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The official thrift/discount store bragging thread - Page 494

post #7396 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by CasmirRadon View Post
I'm highly curious, when you worked for SA, did you keep any nice stock for yourself before it got put out? Not judging, just wondering.

I never really saw any of the clothing before it was put out. The clothes came priced from the central distribution center in big bins and taking them out of the bins and hanging them on racks was usually left as a task for community service workers. I did often find stuff I liked while hanging the clothes, though (taking them off the rolling racks and hanging them in the correct departments). My main advantage was that I was there almost everyday so I never really missed anything. I know workers at the central distribution center and main store downtown do this, though. Some of those rehab workers dress very well with the clothes they pick out from donations.
post #7397 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by EBTX66 View Post
I just wonder, where do they get their stuff from?

those drop off bins you see conveniently located on the outskirts of anywhere with money

or door to door collections

some of the for profit stores are really shady... ridiculously shady
post #7398 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainy View Post
...some of the for profit stores are really shady... ridiculously shady

That's what I was thinking. There's a new one on one of my routes that just opened and it's just a guy and his mom. I can't see any indication of a charitable affiliation. They have a sign that says they take donations but I doubt they get any, yet the back of the store is just stuffed with garbage bags full of clothes. I was thinking they must buy it for pennies on the dollar from larger charities. I also think that because the stuff they have is pretty much all cheap brands, old, or damaged. I was thinking they were SA or Goodwill cast-offs.
post #7399 of 110312
They are 8.5 Bijan so maybe they will bid up from some one "local". Maybe I will finally score!
post #7400 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by EBTX66 View Post
That's what I was thinking. There's a new one on one of my routes that just opened and it's just a guy and his mom. I can't see any indication of a charitable affiliation. They have a sign that says they take donations but I doubt they get any, yet the back of the store is just stuffed with garbage bags full of clothes. I was thinking they must buy it for pennies on the dollar from larger charities. I also think that because the stuff they have is pretty much all cheap brands, old, or damaged. I was thinking they were SA or Goodwill cast-offs.


Many of the small indie thrift shops around here do this. They buy their donations from charities that don't have a retail outlet in our area, like the Cancer Society, Disabled Vets and the Epilepsy Foundation.

The strange thing about the Salvation Army is that I know they run their route trucks through the rich areas a lot and I've seen/went through these trucks before. Before I was laid off from the Salvation Army (they replaced all us higher-paid workers with rehab workers from their main store/rehab center), we got to go through one of these trucks to take what we wanted to sell in our store. The truck driver was a nice guy and was friends with all us store workers, but he wasn't supposed to be doing this. He was supposed to bring it all straight back to the central distribution center. Anyway, some things of note that we got out of there were three almost brand new Specialized mountain bikes, a brand new set of Callaway golf clubs, tons of nice clothes, and some very high-end furniture/home decor items. I got a 3 year old Oxxford MTM suit that was made for the CEO of Medtronic out of that truck. Came with an extra pair of trousers as well as the black wooden Oxxford suit hanger.

The question is, where is all of this stuff going, because it sure as hell isn't getting to their retail stores.
post #7401 of 110312
very interesting. i've been very disappointed by my local SA. it's a couple blocks away from me and i've been checking it out twice a week for a few months. i've had a few nice finds but for the most part its been a bust. it's hard to imagine the volume of clothing that goes thru this huge store (20k square feet at least) in an affluent area with very little quality to be found. we've got alot of high end stores in a 20 mile radius. actually there is very little you can't find in that radius. there's got to be something shady going on. the local Goodwill on the other hand... i find something pretty nice on almost every trip.
post #7402 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by EBTX66 View Post
I was also digging through a bucket of ties on a counter and they told me to stop because "our lady has to go through them and pull out the good ones". I had seen an Armani and a Polo in there so I figured those would be jacked up but she let those go out on the "normal' rack. I talked to her and she actually appeared to know what she was doing. She just goes through them and looks for Hermes, Brioni, etc. Those she marks $19.99 and puts them in a case. All the rest are $1.99. She said that she hates having to do stuff like that - apparently the same fate would have awated my Zegnas if I hadn't caught them on the way out of the stockroom - but they're being pressured to because their Board knows about eBay, flippers, etc. and they want in on that much profit. She says the store management agreed to start marking up higher-end labels but if that doesn't work the Board will make them start listing the stuff themselves on eBay.

This seems to be the rule in the city. SA and Goodwill have already been doing this for some time, and it's replicated from store to store. Things sneak through, but they seem to want the racks separated more and more. I can't blame them if it's due to flipping. These are charities, and if you flip your buys for more, you can't be angry. If anything, it makes me consider the name racks more, and I do look through them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EBTX66 View Post
I guess it was only a matter of time. The only thing going for us is the fact that thrift store workers who have any sort of clue still seem to be a rare breed.

In some of the outer boroughs, some things may not be separated unless they're Sean John or Fubu. It just depends on what's considered popular in that area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
Apathy on the part of store workers works to our benefit. The world of thrifting would be changed by something as simple as the stores implementing a policy of checking labels and holding back the brands which are on a list for further inspection and evaluation.

It's happening. Let's be thankful that Nautica is something they consider a "brand".

Quote:
Originally Posted by WRAdvisor View Post
I'm really starting to think the same about SA. For the amount of people that work and volunteer in there, someone must know men's fashion and pulls aside items for either markup or personal purchase. It's been very very dry as of late in my area, but every time I stop in, the same lady has a shopping cart and is filling it with men's clothes. We must arrive about the same time (her daily, me once a week), but she knows what's going on and must list on ebay. The best thing I've found lately has been a couple BB Makers ties...thats about it

In my experience, there is almost always "a" person that knows a section well enough to judge, that everyone may keep an item off the floor until they get around to evaluating it. Even for a week or more. This has been true with electronics, CDs/Vinyl, furniture and even books for a long time as well.

I remember someone that had the same musical tastes as I. The person worked a store that regularly received rare vinyl in that genre. Music flippers frequented the store, and would have danced on his grave if he were killed, because he kept it all off the floor. Yet, he never bought them (perhaps prevented), he just stacked it up in he back. I never flipped, just wanted to buy for myself, so it was even more frustrating and cruel.

One day he returned after an absence (and late) to find the stash had made the floor due to an unindoctrinated fellow employee. Much of it in a pile next to me as I had arrived early (and nearly had a heart attack at the sight). It literally came to a tug of war over them. He knew I was absolutely going to go to the manager over that (never said so, but my face must have telegraphed it), and let it go. I never sold a disc and to this day enjoy them far more than for the music alone. I feel like I won a battle for all of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mainy View Post
The average thrift store, if run by competent management, realizes that there is really no money to be made in picking out the "nice" stuff and ebaying it or whatever. By the time they pay some lackey to do this (who probably does not have the experience or know how to do it properly, or they'd be doing it themselves), they aren't going to make that much more money if any than if they just threw it out on the rack at a reasonable price. Thrifts are volume businesses... a couple stores here tried to switch to a "higher price for nicer items" format and both the managers got sacked in under 6 months, and back to normal things went, because it was a complete disaster. True story.

Not quite, at least not today. People do buy from those "premium" racks. It may happen more at store in more affluent neighborhoods, but it does happen. Like I and others speculated, it's likely policy in chain stores even at the distribution centers. There they can (after their own perusal) send it to the stores where they'll sell best. In fact, stores not only do that now, but some chains will separate items for their own auctions in-store or on their website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nataku View Post
My main advantage was that I was there almost everyday so I never really missed anything. I know workers at the central distribution center and main store downtown do this, though. Some of those rehab workers dress very well with the clothes they pick out from donations.

You seem like a nice guy, and I don't blame you. Yet, I have dealt with many who I can only call corrupt. In fact, I can't imagine how charitable organizations could hire such people, except for the programs you mention. Of course, not all of those in recovery are that way, but there is a higher incidence of donation interception, and poor customer service since the hired employees and retired volunteers have been pushed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EBTX66 View Post
That's what I was thinking. There's a new one on one of my routes that just opened and it's just a guy and his mom. I can't see any indication of a charitable affiliation. They have a sign that says they take donations but I doubt they get any, yet the back of the store is just stuffed with garbage bags full of clothes. I was thinking they must buy it for pennies on the dollar from larger charities. I also think that because the stuff they have is pretty much all cheap brands, old, or damaged. I was thinking they were SA or Goodwill cast-offs.

I knew one that advertised charitable associations, yet was a private enterprise who only donated a small portion from sales. The manager played on that for donations, and would set price by personal preference and mood. Dealing with that was not pleasurable, and I retired as regular clientèle. Only later did I learn that I wasn't alone. Customer service is even important on the thrift shop level.
post #7403 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taken Aback View Post
I remember someone that had the same musical tastes as I. The person worked a store that regularly received rare vinyl in that genre. Music flippers frequented the store, and would have danced on his grave if he were killed, because he kept it all off the floor. Yet, he never bought them (perhaps prevented), he just stacked it up in he back. I never flipped, just wanted to buy for myself, so it was even more frustrating and cruel.

One day he returned after an absence (and late) to find the stash had made the floor due to an unindoctrinated fellow employee. Much of it in a pile next to me as I had arrived early (and nearly had a heart attack at the sight). It literally came to a tug of war over them. He knew I was absolutely going to go to the manager over that (never said so, but my face must have telegraphed it), and let it go. I never sold a disc and to this day enjoy them far more than for the music alone. I feel like I won a battle for all of us.

Thank you!

great story!!
post #7404 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taken Aback View Post
...These are charities, and if you flip your buys for more, you can't be angry...

...I remember someone that had the same musical tastes as I...I never sold a disc and to this day enjoy them far more than for the music alone. I feel like I won a battle for all of us.



I'm naturally upset about paying more because, let's face it, we thrift to get a bargain. I have some things to sell but only to get rid of stuff that doesn't fit or was an impulse buy but I don't begrudge people who do sell stuff. I've bought stuff from the forum and don't think it's wrong when you encounter something really nice and sell it to one of us at a reasonable mark-up (I'm reminded of the time I found a pristine, very recent Sulka suit in a 38R and left it: I should have passed that one along to somebody) but I'm talking about the scorced-earth flippers. They make a mockery of the whole charity process and undoubtedly encourage fraud. New thrifts are opening constantly around here, more and more people are shopping them, and prices are going up. I just get the feeling that the whole process is low hanging fruit for someone to start clamouring for some form of new regulation. I don't know what I fear more; some new charity purchase tax or form to fill out, everyone and their mother flipping and the stores being empty, or somebody with a Wal-Mart mentality getting involved and really subverting the whole process.

P.S. - loved the story!
post #7405 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taken Aback View Post

It's happening. Let's be thankful that Nautica is something they consider a "brand".


At one local thrift they are picking out the good stuff like Nautica, Hilfiger and Polo RL and putting them on a premium rack.

Luckily I am still able to find some off brand stuff pretty cheap there, including Oxxford, Norman Hilton, Hickey-Freeman, Gitman Bros, and Allen Edmonds so far in 2010.
post #7406 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
At one local thrift they are picking out the good stuff like Nautica, Hilfiger and Polo RL and putting them on a premium rack.

One of our local thrifts does, too. Amazingly, they price it higher than what you could buy it at retail. Guess some people think they're getting a deal :\\
post #7407 of 110312
can we stop bitching about thrift stores and get back to the cool finds :-) i need some motivation. we're starting to sound like the 400 lb. woman at the 7eleven complaining that she never wins the lottery.
post #7408 of 110312
Taken aback, that vinyl story is awesome. I find finding rare vinyl and deals on them even more satisfying than finding great deals on clothes. I ran around a bit today, not a whole lot to find. I found a very nice irredecent brown Ermenegildo Zegna shirt that fits really well, but am pondering selling. Also found some cotton pinstripe j crew pants that i plan to use to test out a new tailor and a blue linen j crew ss shirt. Not a lot of volume today, but some quality finds, especially for my area. Saw some Gitman's right next to the Zegna, but unfortunately they had a bit of wear. I am guessing these were donated by the same person. Will throw some pics up a bit later, especially on that shirt. The only blemish I found was a broken cuff button.
post #7409 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taken Aback View Post

I remember someone that had the same musical tastes as I. The person worked a store that regularly received rare vinyl in that genre. Music flippers frequented the store, and would have danced on his grave if he were killed, because he kept it all off the floor. Yet, he never bought them (perhaps prevented), he just stacked it up in he back. I never flipped, just wanted to buy for myself, so it was even more frustrating and cruel.

One day he returned after an absence (and late) to find the stash had made the floor due to an unindoctrinated fellow employee. Much of it in a pile next to me as I had arrived early (and nearly had a heart attack at the sight). It literally came to a tug of war over them. He knew I was absolutely going to go to the manager over that (never said so, but my face must have telegraphed it), and let it go. I never sold a disc and to this day enjoy them far more than for the music alone. I feel like I won a battle for all of us.



Great story! What type of music was it, if you don't mind me asking? I'm really into psych/prog of the late 60's and early 70's. Finding that stuff on vinyl in a thrift is near impossible. It seems that everyone who has an orig. pressing knows what they have.
post #7410 of 110312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nataku View Post
Great story! What type of music was it, if you don't mind me asking? I'm really into psych/prog of the late 60's and early 70's. Finding that stuff on vinyl in a thrift is near impossible. It seems that everyone who has an orig. pressing knows what they have.

Couple of thrifts around here have large bins of vinyl that overturn quite a bit (lots of elderly folks dying off 'round these parts). If I knew what to look for, I'd probably do pretty well.....those bins are just too daunting.
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