Salvation Army - PRICES TOO HIGH FOR THE TRULY POOR AND NEEDY. SA adapts corporate pattern of Greed over Compassion.

Salvation army did not help

The thrift store market is surging! You won’t hear about it on television and you won’t read about it in the papers, but drive through a city and you’ll see that there are large shops for thrift stores popping up all over the place.

It used to be there were just a handful of second-hand shops in a particular area, and the clothing was heavily discounted or even free. Now there seems to be a donation center and attached shop in every neighborhood, and it makes you wonder if the store is actually doing what it’s supposed to be doing- helping those who need help the most.

The Rising Price of Getting By

We all know that going to the mall will cost you an arm and a leg if you’re looking to buy a few new outfits. On the flipside, heading to the thrift store should save you quite a bit – a few dollars for a pair of pants and a tshirt. After all, the clothing is all donated and used, so it doesn’t exactly command full retail prices.

Or it shouldn’t.

But somehow the prices are rising. That old t-shirt that you donated used to cost just a dollar or two for someone who was in need. Now that t-shirt costs closer to $6. For $6, you can go to the big discount store down the road and buy a brand new t-shirt, not an old one that has obviously been worn before!

Of course there are discount days where you can save a bit of extra money if you shop, but stores aren’t even completely forthright about that.

Big Discounts Are Hard to Find

One store offers a special with five articles of clothing for $5. The trick is finding five items with a particular colored tag. But somehow you can never really find the tags you’re looking for.

It’s not a mystery, actually.

It turns out sometimes the store employees actually remove the items from the aisles. The blue tags (or green or red or whatever the color of the week might be) are stashed in the back of the store before the big sale. That way, nobody can buy the items while they are on sale – they will have to come back on another day and pay full price.

The Pricing Rationale

It’s hard to say why the prices are rising. Some like to claim that the rising prices have everything to do with corporate greed. Others claim that the cost of overhead is rising – those storefronts don’t come cheaply, of course.

But perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Could it be that the rising number of stores means the company has realized they can make more money by branching out of the poorest neighborhoods and into the more affluent ones? Since the companies are almost always nonprofits, raising income means more funds are available to go out to others – even if it’s not through the actual resale store.

It’s hard to say, and probably only a handful of people know the truth. But the fact of the matter is simple. Secondhand is increasingly common, the prices are rising, and perhaps those who are in the most need of help are having trouble making secondhand ends meet.