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The official thrift/discount store bragging thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by j, Mar 2, 2005.

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  1. jml90

    jml90 Senior member

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    Well, I've never carried a stapler or pulled a tag. But then I live by the old-school thrifting code. It does seem like this sort of thing is becoming more of a problem as e-bay flippers continue to invade the stores. Used to be that only the crazies and completely destitute pulled off the tags. Now it seems to be done by people trying to improve their margins and the thrift stores around here, at least, are taking a much harder line on not selling un-tagged things. Anyway, sorry to hear about your loss, texas_jack. If it's any consolation, I've found that once the thrift store staff gets to know that you're an honest thrifter they'll be more accomodating in pricing tag-less items. So consider the DK jacket an offering to the thrift-store gods and an investment in the future. And, who knows, it could show up again. Thrifting is all about karma.

    Thrift honestly we must.....
    [​IMG]
     


  2. DuffAnderson

    DuffAnderson Well-Known Member

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    here in nyc in a certain salvation army thrift store i frequent, the people who work there are constantly yelling at folks who ask about "untagged" items. if it's not tagged then they won't sell it.


    Well, I've never carried a stapler or pulled a tag. But then I live by the old-school thrifting code. It does seem like this sort of thing is becoming more of a problem as e-bay flippers continue to invade the stores. Used to be that only the crazies and completely destitute pulled off the tags. Now it seems to be done by people trying to improve their margins and the thrift stores around here, at least, are taking a much harder line on not selling un-tagged things. Anyway, sorry to hear about your loss, texas_jack. If it's any consolation, I've found that once the thrift store staff gets to know that you're an honest thrifter they'll be more accomodating in pricing tag-less items. So consider the DK jacket an offering to the thrift-store gods and an investment in the future. And, who knows, it could show up again. Thrifting is all about karma.
     


  3. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Just kidding about the stapler. That wouldn't be very good karma now would it?
     


  4. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    here in nyc in a certain salvation army thrift store i frequent, the people who work there are constantly yelling at folks who ask about "untagged" items. if it's not tagged then they won't sell it.

    Was it the one on W 46th St? When I was in NYC I saw a pregnant woman get chewed out by the manager (big guy) for switching tags at that SA.
     


  5. DuffAnderson

    DuffAnderson Well-Known Member

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    Was it the one on W 46th St? When I was in NYC I saw a pregnant woman get chewed out by the manager (big guy) for switching tags at that SA.

    no it wasn't that one. but i't sounds like the constant back and forth between folks who find stuff (some legitimately) untagged and the employees at these places is routine.

    btw, the salvation army on 46th street is the size of a department store. with that said though, i was very underwhelmed by the selection.
     


  6. Nataku

    Nataku Senior member

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    I work at the local Salvation Army and it seems odd that the one SA Texas_jack was at sent the thing to their central branch. At our's and all the ones here in the MSP and themetro area simply bring the thing into the back room and staple a new tag onto it and write a price on it. The price is whatever we (whoever is pricing it at the moment) think it's worth. Many times, it's some cheapass trying to get a brand new set of Pottery Barn dishes for $1, but I know there are a lot of customers simply find a pair of pants whose tag fell off when they were trying them on or something.

    Funny thing happened the other night. I'm usually on and off the register so I happened to be on it when a middle aged lady came up to me with 5 items (3 Dolce and Gabbana shirts, a pair of Chip and Pepper jeans and some Pony shoes. She said none of those had tags, so I did my usual thing and just said "how bout $3 each for the shirts, $4 for the jeans and $2 for the shoes?" Well she blurted out "Well the jeans were marked at $2.95!".........then she thought about what she had just said and who she said it to and walked out of the store leaving everything at the counter. Just a funny story I thought I'd share with you.

    Anyway, there's my two cents on the whole no-tag thing
     


  7. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    btw, the salvation army on 46th street is the size of a department store. with that said though, i was very underwhelmed by the selection.

    Yeah, I didn't find anything of note when I was there.

    In general, the thrift stores weren't what I expected; they were much smaller and very picked over (which make sense now).
     


  8. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    I work at the local Salvation Army and it seems odd that the one SA Texas_jack was at sent the thing to their central branch. At our's and all the ones here in the MSP and themetro area simply bring the thing into the back room and staple a new tag onto it and write a price on it. The price is whatever we (whoever is pricing it at the moment) think it's worth. Many times, it's some cheapass trying to get a brand new set of Pottery Barn dishes for $1, but I know there are a lot of customers simply find a pair of pants whose tag fell off when they were trying them on or something.

    Funny thing happened the other night. I'm usually on and off the register so I happened to be on it when a middle aged lady came up to me with 5 items (3 Dolce and Gabbana shirts, a pair of Chip and Pepper jeans and some Pony shoes. She said none of those had tags, so I did my usual thing and just said "how bout $3 each for the shirts, $4 for the jeans and $2 for the shoes?" Well she blurted out "Well the jeans were marked at $2.95!".........then she thought about what she had just said and who she said it to and walked out of the store leaving everything at the counter. Just a funny story I thought I'd share with you.

    Anyway, there's my two cents on the whole no-tag thing



    I live in the DC suburbs and supposedly their main branch is in another suburb. They said everything goes there to be sorted and tagged.

    As far as changing tags, it seems ridiculous that someone would try to rip of SA. I mean, the most expensive thing I've seen at one was like $10. I just find it annoying that the best thing I've found so far was snatched from my hands by a silly tag. Alas, I'll return next week, just like every week, waiting for that Attolini suit in 46L
     


  9. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    I live in the DC suburbs and supposedly their main branch is in another suburb. They said everything goes there to be sorted and tagged.

    As far as changing tags, it seems ridiculous that someone would try to rip of SA. I mean, the most expensive thing I've seen at one was like $10. I just find it annoying that the best thing I've found so far was snatched from my hands by a silly tag. Alas, I'll return next week, just like every week, waiting for that Attolini suit in 46L


    I have been to SAs where everything is dirt cheap, and I have been to SAs where suits are $20-60. Not saying that tag switching is right, though.
     


  10. Nashville

    Nashville Senior member

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    man, that would stupid to go to jail from a thrift store, I just have fun in them[​IMG] , I will have to cut back to just the weekends Im taking a PT second job at the wifes company for a little extra cash for the holidays [​IMG]
     


  11. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Stapled on tags often aren't well secured. It's not necessarily a matter of someone pulling them off. I've had tags that I've literally had to hold on while I shopped so the staple didn't work its way the rest of the way out so I could still buy the thing.

    As annoying as it is that they staple on tags, it's far better than the plastic holders others shoot through the garments that invariable break threads and create holes that won't go away.
     


  12. amerikajinda

    amerikajinda Senior member

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    I noticed that the thrift shop near me double-staples everything! They put two staples through -- very close to each other -- almost as if they're trying to create one "super staple" -- and it's hard to remove after purchase. I have to slip some scissors underneath to pry them back... takes some work.
     


  13. DuffAnderson

    DuffAnderson Well-Known Member

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    I have been to SAs where everything is dirt cheap, and I have been to SAs where suits are $20-60. Not saying that tag switching is right, though.

    the thrifting prices here in manhattan are in that $20 plus range. still a bargain in my eyes if you can find something that works. in the past 2 weeks i've found 2 wool jackets total price $38. one gray (thai bespoke) and one blue (brooks bros). altering total for both $25. so for a whopping $63 i've got 2 very functional sports coats. i'm very very pleased.
     


  14. tonylumpkin

    tonylumpkin Senior member

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    Well the wife is out of town so I decided to do a little shopping. Funny the direction this thread took tonight because, as I was going through items on the racks tonight I thought to myself "wouldn't it be easy to just put the right colored donut on the hanger of the suits or pants I want." (Goodwill around here uses different colored little donuts on their hangers to keep track of the age of their stock and each week the color of the oldest stock in the rotation is 50% off.) Considering I have some pangs of conscience about making significantly more off their thrift items than they do, I had no trouble deciding that "donut swapping" wasn't something I'd want to get into. Well anyway, at full price I still had a very good evening. First, four pair of trousers (all iin my size[​IMG] ) in various states of NWO. Two Brooks Brothers cords, one with tags and one without but neither has been hemmed. A third pair of Brooks, these khakis, that seem to be hemmed store returns (I think that's what the little stamp on the inside waistband means). They don't appear to have been worn. Also, a pair of John Alexander charcoal grey slacks that have yet to be hemmed. They have some of the tags. Next a pair of Ecco black monkstraps in great condition that I thought might be a very flippable shoe. We''ll see. And finally a vintage men's overcoat, my guess is from the '60s. It is in a beautiful green/brown herringbone made of Alpacuna which consists, I find, of Alpaca, mohair, wool and cotton (but no Vicuna as the label clearly states). There is no size on this so I'm going to have to try to find how an overcoat size equates to its measurements. Not a bad evening. Total tab was $30.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     


  15. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    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?
     


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