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Cronker

Thrift Store Ethics

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So, as I have mentioned previously, I work in a thrift shop, and my job is to price the stuff that comes through. Only bric, not clothing or books or toys.

i've come across some amazing things, pieces that people really don't know how valuable they are.

now, I have a set of Kala piping syringe with about twenty nozzles and I have not yet priced them.  They are vintage and I might buy them myself, but my pride in my work will not let me price it myself if I intend to be the buyer.  I checked eBay and they go for about 15 dollars.

what say you?

@andiesenji


Edited by Cronker (log)
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1 hour ago, Cronker said:

So, as I have mentioned previously, I work in a thrift shop, and my job is to price the stuff that comes through. Only bric, not clothing or books or toys.

i've come across some amazing things, pieces that people really don't know how valuable they are.

now, I have a set of Kala piping syringe with about twenty nozzles and I have not yet priced them.  They are vintage and I might buy them myself, but my pride in my work will not let me price it myself if I intend to be the buyer.  I checked eBay and they go for about 15 dollars.

what say you?

@andiesenji

 

You are very honest.  There are people at thrift shops here who take all the good stuff - especially Pyrex - because it is hot right now.  One sells on ebay and one of my friends who shops at the thrift store said this woman bought a boxed set of pink mixing bowls - pristine, never used - for $15.00 and sold them on ebay for $150.00 and bragged about it to her friends.  My friend took great delight in congratulating her in the store for her coup.  Apparently this was noted and she is no longer working there.  

 

If you price an item fairly, and the store has no objections, why not print out one of the ebay or etsy pages and show them.  

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I have a good friend, who happens to be a millionaire, who used to volunteer at a thrift store.  While he didn't attach prices to items he would sort the items and when he saw something he wanted he'd hide it under piles of stuff so he could retrieve it and buy it before someone else could find it.  While I guess he wasn't dishonest I always thought it was borderline tacky.

he could afford anything he wanted, why take away from someone else?

i don't know, but I suppose it could have been the general mindset of the other workers as well.

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7 minutes ago, lindag said:

I have a good friend, who happens to be a millionaire, who used to volunteer at a thrift store.  While he didn't attach prices to items he would sort the items and when he saw something he wanted he'd hide it under piles of stuff so he could retrieve it and buy it before someone else could find it.  While I guess he wasn't dishonest I always thought it was borderline tacky.

he could afford anything he wanted, why take away from someone else?

i don't know, but I suppose it could have been the general mindset of the other workers as well.

It is behaving like a jerk. 

I found a somewhat "rare" Hall China teapot in one store a few years ago.  They had it priced at $3.99, which was ridiculous. It was in perfect condition.  I took it up to the counter and was greeted by one of the women who knew me.  I told her that someone had mismarked the teapot and I would buy it for 39.99, which was somewhat closer to what it was worth.  

She took my money and thanked me.   This is a thrift store that supports the neonatal unit at the hospital here.  I think it is disgusting to cheat them.

When it comes to Goodwill or Salvation Army - I don't care. Goodwill CEO is paid a ridiculous salary and they mark stuff up now to ridiculous prices .

So does SA, which sells online and  often doesn't pack well.  I bought an Eva Zeisel  piece for my Harlequin set and it arrived smashed to pieces.

The idiot who packed it wrapped a single piece of small bubble wrap around it and it was obviously loose in the box with no other packaging.

I complained and they ignored me but I went through PayPal to get my money back.  

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Well, my personal belief is that nothing can be set aside for the workers.  Everything must be priced and put on the shelf before anyone can purchase it.  The upside is that workers can grab it before even the customer sees it, but that is usually the only upside any worker gets.

we have had numerous managers sacked recently for taking items from stock and selling them on eBay-strictly forbidden.

as I mentioned in another thread, I scored a vintage cast iron Dutch oven for $2 which I later learned was worth over $100

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30 minutes ago, lindag said:

I have a good friend, who happens to be a millionaire, who used to volunteer at a thrift store.  While he didn't attach prices to items he would sort the items and when he saw something he wanted he'd hide it under piles of stuff so he could retrieve it and buy it before someone else could find it.  While I guess he wasn't dishonest I always thought it was borderline tacky.

he could afford anything he wanted, why take away from someone else?

i don't know, but I suppose it could have been the general mindset of the other workers as well.

It's not unusual.

Many of the people that I work with believe that the nice things that come in can be theirs at a very attractive price.

 The company viewpoint is "it sold, we got money, so what the"

point in fact - yesterday I had a piece of Carlton Ware come through.  It's the Hanging Man Cup - highly collectible and not cheap. My boss said we can't sell it because of the graphic content.

i told her, quite firmly, that it is a collector piece and I would not throw it away,

sold on same day for $35.

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@andiesenji, I have a number of Hall pieces, all dark green ,quite lovely pieces. The first I bought was a dark green cube as a gift for a friend, priced at $8 at a yard sale. It wasn't until later that I learned it was worth  over $30. ( this was 25 years ago.)  As a lover of the them, I appreciate your honesty with the pricing...you  are also a rare find.  

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Pyrex and Corning Ware, along with Tupperware- in good shape, commands good money these days.  In a thrift shop, it needs someone who knows what they are looking at.

it always saddens me when I see Tupperware that has been thrown through the dishwasher.  It buckles the lids.

likewise when I see a ton of Pyrex and Corning without the lids - immediate devaluation.

 

but (with @andiesenji s help,) I'm strongly thinking about starting a vintage cookware collection. 

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6 minutes ago, Cronker said:

Pyrex and Corning Ware, along with Tupperware- in good shape, commands good money these days.  In a thrift shop, it needs someone who knows what they are looking at.

it always saddens me when I see Tupperware that has been thrown through the dishwasher.  It buckles the lids.

likewise when I see a ton of Pyrex and Corning without the lids - immediate devaluation.

 

but (with @andiesenji s help,) I'm strongly thinking about starting a vintage cookware collection. 

 

My Tupperware has gone thru the dishwasher for decades, never buckles the lids

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38 minutes ago, andiesenji said:

It is behaving like a jerk. 

I found a somewhat "rare" Hall China teapot in one store a few years ago.  They had it priced at $3.99, which was ridiculous. It was in perfect condition.  I took it up to the counter and was greeted by one of the women who knew me.  I told her that someone had mismarked the teapot and I would buy it for 39.99, which was somewhat closer to what it was worth.  

She took my money and thanked me.   This is a thrift store that supports the neonatal unit at the hospital here.  I think it is disgusting to cheat them.

When it comes to Goodwill or Salvation Army - I don't care. Goodwill CEO is paid a ridiculous salary and they mark stuff up now to ridiculous prices .

So does SA, which sells online and  often doesn't pack well.  I bought an Eva Zeisel  piece for my Harlequin set and it arrived smashed to pieces.

The idiot who packed it wrapped a single piece of small bubble wrap around it and it was obviously loose in the box with no other packaging.

I complained and they ignored me but I went through PayPal to get my money back.  

Yes, but @andiesenji it works the other way too.

i had a very clean, nice set of Raco pots that I priced below $10 each. Customer went ballistic at me because I wouldn't move on price.  I mean, she made a scene in front of everyone else, but I didn't budge.  The pots are upwards of $50 each, and I had them for $4.

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1 minute ago, GlorifiedRice said:

 

My Tupperware has gone thru the dishwasher for decades, never buckles the lids

Lucky you 

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Lol, yes.  Our plastic is made from dangerous spiders.

but seriously, Tupperware is a strong seller right now.

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Just now, Cronker said:

Lol, yes.  Our plastic is made from dangerous spiders.

but seriously, Tupperware is a strong seller right now.

 

I wasnt being silly. I was serious. Sometimes other countries have different laws about plastics etc.

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I remember my mother going to Tupperware parties when I was very young. Who, back then, would have thought that it would have value now?

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2 minutes ago, GlorifiedRice said:

 

I wasnt being silly. I was serious. Sometimes other countries have different laws about plastics etc.

Sorry, not trying to be offhand.

im not sure that Tupperware was manufactured in Australia.

i just know that, at my thrift shop, I sadly have to throw away heaps of Tupperware because the lids are buckled.

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1 hour ago, caroled said:

@andiesenji, I have a number of Hall pieces, all dark green ,quite lovely pieces. The first I bought was a dark green cube as a gift for a friend, priced at $8 at a yard sale. It wasn't until later that I learned it was worth  over $30. ( this was 25 years ago.)  As a lover of the them, I appreciate your honesty with the pricing...you  are also a rare find.  

It's for charity. I do NOT feel the same way about things discovered in the antique "malls" where so many things are marked up way beyond their worth.  If I find a bargain in one of these for-profit places, I take it for what it is marked.  I have clewed in some yard sale sellers when they put out really good stuff at far too cheap prices. The profiteers who mine these places often even ask for a discount.  Last year a woman was clearing out a neighbor's home - she went into a nursing home.  I knew she had some very good stuff so I went over the day before when they were trying to price things and explained that her mom's collection of Fire King peach glow was worth a lot more than she was pricing.  There were also some early Fire King PHilbe baking dishes, loaf pans and pie plates which she had priced a 50 cents each.  I helped her price a lot of the other things and she gave me several pieces for my help.  

After the sale she said a man bought all of the Fire King peach glow and did ask for a substantial discount for taking all of it. She said no and he took it anyway.  It was priced so he could still make a profit, probably doubling what he paid.

 

I have some of the green restaurant ware by Hall but I think I only have one green teapot.  Several of mine were inherited as we were a tea-drinking family and not the usual southern sweet tea. 

My great grandmother had spent a lot of time in England and she insisted on afternoon tea every day and as we were a large, extended family, it required several tea pots.

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5 minutes ago, andiesenji said:

It's for charity. I do NOT feel the same way about things discovered in the antique "malls" where so many things are marked up way beyond their worth.  If I find a bargain in one of these for-profit places, I take it for what it is marked.  I have clewed in some yard sale sellers when they put out really good stuff at far too cheap prices. The profiteers who mine these places often even ask for a discount.  Last year a woman was clearing out a neighbor's home - she went into a nursing home.  I knew she had some very good stuff so I went over the day before when they were trying to price things and explained that her mom's collection of Fire King peach glow was worth a lot more than she was pricing.  There were also some early Fire King PHilbe baking dishes, loaf pans and pie plates which she had priced a 50 cents each.  I helped her price a lot of the other things and she gave me several pieces for my help.  

After the sale she said a man bought all of the Fire King peach glow and did ask for a substantial discount for taking all of it. She said no and he took it anyway.  It was priced so he could still make a profit, probably doubling what he paid.

 

I have some of the green restaurant ware by Hall but I think I only have one green teapot.  Several of mine were inherited as we were a tea-drinking family and not the usual southern sweet tea. 

My great grandmother had spent a lot of time in England and she insisted on afternoon tea every day and as we were a large, extended family, it required several tea pots.

Andie, you are a gem that I don't know what we would do without.  Invaluable.

 

Every time you post I learn something.  Your life is ...well, let me put it this way, I'm an avid reader and have read a zillion books.  If you wrote a book, it would be #1 on my list.

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Grrrr.  The peach lustre is valuable.  As I said, I price the pieces in my op shop, and I am doing so because my boss knows that I know what I'm doing - better than her, actually.

a nice piece of Pyrex, vintage and with the lid? About $15AUD

Fire King Peach Lustre - $5 - $25 depending upon the piece.

Corelle? Chuck. 

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Posted (edited)

How I respond to under-priced items depends on the store. I regularly shop 14 different Goodwill thrift stores in two different management regions. They quite often put out broken items, like a bowl with a major chip going down the side of the bowl priced as if they were in perfect working order. I know of their claim of being a charitable rehabilitation institution  but they have turned into (IMHO) a corrupt big business. For those stores, if I found a $100 gold piece priced for $0.50, I'd give them $0.50.


Edited by Porthos (log)
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If you don't like thrift shop workers getting first dibs, then you are going to hate this:  A friend volunteers at a thrift store where the policy is that the volunteers get 50% off of everything - so first dibs and a discount.  They won't let her pay full price so, to her credit,  she doubles the price when she sees something she wants.   Unfortunately that is not a common practice and other volunteers take full advantage.  With that said, some of the volunteers are not especially well off themselves.

 

Also, their goal is to price things at about half of the actual value.  I believe the idea is to provide affordable goods for those in need, but they are well aware that many of their regular buyers sell on Ebay.  As in many instances, perhaps their is no way to adequately serve those who are in need and simultaneously prevent people from gaming the system.

 

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One of the thrift shops where I live (the Habitat for Humanity "ReStore") has a policy that staff/volunteers can't buy anything until it's been priced and on the floor for (IIRC) two days. 

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the Restores are just all around awesome places.  Never fail to find something amazing that I didn't even know we needed.  Wish

mine wasn't over 100 miles from here.  

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On 02/01/2018 at 3:03 AM, rustwood said:

If you don't like thrift shop workers getting first dibs, then you are going to hate this:  A friend volunteers at a thrift store where the policy is that the volunteers get 50% off of everything - so first dibs and a discount.  They won't let her pay full price so, to her credit,  she doubles the price when she sees something she wants.   Unfortunately that is not a common practice and other volunteers take full advantage.  With that said, some of the volunteers are not especially well off themselves.

 

Also, their goal is to price things at about half of the actual value.  I believe the idea is to provide affordable goods for those in need, but they are well aware that many of their regular buyers sell on Ebay.  As in many instances, perhaps their is no way to adequately serve those who are in need and simultaneously prevent people from gaming the system.

 

Well, to be fair, volunteer work isn't paying any bills, yet the charity receives all the benefits.

many places, mine included, view discount for volunteering as a "perk" of the job.  I disagree with volunteers getting first dibs, and don't allow it where I work.

we work on about 1/3 of retail pricing for most stuff, perhaps a bit more if it is clearly brand new.  The only time we will price aggressively is when the piece is clearly valuable and sought after.

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