboard frame

You could take this a step further and attach a photo frame onto the chalkboard, and place a child’s school photo in he frame, and write the school year on the lines with a paint marker.  Wouldn’t that be cute?!

You  could also just paint the backing scrap board with chalkboard paint and use a paint marker to draw the lines if you want them.

Since I do have extra chalkboards, I am selling the extras for $4 each each + shipping.  They are available HERE.

The chalkboard in the frame is available HERE.

intage chalkboard

Blessings,

signature

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Comments

  1. It isn’t just in your town…my thrift stores have jacked up their prices, too! I’ve been watching some dishes in my local Goodwill store that have been on the shelf for over a month, priced at $20. Five pieces, one dinner plate, a cup and saucer, bread plate and a cereal/soup bowl. It did cross my mind today to simply ask them if they would take $10, but then I just decided it wasn’t worth the effort…The old Goodwill price would have been about $1 per piece…and I would have snatched them up…Now, it’s sort of become a game to see how long they will actually hang out on the shelf.
    Your chalkboard projects are great! Glad you bought several when you had the chance.
    Judy

  2. Angie, Several years ago when the recession was at its peak it was said the only thriving business was thrift stores. So, thrift stores got in the greedy game and raised their pricing structures! I have posted comments on a few thrift store Facebook pages, respectfully letting them know that their increase in prices have turned shoppers like me away. I can find better prices on some things at antique shops! And I’ve also found that some household items are marked higher at Goodwill than they are priced new at Walmart; I’ve even found sales on clothing items at Macy’s for less than they cost at Goodwill! It’s a lose/lose situation because they are losing sales which in turn means they provide fewer services to the people they are in business to help. So folks, please let your local thrift stores know, nicely, that you cannot afford their new pricing structure, perhaps if they hear it enough they will listen.

    • Hello Mary, and Angie,

      I noticed this trend myself, particularly over the past three years…back in Idaho and now in Texas. Goodwill is the worst offender, and I believe the first to increase prices. Prices have steadily gone up since then, across the board.

      I agree with Mary regarding the greed factor. When confronted about the increases, I had one manager of a Deseret Industries store tell me it was due to the need to fund their training programs. But I reminded him that there are many low income families being priced out as a result. Shame on any non-profit agency that turns its back on the very people they are supposed to support. Fortunately, there must have been other complaints like mine, from enough people that this Deseret store actually began to lower most of their pricing.

      I would like to believe that at some point a state or federal oversight entity will take these non-profit thrift shops to task. It’s downright shameful for any organization to abuse their non-profit status.

      Best wishes, Ardith

  3. Oh my goodness yes!! I am close to NYC and our thrift stores have gotten outrageous!!

  4. I too have seen the increase..more so at the Salvation Army store than the Goodwill, as they have their ‘special color’ ticket discounts for added savings. I’ve seen a heart shape bowl from the dollar store at both thrift stores for much more than a dollar…that’s just crazy. Some co op stores have popped up as well as places that buy from estates …both carry a vast collection of ‘stuff’ at good prices. I still like shopping for gently worn clothes at the thrift store now and again, but yes the prices have increased and they use the ebay as their reason.

    • The prices have definitely increased here in San Antonio, TX. If you research, Goodwill is more of a business, than a charity. The Salvation Army is really a charity. I recently down sized and gave a lot of things to the SA. I thought the men that came to pick it up were going to cry when they saw so many items.

  5. I couldn’t agree more about the “thrift” store prices!! Not thrifty at all anymore.
    I absolutely love what you did with your chalkboards!! It looks fantastic 😀

  6. I live in Central Alberta, Canada and it doesn’t matter where we buy her second has is almost as expensive as regular priced. I have been into some of our local thrift stores and have seen items priced for the same amount they are selling them for brand new. It really doesn’t make sense, these items are donated so no cost out of their own pocket to get the items.

  7. ladyhawthorne says:

    Yup, happens here in TX too and Goodwill can be the worst. Most thrift stores also take what they presume to be the best items and hold them out (in plain sight) to be sold through a silent auction. I shop at thrift stores because I don’t have much money and I like to reuse & recycle. I guess they have forgotten that poor people are the ones shopping there.

    • Goodwill has been auctioning their better or not much better items on their auction website, http://www.buygoodwill.com so you don’t see much good stuff in their stores anymore. But even online the items are stilll high & their is shipping and an auction fee on top of that. It’s crazy. I don’t buy much at any of the thrift stores anymore.

  8. I SURE AGREE, AND GOODWILL IS THE WORST…….I FIND THAT HABITAT HAS THE BEST PRICES, THEY BELIEVE THAT GET IT IN AND GET IT OUT,THEY ARE NOT GREEDY………

  9. The same thing is happening at our thrift stores here in Ireland. Things have gone way too expensive for the people that want to buy, most of whom go there because they have little money.

    I mentioned it to one of our local thrift stores and got a bit of a snotty reply insinuating that if I didn’t want to give my money to that charity, then I was mean.

    However, in my opinion, it would be better to sell at a price meant to sell, rather than putting prices so high that they sit there for ages. Surely they would make more money that way – especially, as you say, all of the items are donated, and the staff work for free as volunteers too, and even the use of the shop premises is free for them. Its’ a 100% profit, so why do they need to b greedy?

  10. AngieI agree about increased pricing at Goodwill. However, our local Christian charity store is wonderful. Give them a try if there is one near you.

  11. Years ago, we shopped at Goodwill and Salvation Army and always got good deals. Now, Salvation Army is very expensive, so I wait for the sales, which can be good. As much as the prices have gone up at Goodwill, they’re better than Salvation Army! Bear in mind that Goodwill isn’t non-profit like Salvation Army. It is a for-profit business. Given the choice, I’d rather pay higher prices to Salvation Army than to Goodwill.

  12. YES YES YES! Thrift stores in my area are no longer thrift! I now use FB garage sale sites in my area to find thrifty deals plus meet neat people. I am out west near Las Vegas NV. Thanks for the avenue to discuss this.

  13. and…I love your chalkboard!

  14. Wendy Johnson says:

    It is everywhere. In Mich and Indiana the Goodwill is often higher than new and antique stuff or even stuff they think is antique is more than antique mall prices. But other times they mess up and I get a great deal, like a National Register Reciept box worth 10x what they asked or Watt pottery. They are so random that it makes it worth it to check them out. Lot of dealers shop the Goodwill and if they find out they watch what you buy and start making it up. My friend bought Springbok puzzles for herself and they started marking them up thinking she was re-selling them.

  15. Here in Oregon it is the same as everywhere else. Started a couple of years ago and when asked why the prices are so high, they respond by saying go somewhere else if your not satisfied.
    Love your Chalkboard!!

  16. Thrift stores are definitely NOT thrifty anymore. Prices are ridiculous. They price items by what they see them listed for online, exactly as you said, online reaches across the world, local thrifts don’t. Believe it or not I’ve found a for profit “thrift”: that is immensely cheaper than the non-profit. They only purchase items that are in excellent to very good condition. I recently purchased the sweetest, most darling little coat for my new granddaughter for $3.00! I’m sure they don’t pay much for what they buy but if you don’t have the time, energy or enough items for a good garage sale, it’s an easy way to declutter. I plan to take some things in before then end up broken because they are in the way, which is usually what happens to delicate items while I wait for my garage sale pile to grow enough to have one.

    Love what you did with the chalkboards!
    *hugs*deb

  17. Your chalkboard makeover is adorable!

  18. Hi Angie,
    Sadly, I have to agree that thrift stores belay their name. I live in Ontario, Canada and the thrift stores prices are getting too high and more like antique store or flea markets in their pricing. I have always shopped at thrift stores for many different items, clothing included but now, I do have to be more discerning before I spend my money. Why else do we shop there? It is based on the supposition of being able to find things that are reasonably and affordable.

    That is the premise on which thrift stores were born, taking into consideration providing low-cost items to those in need. Now, even the demographic of clientèle has changed with parking lots hosting Cadillacs, Mercedes and other pricey cars. What is wrong with this picture? If you can afford to own these expensive cars, then what are you doing shopping in a thrift store?

    Thrift stores see the clientèle change and they also see many sites bragging about thrift store bargains and turning these items into expensive, trendy décor so no surprise that the thrift store pricing would follow suit. Is this right, NO but that is business today, thrift store or other.

    Thrift store hard assets are based on the generous donations from the public, with no money exchanging hands. Granted, one of our thrift stores has to pay their staff, rent, but the bulk of their expenses are not tied up in hard assets like privately owned businesses. Hard assets are where the expenses lie.

    Other then for clothing, I have changed my treasure hunts to our local flea markets or Kijiji (a version of your Craig list). Even Kijiji prices are going up as people become more aware of the décor trends, so finding bargains there is challenging.

    We do have a choice here, whether to continue supporting thrift stores or go elsewhere. Most of us will continue to use thrift stores as they still provide the allure of finding those special finds. What will you d

  19. Yup, same in Los Angeles – not so thrifty thrift shops. Although as Wendy said their prices can be so random sometimes it’s still worth looking. I’ve never really understood how they do their pricing and it always cracks me up when the crappy, pressboard, Ikea dresser is priced higher than the solid wood, dovetail jointed, oak bureau sitting next to it.
    Great find with the chalkboards! and a cool project. I also like your point about leaving the nails in place
    David

  20. Love the chalkboards. 14469

  21. It’s the same here in the UK. I know that the shops would place items for sale and price them depending on the brand, they had a pricing list to follow by across all their shops no matter where in the country. then if it wasn’t sold with in a set time, they would be bagged up and sent to another one of their shops. If the items received into the shop were broken/unwashed clothing they were binned. And only 2 years ago the shop was thriving, making huge sales every week. I cant understand how so many items are over priced, I’ve donated many many items to a few different charity shops, and each year I get an invoice saying how much they sold for, I’m staggered, I’d struggle to sell them myself at those prices. at least It’s going to a chosen charity 🙂 and not landfill.

    Loving the little chalk board upcycle, look fab.

  22. Patty Soriano says:

    Love the chalkboards, Angie. They’d be cute framed in rulers, too !

    I can still find some bargains at Goodwill, but there’s a shop here called Texas Thrift that I’ve been going to since they opened many years ago. Their prices used to be good. Somewhere they got greedy. I don’t like to begrudge the children who are the recipients of the profit, but they sure would sell more of the knick knacks if the prices were better. Someone in the back thinks they’re an expert on vintage and marks things up beyond crazy. An average sized silverplate platter was $29.92 when I was there last week. I’m happy to take my business to the true thrift shops.

  23. Lisa Brown says:

    Hi Angie…I would be interested in some of the extra chalkboards you have for $4 ea. My zip code is 28694.
    Tks! Lisa

  24. Cindy Brown says:

    Hi! I agree that thrift stores aren’t thrifty anymore. I am interested in purchasing one of the chalk boards. Let me know how to go about doing that, please! Thanks!

    Cindy

  25. Cindy Brown says:

    Forgot to add my zip code for shipping one of the chalkboards. It is 32712. Thanks!

  26. I would like to purchase one of your chalkboards. My zip code is 06057. Thank you, Marie

  27. Thrift stores tend to overwhelm me. It’s hard for me to see through all the crap. I’ve always found the prices off-putting. I wonder if people aren’t saving their stuff and trying to sell it themselves in a yard sale, on Craigslist, or Ebay. In my area estate sales are a much better way to spend my time and money. I really like the chalkboards.

  28. Good Morning Angie~ Thank you for sharing the chalkboards with us. I would be interested in 1. My zip code is 48453. I think most people think that thrift stores are getting ridiculous with their prices. The comment that was given to me was it’s going to charity. It is overwhelming to look through everything without being interrupted by someone trying to grab it out of my hands. I would rather go to a yard sale or an auction.

  29. My area of northern CA has over 30 thrift stores, and yes, here too prices keep increasing. Some more so than others. I can still find some bargains, but it takes searching out.

  30. I completely agree, there is almost no difference between thrift store and antique store pricing in my neighborhood and it’s been that way for a long time…unless, as you said, you are looking for junk. Then it is priced the same as new at a Marshall’s or Homegoods. I prefer yard sales, at least there, things are generally priced to go! 😉 Cure chalkboard!

  31. I do agree that the thrift stores aren’t so thrifty any longer. Goodwill has increased prices quite a bit on everything and like you mentioned, whoever prices items needs to get a grip on what retail is because they are charging the same for a used item for some items or even more.

    Now, with that being said, they are a BUSINESS and they are trying to make money for a charity and to thrive. People caught on that you were able to score some great days and resell at a good profit (Ebay, Etsy, antique stores, etc.). From what I understand, there are dealers that frequent these stores regularly to score on new merchandise as it hits the floor.

    While I’m bummed I’m not able to get as many deals as I once could, I understand it is only business – it isn’t personal nor do they owe anyone yard sale prices any longer… it was a good ride but I’ll spend my money elsewhere if the bargains are no longer there.

  32. Sandy Steele says:

    You are not alone Angie! Thrift stores in my area have been raising prices by leaps and bounds now for the last few years. It is called GREED! It was printed in our paper a few years ago that the local CEO for the Willamette Valley here in Oregon received over $100K in a bonus one year! I was always under the assumption that Goodwills were a NON-PROFIT organization! No so if the CEO can rake in that kind of “bonus”! I have seen things which are sold at our local Dollar Store selling at Goodwill for $1.99! Other thrift stores in the area are following suit and raising their prices as well. Thrift stores have become big business now and they are taking advantage of those of us who enjoy recycling/repurposing items not to mention those who have limited income and cannot afford to shop at Macys! I have almost stopped going to thrift stores unless I find something which is marked down, I don’t buy. If people stop paying the prices, then they would be forced to lower them so things will sell. I also don’t donate to Goodwill anymore since I found out that most of the profit does not go to those who need help and go to CEO pockets!

  33. Angie- I was at my local Savers store yesterday, a chain thrift store, and found an item with a price of .99 from Target and the store tag said $1.99. There is no way that I would buy that item. On principle, I hope it doesn’t sell!!!! The prices in thrift stores across the north and southwest have skyrocketed!!!! I know they have employees to pay and rent but Really?!?

  34. Jennifer K says:

    Angie, I loved this! I am so glad to know it is just not our area. We live in the Midwest as well and it seems like all I see at our thrift stores are Etsy prices; it just seems crazy! For us, even the clothing is ridiculous sometimes. So much so that we can actually buy the same brand of clothing new from the store it came from off the clearance or sale rack for cheaper than we find in the thrift shop!

  35. Candy Thayer says:

    I’m in Arizona. It seems our thrift stores price for their half off or discount days. It may be a good deal on those days, but the rest of the time, the price is way too high for a second hand item. They seem to have gone to a one price fits all pricing structure…..all men’s shorts are $5.99 no matter what shape they are in. I don’t even shop at Goodwill anymore, but prefer a local hospice supported thrift store where the prices are quite low and they move merchandise quickly by having daily “specials”.

  36. Oh, the thrift stores here are super crazy prices…it’s just ridiculous! I live in a little town which makes most of its money via tourism so there are a lot of charming little craft stores and antique stores with their prices hiked to the rafters and our thrift stores aren’t far behind. I was always of the impression that thrift stores were there to help folks who aren’t super rich? When we lost our home and everything in it last year, we found the best way to refurnish was through auctions…one of the best sources for us was an online auction site, actually…I bought a new medical bed for my mother worth $2500 for $500…we never would’ve been able to afford it otherwise. I don’t even bother with thrift stores anymore…I find that auctions and yard sales are the most reasonable…you can still find some good deals at flea markets, but that seems to be an all day outing which I don’t have time for.

    Oh, I soooooooo love the little chalkboards, Angie, and if there is any way for you to price it in Canadian funds and figure out shipping for me, I’d love to have one! You know where I am! 😉

  37. Yes!! I sometimes walk out of a thrift store & say to myself “did they forget they’re Goodwill (or whatever)?!!” Absolutely crazy high prices sometimes!
    Hey – can you tell me what font you used on your cute Apothecary window/shelf thing?
    Thanks so much for sharing your amazing talent!

  38. Sondra McAnally says:

    We live in the small town of Fort Davis, Texas and shop almost everyday in our wonderful Humane Society thrift store which has kept prices surprisingly low…really still thrifty. When we have to go to Midland/Odessa for building supplies we always hit all the Goodwill’s and Salvation Army’s (about 2 each) and although our hearts get sooooo excited going in we always complain coming out. The prices at all these stores have gotten way out of hand. When I look into their store rooms that are stacked to the ceiling with stuff I always wonder why they don’t want to get rid of everything in the show room so newer stuff can come out of the back…personally I would want this stuff to MOVE!!! When we go back to the same store a couple of months later and the same item is still on the shelves I feel as if they are defeating their purpose.
    I am so glad that others feel the same as we do…and I have complained to the owners and get no satisfying answer…and like you said, these items are ALL DONATED so they asre still making a profit.
    Thanks to you for letting us vent!!!

  39. Rolinda Christman says:

    I would love to have one of these. My zip code is 95765 (Rocklin, CA). Oh and LOVE your site.

  40. Victoria Blue says:

    I agree completely about the thrift shops. Also it makes me wonder when the Goodwill stores are building big, new , stand alone buildings, how much money are they making to be able to do that!!?? There is a Goodwill on each side of town!!!
    I laugh too at some of the prices. I have a vintage shop and there prices are many times higher than MINE!!

  41. Yes! Thrift stores are becoming more expensive in my small town in CA and I blame it on the internet. I was in one recently, where the volunteer was sorting through donations with her Iphone in one hand so she could check prices online. I almost never find good books anymore. I’ve built an impressive home library from thrift store finds, but it’s not even worth looking anymore unless you want romances or self-help books. I think it’s also because the WWII generation with all their great stuff is almost gone. I used to find sewing materials and knitting stuff, but since no one does either anymore, no one donates such things. I love old linens, but those are getting rarer and rarer. I’ve furnished my whole house from thrift stores. Now all I find is junk and the occasionally vintage furniture piece that’s way over-priced. I used to enjoy shopping thrift stores for the treasure hunt thrill, but not anymore. I only go if I am looking for something specific before I have to buy new. Very depressing.

  42. Cindy Oliver says:

    You hit a pet peeve spot on! Recently at a local thrift store I commented to another woman, “Sheesh! I can’t even afford to be poor anymore”. Faded, tired clothes… Chipped mason jars?

  43. It is the same way here in Central California too! Love your chalkboard project Angie!

  44. Hi Angie, I love your little chalkboards, they are adorable!

    Sadly, I too have experienced the same thing with the thrift stores here in Richmond, B.C. Canada. It’s getting ridiculous! I won’t even go into “Value Village” anymore, there IS NO value there. As for my neighbourhood thrift stores, they are, as others have said, pricing like they are antique shops. They are forgetting about their original purpose of providing used items at a low price for those who cannot afford to shop in high priced stores. Just thee other day I watched two volunteers discuss the pricing of a wooden chest, made of plywood, painted black with someone’s name stencilled on it. It looked to be about 25 yrs old. I imagined it in a boys room, at the foot of the bed. It was the kind of thing you’d expect to pay $10 for, as I listened to them discuss it, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. They were estimating it’s age at almost 100 yrs and it’s worth at 10 times what I’d thought! I laughed out loud as I walked by them, shaking my head in disbelief! I still take the time to wander the thrift stores now and then, but leave them empty handed most of the time because they are so overpriced.
    Regards!

  45. Same situation here in Memphis, TN. My husband and I were discussing this last week after a visit to the local Christian charity thrift store. It is one of the worse since it is now under new management of one of the biggest church’s in the area. If I wanted to pay prices found on the Internet, I would order from that source.

    Really liked your chalkboards.

  46. Many years ago, when my children were small and I was widowed, “thrifting” was one of my affordable guilty pleasures. Sadly, I began to notice the change in pricing in New England, where we live, and thrift stores are abundant. Today’s thrift store prices are truly prohibitive!! It’s more like antique store pricing! Greedy non profits have taken the joy out of what was once a fun activity for many of us. On a separate note, the chalkboards are very lovely.

  47. I agree with the thrift stores NOT being so thrifty anymore….Goodwill….horrible and the ones around here look like a bomb went off inside…awful….I will not go…now we have ARC stores….and they have normal thrift store prices…so they get my business and my donations too….as they help those with mental issues….

  48. Amen to your thrift store observations , will continue the hunt,” wishin’ an hopin’ ‘” !

  49. Yes, prices have gone up and Goodwill is the worst!

  50. Angie..I’m right there with You and feeling and thinking the exact same thing! I been visiting My fave stores less and less for all the reasons You listed…Thanks for speaking what I have been thinking for a long time.Smiles.CIndy

  51. Wow, I’m really impressed at the number of people that are experiencing hiked prices at “thrift” stores! It is true here in mid-Michigan and as others have said Goodwill is the highest and has discontinued a “seniors day” or their half prices on certain colored tags. It seems like our Salvation Army store is lower-priced here and they have sales and colored tag discounts, but over-all, every thrift store that I go to including the Catholic Church’s St. Vincent DePaul store has raised it’s prices in the last three or four years. Even so, I buy all my clothes at local thrift stores because the prices at Macy’s or even Sears, etc. are incredibly higher still. I think the thrift stores are just following suit with all the other retail stores. Everything has risen in price over the last several years so much that I feel I can hardly buy anything! Food included. I wonder where it will end when there is no middle class anymore and the poor and those on fixed incomes will all be super-poor. It doesn’t seem like things can go in this direction forever without something changing. I believe a lot of folks are fed-up and I see some signs of change here and there, but real change in the way we think about money and goods takes a long time to change our reality. Enough said, but I still love “treasure-hunting” even tho’ they are few and far between these days.

    Angie, you are a beacon of light with your up-cycling and creative projects. You inspire all of us to be thrifty and instead of buy, buy, buying to use what we have in unique ways to make what we want and need. Thanks for sharing all you do!

  52. I’ve noticed the same thing – although it depends on which thrift store I go to. The nicer ones with better selection now make garage sales look like bargains, but the smaller ones where you still have to hunt and peck have what I consider typical thrift pricing. There’s been several times I’ve walked away from items because at the price it wasn’t cost effective for the project I was doing. I also think it depends on who is doing the pricing, which is typically whatever volunteer they can get, as I’ve noticed similar items priced noticeably differently but sitting next to each other on a shelf!

  53. First – love your salvaged chalkboards. Now for the main topic – two thrift stores closed for good this week in our small city. Managers said it was due to lack of sales. The prices here are often much higher than my prices in my booth at an antique mall. I have had a manager claim dealers like me strip their stores. I reminded her that I used to budget $100-$200 a WEEK to spend in her store for merchandise to resell. I now go out-of state to buy my merchandise. Another disturbing trend is the thrift stores refusing to accept “old” stuff. I saw a pile of vintage linens tossed into the bale pile – someone’s needlework lost forever. Thank, Angie, for letting us get on our soapboxes to rant.

  54. Here’s the scoop on the big one, Goodwill, known as the American multi-national Corp. accepts millions of dollars in government funds pays it’s top execs more than half a million dollars per year in total compensation, while paying some of its employees less that 22 cents an hr. and its perfectly legal due to some loophole. They do not pay taxes and everything they receive is donated. Don’t you wish you could make millions that way??? They are known for exploiting people with disabilities as most all of the people doing sorting and cleaning, working in the warehouses and stocking in the stores are disabled. The workers are very happy and feel a sense of pride that they have a job Individuals that are most in need of legal protection from employment abuse are being mistreated by a nonprofit org. that claims its mission is to serve the disabled and disadvantaged. OK, now I’m done ranting. Sorry guys. I do love the chalk boards BTW!

  55. Here is the scoop on Goodwill which is known as American multi-national Corp It accepts millions of dollars in government funds, pays it’s top execs more than half million dollars per year in total compensation while paying some of its employees just 22 cents an hr. It is perfectly legal due to a Depression-era loophole in the Fed. labor law. They also don’t pay any taxes. Goodwill exploits people with disabilities. That the workers are people with disabilities and are happy to work for 22 cents an hr. It makes them happy and gives them a sense of pride. I’ve seen this first hand working with Life Skills students. They go to the warehouse and sort , help launder, and many other small tasks. They also stock in their stores all while under supervision. The fact that they are disabled only serves to make this labor exploitation worse. Individuals most in need of legal protection from employment abuse are being mistreated ny a nonprofit org. that claims its mission is to serve the disabled and disadvantaged. BTW Angie, love the chalkboards.

  56. Even garage sales are using Etsy and eBay pricing. I just walk away because if they want to use those prices then they can sell their stuff online.

  57. So love your blog and website Angie. While I’m in Australia, I empathize with your comments on thrift stores. It’s becoming trendy here to up cycle old wares and furniture, hence the increased prices. The charity outlets such as Vinnies are usually not too bad in their prices.

    Love your chalkboard. I was lucky to find a slate and pencils a couple of years ago in a small village Bangalow in northern New South Wales. They are the original. I used this type of slate and the pencils in my first grade. It’s very rare to find one these days.

  58. So interesting that this is happening across the line in my local area in Canada. So many ‘thrift’ stores marking prices up past what you can get them on sale at the large box stores for. I have one or two favorite haunts but avoid many of the bigger thrift stores like Value Village which mark their prices up way too much. I’ve also turned to online buying like Craig’s list and we have a local thing called Bidwars which is in our local communities and I’ve gotten some amazing deals there. Still you have to really watch for the good deals. Too bad though, nothing beats a great day thrifting and really feeling like you’ve found a good deal that just needs a little TLC.
    I love your ideas Angie, thank you so much for sharing.

  59. I love the chalkboards. What a great idea about cutting off the nails. I am going to have to do that next time. At a thrift store here that used to be reasonable they have a lady that now looks up lots of the items on ebay and puts that price on vintage items. She doesn’t even bother looking at sold prices, just listed! What a shame.

  60. Totally agree with you about Thrift Stores. I live in Quebec, Canada and find that the larger chain thrift stores have jacked their prices to ridiculous amounts. I won’t even walk through their doors anymore. I think the key to thrifting now is to find the little thrift stores in small towns. I still have great success when I shop in them…but it takes much longer now because I have to drive farther!

  61. I love your blog and read it religiously! I’m from North Carolina. I noticed rising prices at thrift stores a few years ago. I also think they hold back really nice items and put them on Ebay or Etsy. I see antique store prices on things like old worn out steamer trunks. Occasionally I will run across something that has slipped pricing person and feel like I got a good deal!

  62. I completely agree with you! I live in Spain and the last two years prices have increased considerably. Now I prefer to buy on flea markets or charity outlets.
    By the way your chalkboard is fantastic!

  63. HI Angie!

    I couldn’t agree with you more! The prices are crazy! I’ve also noticed a difference neighborhood to neighborhood thrift store. For instance the GoodWill down the street has really high prices because it’s in a nicer neighborhood and it has a higher end clientele. While the GoodWill two neighborhoods over has really low prices, the store is a mess, and they have a much lower end clientele. It’s so sad. It makes thrift shopping no fun, which was the whole point of going in the first place.

    We haven’t see you around the Dream. Create. Inspire. Link! Party in awhile, so I wanted to invite you back. I always loved seeing your posts there. I hope you’ll stop by and share your projects with us!

    Hugs,
    Cat

  64. Yes, I agree. Not only are the prices at thrift stores higher but, the quality and quantity of goods offered has decreased. Discouraging and certInly not as much fun to go “on the hunt”.

  65. Cheryl S. says:

    Oh my gosh, I am glad to read that I am not alone with this thrift debacle. Goodwill is out of control.
    Now the “best sellers” in books are $3?? Really? Some of the best sellers are outdated for Pete’s sake.
    I saw candles that were used, almost burned to the bottom of the holder. They should have been pitched.
    Clothing with the color of the week? I never see the color of the week with the tags, it’s always the same colors, orange, blue green and the clothing tags are red, white, yellow….
    Salvation army is off limits. Never go there anymore. I saw dollar tree items for triple the price, with the dollar tree tags still on them. What a sham(e).

  66. Teddee Grace says:

    I saw the increase in thrift store prices start with the Savers stores in Phoenix back before 2010, the year I retired. Anything I wanted was $9.99. Well, ten items and you do the arithmetic. Then Goodwill slowly started increasing their prices and that meant, especially after retirement, that I could only shop on 50% off Saturdays. Now I see some of the prices on furniture at Salvation Army and it’s really shocking. I agree with the respondent who said it was a result of the economy, which brought even previously wealth-off people to thrift shops, and that drove prices up.

  67. I have seen the same thing with thrift shops near me. Prices have risen a lot over the past couple years. Yes, things I would usually snatch up are, at some stores, still sitting on the shelves some 3 and 4 months later. Saw one very pretty older dresser, very nice details on the entire piece….priced WAY over what another antique store I have visited had a similar dresser priced at. Goodwill is even worse around here. Some times I think by their higher prices they think they ARE an antique store.
    On your piece here, the only thing I would have done differently, since you have those gorgeous old nails showing on the front, would be to drill from the back so the newer screws do not show. VERY cute piece no matter how you attach the front.
    Thanks for the idea!!

  68. I agree with you on the rising thrift store prices! When the Goodwill store first opened up about 8 years ago you could find amazing things for just a dollar or two. They then started saving the best stuff and they send it to a regional warehouse and it is sold online. Now you are lucky to find anything at all. I lost a lot of weight last winter I went to goodwill to find a cheap coat that fit to carry me through until I reached my goal weight, only to find they were priced almost as much as they were in the stores. Not much thrift there.

  69. Thrift stores here have gone up in their prices too. You have to look long and hard to find a “bargain”. Love what you did with the old chalkboards 😀
    Have a lovely weekend,
    diane @ thoughts & shots

  70. My goodwill prices are high too. I noticed they are still getting a lot of donations, but not much is moving. Someone needs to teach their managers how to manage.

  71. In Mesa Arizona most goodwill stores don’t pay much rent because the owners of the shopping centers get get some kind of a write off because they renting to a non profit. Even half price sales are to high. Haven’t been in a goodwill for several year. Enough other shops to go to

  72. Same here in N Texas – thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, auctions – prices are outrageous. It’s so frustrating to go to a store or sale and see the prices and hear “that’s what it sales for on Ebay or Etsy.” I want to tell them “That’s AFTER it’s been cleaned, researched, repaired/re-purposed, repainted, photographed, photos re-sized, uploaded, descriptions written, then packaged and shipped.” They wanna make all the money without doing the work.
    I think prices will go back down… eventually… when they realize how much time and work is required. Right now the market’s just flooded with newbies thinking they’ll get rich overnight.

  73. Karen Choat says:

    Goodwill is the worst. I used to work at Target and was on the price change team. After we had marked an item down to the final clearance price, if it still did not sell we packed it up and Goodwill picked it up. No charge. Later I would go into Goodwill and find the same items, brand new, still in the package that we had donated to them only it would be marked back up to the higher price. I thought Goodwill was supposed to be about helping people in need with a job on one hand and helping customers with low prices. I no longer personally donate my stuff to Goodwill, preferring Salvation Army or the church.

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