Okay, well just to elaborate a tiny bit on the karma thing...I think I've gravitated to thrift stores (as opposed to yard sales, consignment, ebay, etc.) mostly because the stuff has been given away no strings attached. Items are just cast to the wind with no expectation of getting any return at all on the original "investment." Thus, the thrift store is free to move it on out at a nominal price and everybody wins. It's a bit of a utopian redistribution scheme, but I tend to think this is what most of the original donors might have wanted. They don't really care about the Goodwill getting absolute top dollar, they just want their things to go to someone who will use them and value them. The obligation for the buyer in this scheme is to only take things for personal use, leaving the rest for others who may be differently situated. This bargain is obviously antiquated, but I still try to hew to it. I must say I miss the old days.
I've been thrifting for a long time, well before the long shadow of ebay. When I started back in the early 1990s the only people who went to thrift stores were situationists and people who really needed a break--at the time I counted myself as a member of both camps. But now it's a real business. People pounce on the racks as soon as they come out to the floor and decisions must be made immediately. Mental calculations fly fast and furious, with people trying to figure out their ebay or other resale margins. And the thrift stores, for their part, are busy trying to skim the cream. So it's a less happy experience and there are far fewer folks working to build up idiosyncratic collections.
I do roll with the punches and believe in progress, but I'm very happy that I got a headstart in stocking up on clothes, shoes, old textiles, luxury bedding, decorative arts, furniture, professional cookware, 1930s porcelain, top-of-the-line stereo equipment, etc. It's a brave new world, but I will survive.
Anyway, getting back to karma, I just don't understand why people try to rip off the thrifts. A bargain at $3.99 is usually still a bargain at $6.99--if it's something you want and will use. I know there's no turning back, but can I just pour out a little of my 40 oz. in honor of the bohemian old days and the dfhs?